She drapes a towel over her shoulder hiding her left breast. Rather, the vivid red scars snaking her ribcage where her left breast was carved out.
She turns to her left, enough so that she looks whole. If she accidentally catches a glimpse of her reflection, that is.
Spraying the area with rubbing alcohol from the pump bottle — she still can’t bring herself to touch it — she switches the blow dryer to ‘low’ and dries under the towel. Then she spritzes Vitamin E and baby oil, even though it’s a lost cause. Those scars aren’t going anywhere.
She ties a robe loosely around her waist and shuffles to the kitchen. Hot cereal she enjoyed from childhood might help her feel a bit better.
A shadow crosses the window making her jump. But her imagination was playing tricks. Nobody had been in the garden since the day Nick left — coincidentally, the morning after she discovered the lump in her breast.
She whirls around, gripped by fear.
“You really should lock your door.”
“What –!” Her heartbeat thudding in her ears.
“I heard from Stef. Here to help.” Billy leans in the doorway.
She stares. She always locked that door. She’d barricade the damn thing if she could.
“I’ll start by fixing your lock.” He winks.
“Breakfast?” She asks, finding her voice.
“Love some, darlin’.” He rummages around until he finds her toolbox.
She surveys the fridge. She really needed to grocery shop. “Looks like you’re getting last night’s egg rolls and sweet and sour chicken.” She used to avoid MSG and additives like the plague, but it doesn’t matter anymore.
“My favorite.” He calls over his shoulder as she turns on a burner and takes a frying pan from the dish tray.
She sets up the percolator for his coffee. More like sludge, she thinks. The more bitter the better as far as he’s concerned.
I’m only hoping that you’re home
So I can hear you
He comes up behind her and laces his fingers through hers. “Lock’s fixed.”
He guides her away from the stove and rests his other hand on her hip.
When you say those words to me
And whisper so softly…
He reaches over and turns up the stereo.
CC pick up that guitar
And talk to me…
She pulls away but he holds her hand tighter.
“You’re so inappropriate.” She tries to feel annoyed.
“Oh darlin’.” He searches her eyes. “Are you forgettin’ why you loved me?”
Behind them bushes
Till I’m screaming for more more more
He pulls her to him and she leans against his chest — forgetting for a moment — then jumps back as though she were burned.
He holds her steady.
“I can’t.” Her voice a hoarse whisper.
He strokes her newly-fine hair. “You always looked better with short hair.”
“Nobody will want me now.” She chokes on her sobs.
His laugh booms from his belly. “Oh, you’re so wrong.”
Down in the basement
Lock the cellar door
“You’re still you — more you than ever. Stronger.” He kisses her face. “I’m so proud of you. Just wish I’d known sooner.”
His forearm brushes the towel still over her shoulder. Then his warm palm hovers ever-so-closely in front of her scars.
She catches her breath.
Slowly, he traces the knife’s tracks.
She freezes, rigid.
He follows the thick, uneven, ridged scar tissue. Along the thin, raw skin in between. Over the bumps of each rib. She turns away and he keeps her close.
Talk dirty to me
He sings, leading her in a slow twirl.
Talk dirty to me
A small, strained, raspy laugh escapes her pale lips.
“Tell Santa what you want for Christmas, darlin’.”
I said I like it, baby
Lyrics in italics from, “Talk Dirty to Me”.
Written by: Bret Michaels; Bobby Dall; C.C. DeVille; and, Rikki Rockett.
Original release: Look What the Cat Dragged In.
“Fair Use” guidelines: http://www.copyright.gov/fls/fl102.html