Compassion, Buttercup: A Wee Excerpt

Your face and everyone else’s watching as I fold myself in small and terrible. I can’t make out what my tears mean but I shake my head no and then my feet are dangling by your knees. Our families are oblivious but the barflies and the drunks know all the details. They have all the answers.

There was a boozy celebration which I couldn’t be part of and there was fish and chips on the way home. We sat out cold in the grey by the college where, inside, young people were learning lessons. We unwrapped the chips and ate dinner off the wall while we waited for the bus to turn into the street and take us back to the other country. 

This is what caring looked like. I accepted it and was grateful for it. Accepting and grateful then because I knew that when I’d break your heart again later there would be no more of it.


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