She had the word “love” written eighteen times on her t-shirt but she didn’t know what it meant. She’d had enough of it damn it she had been trampled on enough, too much. It wasn’t fair when Malcolm had done it but she had been too hurt then. She had just rolled over. And now her kids just kicked her every day. They assumed she could drive them home after their parties. They assumed she’d walk their dog. They assumed she would make them their tea. They assumed she had nothing better to do.
The problem wasn’t their assumptions, and she knew it, it was that they were right. She hadn’t had a man since Malcolm. She hadn’t wanted to at first, and then there was Simon which she had known was a mistake before anything happened. She had no regrets about Simon. His hair had smelt of smoke but she’d never seen him smoking. He was obviously a liar she deduced and so she let him pay for dinner and then never returned his calls. Then there had been nothing for a while. And that had been fine really. Until Malcom invited them all to dinner. He had been banging that bitch Brenda for years of course, but he didn’t have to parade her. Didn’t have to rub her nose init. The problem wasn’t bitch Brenda though. I t was her kids. Everyone had someone but her. They all had partners. Except her. The problem was that there was an odd number of people at the dinner table.
That night she’d gone home and made a vow to change a few things. She pulled out all of her old clothes she had gone up two sizes since then and she wanted them back. The old clothes that flattered her. To be thin again. To be wanted. To feel good enough that you wouldn’t just feel contempt for someone who wanted you.
And a month and four days later she had done it. She’d lost the weight and now she was wearing the shirt. As she looked in the mirror she recognised her 22 year old self. She had the word “love” written eighteen times on her t-shirt but she still didn’t know what it meant.