Let’s See

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Let's See

Flash Fiction

by Amelia David

art: Samuel Horsley

Last night, you told me you wanted to adopt the orange cat that sits on our boundary wall. We made a list of names, researched litter box prices, and stocked up on antihistamines. The night passed without much fanfare, as usual, and in the morning, you’d gotten up before me. As always, you hadn’t shut the fridge door properly before bed, and the milk is sour.

Last week, you told me your parents no longer sleep in the same house. Every night, your mother rides her college bicycle to her parent’s house and sleeps in their garage with their dog at her feet, and your father paces the living room for two hours before bed. Their red and orange carpet is worn only in the middle and can now be folded exactly in half. You’ve kept this information a secret for months now. I feel betrayed that you didn’t tell me.

You’ve begun wearing an elastic band around your wrist, even though you shave your head over the bathroom sink every few days. You enjoy rubbing the smooth oval of your scalp; enjoy snapping your wrist with that band even more. Your skin is more elastic these days, too, and your movements are somehow slower, more balanced. I know you use my skincare products after you think I’ve fallen asleep. I just wish you would tell me, instead of trying to move around surreptitiously in the bathroom at two in the morning.

Lately, the banter has been trickling, dripping steadily, and I can sense its stopping nearing. Each morning at breakfast, we stand on opposite sides of the table, the bread bin filled with a seeded loaf in between us. You’ve begun to make stacks of pancakes, and you drink from a sweating glass of orange juice every day. You comment on how stale the air smells and how dry your tongue feels. In return, I comment on how there isn’t much left to say, but we’re determined not to let everything run dry.

I know you’ve been sneaking the cat in and keeping it on the balcony. Your tiny blue tooth speaker does little to drown its sorrowful mews out, and the white tiles reek of piss. It hisses at me when I slide the screen door open but nudges its triangle ears into your palm when it knows I’m watching you both from inside.

It isn’t a secret that you are keeping these things from me. I’m not sure why they’re badly hidden.

Tomorrow, when we wake up, I will pretend not to notice the unclean divot in my freshly opened jar of moisturizer. I will ignore that cat, eavesdrop on conversations about your mother’s depression, throw your elastic band out.

I will smile and eat a slice of bread, and when you ask me if I am alright, I will bare my teeth and say, “Let’s see.”

cat in the rain
About the Author

Amelia David is an avid fiction reader, a former English Literature student, and someone who hopes to break away from writing personal essays. Her works has been published in Roi Fainéant Press, Mag 20/20, Sage Cigarettes Magazine, and Livina Press. She drinks too much green tea and blogs occasionally.

About the Artist

Samuel Horsley is an artist and printmaker whose images range from loveably strange cats to macabre gods and ethereal monsters. During his Graphic Design degree at Central St Martins, he specialised in illustration and was influenced by the work of Goya, Švankmajer and Scarfe. He prints screens and linos at Hot Bed Press Studio and he instagrams as @idonthaveorgans