I’m in my bedroom, looking over at the sun-kissed bookshelf where my red balloon hovers with its plump form. Its skin is stretching out, on the verge of exploding, but it tends to do that. It behaves similar to the tide in that it breathes in and out. When you think one extreme is bound to happen, it mellows. It was given to me by my neighbour as a joke when I got my first period. While the same balloon grew old and exhausted its value, I asked my neighbour for a new one. Now, he posts one through the letterbox for my birthday every year. I was fooling around with this guy I brought back from the nightclub, and as he took off his clothes, I saw how the latex strained and stretched. I thought it might pop, but it got knocked off and rolled under the bed. The morning after, I wrote Fragile on it with a black marker pen. Looking at it now, I do not doubt that it will break. It may take a long time, but if I’m still around, someone will be rough with their fingers, and it will bang. Perhaps it will be painful, but I shall never know because silence is a game we play.
Courtenay S. Gray is a writer from the North of England. You’ll find her work in an array of journals such as A Thin Slice of Anxiety, Misery Tourism, Expat Press, Red Fez, Hobart, and many more. She will often post on her blog: www.courtenayscorner.com
image: MM Kaufman