He never says no when she calls.
Strings of silk flowers snake around the insides of her house and the vines seem thicker every time, almost like they’re blossoming, but it’s because she keeps buying more. She says she forgets to water real flowers and they die, and silk flowers don’t make her happy, but at least they don’t make her sad. She lives alone in a bad neighborhood and he thinks it’s not safe, but says nothing, because saying something would imply a question. He thinks maybe she should get a dog, for protection, but says nothing, because dogs bark and shed and need to be taken out three times a day for the next twelve years and they get dirty and they lick you.
“Tell me you love me,” she whispers, like she doesn’t understand the urgency of simple blood. The words glue themselves to the walls of his throat and he’s coughing up dust. Why does she need to be loved in full sentences?


Matilda Harjunpää writes in Helsinki, Finland. You can find her on Twitter @matildahrjnp

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