By Valerie Griffin
Gin Sour Cocktail
Delphine’s shaky hands gripped the faded photograph with its worn and ragged edges. It was taken a couple of months after Henry had left her, declaring ‘that he couldn’t do this anymore’.
Every day she stared at the apparently carefree, rosy-cheeked woman from the past. The woman with the cheeky eyes and flirtatious demeanour. It was a false coyness, she knew exactly what she was doing with her brightly coloured, slightly parted red lips, shiny and sticky with lip gloss. She’d loved that red swimming costume. It had turned heads for many different reasons. Her arms had been plump and welcoming and her then voluptuous chest fought against the constraints of the fabric. She’d bought the blue swim cap with the two large white blooms sitting coquettishly to one side as a statement.
She sighed, coughed, then winced as her now deflated and shrunken body racked and protested. This hadn’t been part of her long term plan. If only she’d known…but then, she did know. She knew the day the photo was taken. The jaunty swim cap, not there to protect her hair from the wet, but to hide the fact that the chemo had destroyed it all.