'The Unexpected Consequences of a Double-Yolk Egg' by David Borrowdale

It’s my birthday, so when you say, “Someone’s smiling on us today: a double-yolk egg,” I know I’ll be having extra yellow for breakfast. On a normal day, the double-yolk egg’ll come to me because I like the yellow and Charlie likes the white. That’s just the way we are. You like them both but Charlie’s your little pumpkin and I’m your little soldier and you don’t have a special name for yourself.

But then Steve comes in and throws the whole thing in doubt. Steve sits at the end of the table, a place that was always just the end of the table but now means you get extra sausages and roast potatoes and the crispy bits of pork chops. But not double-yolk eggs. Not on my birthday.

You put the plates of egg and toast on the table and I look at mine and I look at Charlie’s and there’s just two yellows and two whites between us. Then I see Steve’s got two yellows and he’s already made them red with sauce which is a sin to me because the yellow is sauce enough. And now he’s smashing the yellows with his toast which is not the way to do it. The way to do it is to start with the whites and slice them up nice and eat each bit leaving the yellow whole and alone, ready for bursting in your mouth.

From now on, whenever I have an egg, I’ll remember the day you stopped being my mother and became a woman I shared a house with. And whenever I see Steve, I’ll picture him walking down the street, gauging lady’s bottoms through a frame made with the thumb and forefinger of each hand, and occasionally squeezing the softest, amplest ones. How did you ever fall for a man who does that in my imagination?


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