Saturday 21 June 2014

'A Declaration' by Diane Scott

We get a babysitter. We visit a public toilet. We go into the unisex disabled one so we don’t get into trouble and lock the door, check it’s secure. We’ve bought a new knife; a fancy penknife like Bear Grylls has. We’ve brought some fizzy wine. The door is busy with names, declarations, some swear words. I sit on the edge of the closed toilet lid and go to place the small cool bag containing the wine and the glasses on the floor. There are damp, discoloured patches there spreading into each other and I keep it on my lap. I can smell an abrasive mix of bleach and urine but take a sip of the wine and let the sharp fizz on my tongue distract me. He leans against the wall, takes out the knife and pokes at his fingertips with the point. We drink a glass of wine whilst we discuss what we will do. The bubbles make me feel dreamy. I’d like something meaningful, significant. Finally we decide.

I pour another glass and sip. He begins to scrape. He looks strong and manly, his handsome face focused on his task and I blush, almost swoon. I realise the wine has gone to my head and giggle. He looks at me, rolls his eyes and laughs softly. The paint flakes off onto the floor and I feel bad. Maybe we should have used one of the children’s felt tips instead? He finishes, it looks good, though the letters are a little uneven to avoid the others already there. I stand up, he pockets the knife and puts his arm around me. We gaze at our names scratched on the toilet door. We smile and finish our bottle. I brush up the paint dust with a paper towel and he rinses our glasses in the sink. I place the bottle in the bin. We wash our hands with the antibacterial handwash that I brought and we leave.

We walk home, hand in hand, knowing that our love is sure because it is carved on a toilet door.

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