On her cloth is the culminated effort of 40 minutes of my precious time and hundreds of pounds in cosmetics – foundation that costs roughly the equivalent of my weekly food shop, rosy beige cream blush, a pressed setting powder and a loose finishing powder, four different eyeshadows in only slightly different shades of light to mid brown, brow pencil, mascara, and muted brick red lipstick. She wipes my face again, and I see it reflected in the mirror behind her, waxy white and shiny. My lips are stained a little. I am very near to tears.
She smiles, wide and gleaming and beautiful, and eyes me.
“Do you still feel pretty? Do you think if I sent you out there like this, people would still care about you? Would they be nice to you?”
I shake my head. There are tears now, white hot. She cups my chin and presses her lipsticked mouth to my forehead, my cheek, my jaw, my pathetically wobbling bottom lip. Tangles her long, glitter-tipped manicure into my hair and dips it to the nape of my neck, resting my head against her collarbones, tilting my face up.
“Don’t cry. You look so, so ugly when you cry. I think I might have to sit on your miserable little face. God knows I can’t do anything else with you.”
I am absolutely fucking soaked.
“How do you – how – how do I get all of this off you?”
“I have to do it! Don’t, you’ll rip it. Easy! Expensive.”
“No – no, I want to do it – let me – jesus christ, have you ever in your life worn anything practical?”
“It’s a special treat! I haven’t seen you in ages, I thought you’d like it.”
“A special treat I can’t fucking get into. Jesus, you’re like one of those victorian ladies in all her silks and corsets. You’d make a good victorian lady. Fainting and getting flustered all the fucking time and having to be revived, and I could be your bit of rough – what IS this, why is this button HERE? Why are there layers? Why would you do this to me?”
“Did you ever consider that maybe this is a ploy to get you so irritated with me that you bend me over your knee and – careful! – hit me?”
“You could’ve just -”
“I mean, it’s not, but – ”
“If you were a real victorian lady this would be the bit where I’d rip all this off – all of this – and these stupid little buttons, they’d go flying. Hit the floor. Pitter patter. Nearly done. I’d put my big dirty working man’s hands on you and you’d say, oh, mister, you mustn’t, you simply mustn’t!”
“But we would. On the floor and on the bed and out in the garden. Gardens, probably, plural. Have you gone soft yet?”
“Undo that last bit yourself, lie down nicely, and I’ll show you”.
“I love your pussy.” She grins at me from behind her laptop. We’re in a café, leeching off the wifi and buying fresh pots of tea and muffins every half hour as to not irritate the owner.
“Sshh! Be quiet. I love yours too.”
“I love yours more. I’m obsessed. I think about it all the time. At work. At uni. Whenever. Like a white peach. Soft. I’m thinking about it literally right this second. It’s right there and I can’t. Have. It.” She brings the lid down and pours out the very last of the tea. Adds milk. Two sugars. Gone in a second. I still have a good half-pot left, plus an entire blueberry muffin.
“Stone fruits are literally the gayest organic symbol – don’t laugh at me! – on the planet. That and like, roses. Tulips. I guess.”
“They’re, uh, yonic, right? When you eat one and the juice drips down your chin and goes all the way up your arm, and you can smell it all the way up inside your nose cause somehow it got up there too. Licking your fingers clean, putting the stone in your mouth and sucking all the flesh from the centre. And all that fuzzy skin! There is nothing – nothing – and I mean this, don’t look at me like that – more sensual than sinking your mouth into a fat, soft, juicy peach. Like. Put on a sundress and like, go to Italy – oh my god, we could go after this, it only takes like an hour, right? Anyway. Go to Italy, right, pick – no, pluck – a ripe peach, squeeze it and watch it leak that sticky sweet juice down your wrist and and tell me you don’t want to just -”
“They have a peach smoothie here, I think.” She rolls her eyes at me, and reopens her laptop.
“I have every intention of fucking your brains out. If I ever get there.”
I can hear him tapping on the steering wheel, faint traffic noises. I’m lying in the middle of the bed in uncomfortable, expensive underwear with my eyes shut. I imagine myself as a tiny china doll having been put to bed, waiting for my owner to come and curl in next to me. The signal’s good, but his voice sounds hollow through the phone.
“What if I’m asleep by the time you get here?”
“You better not be.”
“But what if I am?”
“Then I suppose I’ll have to wake you up. Or maybe I won’t. Depends on how good of a mood I’m in.”
“How good of a mood are you in right now?”
“Right now? Could be improved. I can think of a few ways.”
Pause. I can’t think of anything to say. My head feels like it’s full of stuffing.
“How are you feeling, anyway?”
“I want you here. I bought all my toys and everything. There’s a new metal one and I want to see if…”
“Patience.” Soft groan.
Pause. Car noises. I think about doll-me again.
“I sized up underneath my desk earlier. It’s you-sized. You could sit under there and keep your pretty mouth full while I work.”
“I really, really, really like that idea.” I roll over.
“Is your cunt wet? Can I listen?”
“Yes, and no.” Low laugh on his end, stupid great smile on mine. I put my thumb in my mouth, tongue flat against my nail, softly drooling.
“I think we’re moving now, anyway. I’ll see you very, very soon. Kiss kiss.”
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