Even the dog is borrowed
Kath smiles at the camera and she looks like she means it but pictures can be deceptive. Even the dog is borrowed. It’s detached, starting out of the bottom of the shot, ears pricked hearing every sound. It growls as it spots something moving. Kath is too busy feigning her smile to pay much attention. With hands clasped around its neck, Oscar can’t move even if he wanted to. Kath doesn’t want to let go. She’s done it too many times and for now, she wants contact. Fur against skin.
Even after photographer has taken his last shot, she keeps hold; her wrinkled hands still wearing the rings her husband gave her all those years ago. She should have taken them off by now but they give her normality; like she belongs, has someone who cares about her. Only she knows the truth; of the loves she’s lost, friendships ruined. She has a red patch on her neck from where she scratches, she thinks it makes herself feel better but she’s only fooling herself. The necklace is old, an heirloom with a cameo of someone past; a relative, family – someone who has someone.
Her clothes are worn for comfort, but they still feel alien. Even the glasses aren’t right; they rub her nose but she doesn’t like to complain. If she did it would give her someone to talk to but she knows it’s just an excuse. She coordinates; blue and white with the glint of red in her glasses making the patriotic ensemble.
The picture appears in the magazine and for once she’s surrounded by people; adverts for stair lifts, face lifts and girdles. She sighs as she flicks through the pages walking back to her house: the house that he gave her; the only good thing about his affair.
Picture above courtesy of morguefile.com.
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