How Many Money?

When he kissed you, you felt ugly. At 70 he thought he’d purchased you.

His lips crinkled with dried saliva creeping out from the corners, he moved towards you in slow motion, like a suckling pig, hungry for his mother’s milk, still too blind to aim.

“I could have turned the other way. I had the time.”

Instead, radiating from her diaphragm like acid reflux was what she mistook as empathy. The pain of rejection was something she never wanted to inflict on others.

And so, she deserved it.

As she turned cold and frigid, his shrivelled lips touched hers.

How many money?

He’d been so kind. She’d wanted a father.

Does an iPhone buy you a kiss?

She was leaving on for a month and as he shut the door to her limo, sending her off to the airport, she asked herself,

“a limo buys you what?”.


Kids can be assholes.

Chloe was 8 years old and had just moved a year earlier from the big city of Toronto to rural Ontario, to no, not a small town but rather a forest 20 km away from the nearest shitty town and an hour walk from any children her age. It had taken her a year to get used to the isolation. Chloe was an only child with a Mom whose nose was, without pause, squeezed so tightly between a never ending train of books that there was little space for her to see between the chugging words, a child who wanted to be entertained let alone paid attention to. This invisibility and lack of siblings had bestowed her with the ability to play solo and fend off boredom’s mesmerizing spell. She was quite the curious little nymph and so had grown fond of the countryside where she discovered her deep and lasting love of toads and all things slimey.  Just as she found her place in the dirt amongst the worms and the salamanders, her mother fell in lust, with a man 10 years her junior and ripped Chloe from her new amphibian friends and plopped her in the centre of a white - washed victorian town inhabited by Wasps and hicks alike. The three of them, chloe, her mother and her mother's boyfriend settled in a small apartment on the main floor of what had been a single family home now sectioned off into apartments. Standing across from a row of stone mansions, it was a constant reminder of what Chloe didn’t have - money.

It was Chloe’s 8th year of existence and 3rd move, when her Mom ripped her from her home and this time, plopped her into the centre of a white-washed Victorian town in Southern Ontario that was inhabited by wasps and hicks alike.

Chloe was enrolled in Port Perry Elementary School where she mostly kept to herself and quickly became her teacher’s favourite. She never acted out, barely spoke a word and always did her homework. Her classroom was painted a yellowish eggshell colour which was only enhanced by the fluorescent lights beaming down and bouncing off the desks, surely colours chosen there to inspire young minds to foster their creative thinking.

Within the first few weeks Chloe had already acquired a bully whose attention was fixated on her every move. Bullying was made even easier for the beast of a girl when they were sat side by side, perhaps Mrs. Maneechis’ way of socializing this young sociopath-in-the-making. In a perfect world Chloe would have spoken up and asked to move desks but she just kept quiet hoping Rebecca would soon learn to like her and calm her aggressive tendencies.

Yet she did not. Every day Rebecca would growl and foam at the mouth at the sight of Chloe’s paper or pencil creeping over the space between her desk into foreign territory. With clawlike hands and possessed eyes her neck would turn sharply and with her glare fixed on chloe, her hand would seek and destroy whatever crossed the strictly guarded border.

Chloe, sometimes too gentle, tried time and time again to soothe her with kindness and avoidance and lack of eye contact and shared treats and homework help and and and…

To no avail, Rebecca was set on hating Chloe and making her days difficult.

It was in art class where chloe felt at home, 3 months into her school year, when Rebecca attempted to bully her verbally (though she wasn't the brightest of students and lacked any intelligible vocabulary). Still she should be given points for trying?

Chloe and Rebecca, as usual were placed together, this time in a group of 5, where they were supposed to together as a group demonstrate their ability to be team players and collaborate by making pipe cleaner and Pom Pom farm animals. Chloe came from a family of artist so felt quite confident with such a project whereas Rebecca was creatively challenged and frothed frustration at the others by concentrating on crushing their designs.

“That's dumb.”

“That's an ugly horse. He deserves to die.”

“Bam! Pow! Ahhhhhhh I'm dying”… as she crumpled the fuzzy figures and played out armageddon.

Chloe, seeing that Rebecca hadn't made a thing but what looked like a contorted pig, realized she could maybe use a little help.

“Let me help you, Rebecca. You just need to twist the pink one around your pencil and it makes a pig's tail”

“See it's easy”, as she demonstrated herself.

Instead of a thank you, Chloe's aid was acknowledged with an evil glance and a song.

“You're black and I'm white” to the tune of Nana Nana Boo Boo.

Chloe thought to herself for a second, “Huh? Was she trying to tease me?”

Up until this point nobody had called out her differences so she really hadn't noticed.

Rebecca kept singing louder and louder cackling uncontrollably to herself while chloe watched in what seemed to be slow motion and this ravenous creature. She didn't feel much more than pity for this dumb girl and her attempted insult.

Chloe said nothing and wondered, “Was it even an insult?”

...and that was the first time Chloe ever noticed she was actually different, in the white-washed Victorian town of Port Perry.  

Robotic & Stoic

As Daphne cowered beside the bed, she focused her eyes on the immense number of dust bunnies that hid behind the bedskirt. “How on earth had so much hair and dust accumulated in one week?” she wondered. She was perhaps not the most thorough cleaner but she kept a tidy house. It made her feel in control and him, calm.

Today Blair was in a good mood, smiling and chatty. He even tried to show affection by putting his arm around her and kissing her, however robotic and stoic. Still, when he did, she felt optimistic.

But now Daphne tried to make herself as tiny as possible and sink into the floorboards.  All of her senses vigilant and raw, she heard the creaking of wood as he came towards her. Not wanting to look up and too scared not to, she tried to utter something, anything, but all that came out was a whimper.  She could feel him linger over her delicate bones, his presence emanating unmetabolized testosterone. She turned her head to him, and shaking pulled the corners of her mouth into a smile. “Baby, it’s ok”.

His stance, square and unmoving, reminded her of where humans had come from. She thought, “We have not evolved as much as we hoped, I guess”. She knew he didn’t like to see her hurt and so she tried quickly to get up and ignore the radiating pain in her left side. Blair reached out to touch her. His hands could change so quickly from weapons to soft and nurturing. She looked as his nail beds. He took care of his hands. He often got pedicures. They were soft unlike her weathered hands which she, in contrast, never took the time to moisturize and incessantly washed with antibacterial soap, draining them of their natural oils.

His eyes looked at her with the eyes of a puppy, and apologetically pulled her in close. He brushed his blond scruff across her damp cheek, and the scent that had seconds before terrified her suddenly became an aphrodisiac. She was so tiny in his arms yet he felt so young. He nuzzled his head into her neck and told her he loved her and there was the undertone of a little boy asking for his mom’s forgiveness. She took his head in her hands and brushed her fingers through his fine yet thick natural blond hair - it was the colour she’d always wished she was born with - and she knew this soothed him. He nestled lower, his head how between her breasts and began to kiss them. She didn’t want to like it but she did and so she didn’t quite show him that she enjoyed his touch. His hands moved up and down her back, massaging her most tender places. Though it hurt she sometimes liked the pain and as he kneaded the knots in her shoulders and between her wing bones she collapsed into him.  

With his one hand on the base of her neck and the other supporting her back he began to lower her onto the bed, but as she let her weight fall, the pressure of his hand on her side punched through her abdomen and she shrieked uncontrollably. He let her drop and stood above her and yet again she watched as his eyes changed. And with his tousled hair and his jaw tense, he glared at her. His breathing halted and they were both still and matching his gaze with soft pleading eyes she saw those soft hands begin to clench.