by Valerie O'Riordan
Someone introduced us at a party. I looped my hair behind my ear and talked seriously about the government and the election and the environment and my childhood and the price of free-range eggs and how my housemate constantly made chili that smells like the rotten feet of a Yeti. He didn't say a thing, but chewed at a stick of gum, his tongue slurping and his lips pressing in and out, fat and thin, like plum little worms on his face. I wasn't sure about this now, and my breath was coming out whoopy, and my hands in fists were pounding manically against each other, and they so hot I was afraid he would accidentally touch them and burn himself, so I wrapped them up tightly in my sleeves, but that dragged the neckline of my jumper down obscenely low, and my voice trailed off, pitching up and out mid-sentence - something about rabbits, I think it was. He had a good long long look down at my cleavage, nodding to himself, and then he shook his head and wandered off. I saw that he was only wearing one shoe and I unwrapped my hands and helped myself to a sausage roll.
Valerie O'Riordan, a video editor in Birmingham, England, has just started writing.