:: Article

Half Lights

By E.M. Reapy.
I know he’ll have the dirty mouth on him. Between the singing and the slurring. He’ll be stooped over trying to take his t-shirt off. Fall off the edge of the bed trying to get the legs out of his jeans. I can pretend to sleep. Do the snore noises from the movies. But he’ll wake me. Shake my shoulders and call my name. Harder and harder until my eyes open. He’ll push me over. Drool on my neck and chest. Climb on. By the time I’ll get into it he’ll be limp.

In the morning, he’ll have a headache and I’ll blast open the curtains and leave the door open. Bang the pots onto the hob. Stir the porridge by tapping the spoon off the metal in a frantic beat. Morning talk radio will fill the kitchen with all the auld ones complaining. Overcharged. Frustrated. Not taking it anymore.

I’ll spark up a smoke. He quit six years ago, except when he’s drinking. He can’t bear the smell of them in the morning cause he knows he failed again. I’ll exhale at the open door. The smoke curling in through the gap of the bedroom. 

The porridge will bubble and I’ll take it off the heat. Ladle it into a flower patterned bowl and watch the steam rise. Stir three sugars in. Then I’ll open the fridge and take out the chilled orange juice with bits, fill up a glass and grab two Solpadine. Swap the radio station for a CD, turn off the big red switch for the cooker and put everything on a tray.

He’ll be underneath the duvet. Still groaning.

Here, breakfast. You’ll feel better after – I’ll say.

I’m sorry – he’ll say.

I know – I’ll say.


E.M. Reapy edits wordlegs.com, has an MA in Creative Writing from Queen’s University Belfast and was selected as the Irish Exchange Writer 2012 for Varuna Writers House, Sydney. She is working on a feature length screenplay.

First published in 3:AM Magazine: Thursday, June 21st, 2012.