Story 10Button 28



Button it, he said, and so I did. Not in the way he’d intended. It must have come as a shock, I suppose, for him to be tight lipped for a change. After all the times that I found my words backing up in my mouth like stoppered bile, nowhere to go but back to my wild mind. All those times when he had the last word now he really had, such disappointing last words too, button it.
            Of course there had been noise, lots of it. At one point, with my needle pointed, about to swoop again, I was concerned that the neighbours might complain. But they never had before, all the times before, when tables were knocked to the ground spilling spools, and sewing silks spewed across the floor. When he had twisted skeins of my hair between his bloated fingers, pulling and pulling until I cried out, they had never once complained.
            Fabric torn and seams split, pretty buttons scattered like sweets onto the carpet. Dirty now, I hear my Mother’s voice coming through the red veil, can’t have them now. Tears of loss.
            Yes, there was noise. And mess.
He never did approve of mess, now that’s ironic. I was as careful as I could be with my hands being as sticky, as slippery as they were. It was hard to keep my stitching neat, but he would insist on struggling.
 I would have thought that the blow from the sewing machine across the side of his crimson face would have stunned him enough… but no, he still persisted in turning his head this way and that causing me to make a most untidy job of it.
 Just as well that he hadn’t told me to zip it because that would have been even messier. I told him that, but he didn’t laugh. Well, I don’t suppose he could.
It was more difficult than I had thought it would be, no, that’s not right, I hadn’t really thought, I hadn’t planned on doing what I did. It just came to me. I had to use a thimble to force the needle through his flesh. It wasn’t like piercing my sister’s ears when we were teenagers. No, it required a lot more effort.
I chose the button well though I think. One of the six pale green apples that I picked up at a fair. Oh how he had hated them. Childish, he had called them, silly, frivolous, made for little girls or vain women. And besides, wasn’t Eve tempted by the apple? Oh God yes!
Button it he said, and so I did. This is good, this is complete. Tying off the last stitch, biting through the thread that used to bind me to him, my mouth close to his, almost a goodbye kiss. He is silent. I have closure.


Pick a button