Thanks to Maddie Blandino for her exquisite, inspirational art.
And to Pam and Gillian for Saturday morning coffee and hauling me back to real life.
Also thanks to my editing team Andrea, Shay and the ever lovely and only occasionally frothing Janine, who tolerates my frothing with patience, fortitude and a great sense of humour.
Frothing? With what? Scratch that, I don’t even want to know. And what kind of exquisite, inspirational art does Maddie produce?
Mommy! Mommy! Mommy is asleep on the floor. She has been asleep for a long time. I brush her hair because she likes that. She doesn’t wake up. I shake her. Mommy! My tummy hurts. It is hungry. He isn’t here. I am thirsty. In the kitchen I pull a chair to the sink, and I have a drink. The water splashes over my blue sweater. Mommy is still asleep. Mommy wake up! She lies still. She is cold. I fetch my blankie, and I cover Mommy, and I lie down on the sticky green rug beside her.
I search for something to eat. In the freezer I find peas. They are cold. I eat them slowly. They make my tummy hurt. I sleep beside Mommy. The peas are gone. In the freezer is something. It smells funny. I lick it and my tongue is stuck to it. I eat it slowly. It tastes nasty. I drink some water.
Remember how excited Ana was when she found peas in the freezer while cooking with Christian at the beginning of Fifty Shades Darker? I think this series has a pea leitmotif. And what else did he eat? Never mind…I don’t want to know.
Mommy is so cold, and she won’t wake up. The door crashes open. I cover Mommy with my blankie. He’s here.
Didn’t he already cover Mommy with his blankie?
The lady policeman has my blankie, and she grabs me. I scream. Mommy! Mommy! I want my Mommy. The words are gone. I can’t say the words. Mommy can’t hear me. I have no words.
“Ana.” He breathes her name, and it’s a talisman against the black choking panic coursing through his body.
“Hush, I’m here.” She curls around him, her limbs cocooning him, her warmth leeching into his body, forcing back the shadows, forcing back the fear. She is sunshine, she is light . . . she is his.
Okay, this sounds like some really bizarro cross between Kafka’s Metamorphosis and The Very Hungry Caterpillar.
“Please let’s not fight.” His voice is hoarse as he wraps his arms around her.
“The vows. No obeying. I can do that. We’ll find a way.” The words rush out of his mouth in a tumble of emotion and confusion and anxiety.
“Yes. We will. We’ll always find a way,” she whispers, and her lips are on his, silencing him, bringing him back to the now.
If Christian thinks that marriage vows are like the contracts between him and his submissives, is he really even ready for marriage? Moreover, Ana, should you be marrying him?
And that’s all for this today!