Tolerance by Monica Dickson

“De-liz-ee-oh-so” you gush, cod-Italian dripping from your treacherous lips. You lick your fingers one by one for emphasis, an erotic parody.

I give a warm, spicy smile.

“Just a little something I picked up at No Added Anything”, I say, light as whipped cream. “Is there anything you’d like to add?”

You look puzzled and in that “Really?” voice that’s thrown me off so many times, you say, “Don’t gimme that, Sugar Pie. You know we tell each other everything.”

I want to scream, “Do we, Pancake? DO WE?” but that seems overly melodramatic and I’m already watching this scene play out like some lame-ass, long running soap. So I don’t, I slide the sauce cup towards you and drawl, “Have some more, Sweet Pea.”

You oblige, mopping up the Hulk-bright gunk with a chunk of gluten-free rye.

Never satisfied, I think. Insatiable.

You tell me about your day but leave out the main ingredients – the upmarket lunch in Soho, the sake chasers in some Vinegar Hill dive. When we met you didn’t even know how to pronounce sake. I whispered, demurely, that it didn’t rhyme with ‘wake’; how we laughed! I refined you, gave you a leg up to the Ivy League and this is how you repay me.

You reach over to pour me an organic Sauvignon. I cover the glass; my ring finger catches the rim with a resonant tink. You slump back; your head is starting to loll.

“Are you ok, Potato Chip?” I say, gazing at you like a schoolgirl with a crush on Teacher. “I think you’ve been overdoing it. Here let me…”

I lean across the table, fondle your tie, yank you towards me. You choke obediently. I know your throat is already closing but I can’t resist tightening the knot a little. Your eyes are bugging out now and you look tired, like when you’ve been at the pool and I know for a fact that really is where you’ve been because I can see the imprint of your swim goggles. Unless you like to have sex with other people whilst wearing protective eye gear; it’s possible. No matter now.

“Get my pen”, you are wheezing, at least I think that’s what you’re saying as your faithless lungs stick together. And much as I would like to stab you in the thigh, I have chosen my method. So instead I simper, “Oh, Honey Pot, you must have left it in the bar this afternoon or maybe at the hotel you stopped by on the way home?”

You slide off your chair, like so much slop for the bucket. Your face is lobster pink against the slate grey floor tiles.

I reach for the sauce cup and tenderly, with my thumb, smear a comma of green gloop across your burning cheek.

Dishy, I think.

Monica Dickson is a short fiction writer from Leeds. Her work has been broadcast on East Leeds FM and published in Firewords, Salomé, The Cabinet of Heed and elsewhere. You can find her on Twitter @Mon_Dickson.

Image: Yakynina Anastasia