Roses. Those strawberry dreams are no good.

Do you remember that teacher we had at school? He taught us Biology, had a real sweet tooth. Every example he gave us had something to do with food. Well, sweets. He said mitochondria were like liquorice torpedoes. Do you remember? Probably not, you always preferred the science of it. Well, mitochondria are like liquorice torpedoes – now you know.

Once, he was teaching us about haemoglobin, how it picks up as many oxygen particles as it can hold, and when there’s a lot, it drops some and picks more up. I think that’s what he said, only I don’t remember the science too well because he was talking about Quality Street. He said he loved Quality Street, and if the room were full of Quality Street, he’d be running around trying to pick up as many as possible, dropping them as he went along, filling his arms and pockets. I thought that sounded good, but I think he was trying to make a point about respiration.

Anyway, then he went on and talked about what happens when you get carbon monoxide poisoning, and it’s when your cells are trying to pick up what they should (like the ones with purple wrappers) but then they pick up a toffee coin instead. And it gets stuck between your teeth and then you can’t open your mouth so you end up dropping all the green triangles and the little bronze rectangles of fudge and everything.

Well I’ve been thinking about that loads. Because I’ve been trying to collect all the good stuff. But it feels like I’ve waited too long, and everyone else has had their hand in and taken everything, and when I think I’ve got something, it’s just another toffee coin cementing my jaw up and setting hard behind my teeth.

I need you to remind me. I’m stuck, dying, can’t move. Tell me a pink foil story because all I can remember is the fights. If I could move my lips to kiss you goodbye, you’d smell the rank sickly sweet of it; but I can’t, so I’ll leave you again, and again I’ll look for the bright ghostly crumples you might have left.

© Lydia Allison 2012

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