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the loaf

The loaf of her life

Poppy was curled up at the foot of the bed, far away from her. He was always warm but he never wanted cuddles. His bushy black tail and his hind legs were curved all the way till his whiskers. He looked like a bagel.

She wished she were a bagel. Must feel nice to be eaten and not feel a thing, she thought. But she wasn’t one. Where there could have been a hole, there was a heavy weight on her chest. The burden weighed her down. She could only feel her chest. Almost as if she had no other body parts.

The clock showed 5:17, and the dull orange bulb in her room did nothing to brighten up the night. The heater was on, and the blanket was on her, but her insides were cold. She lay there wondering how to do it. Her laptop was right next to her; all she had to do was switch it on and look up exactly how to do it. She’d heard somewhere that the knife should go in deep and vertically against the wrist. But even thinking about it tired her out. Or was she just chickening out?

She heard a soft noise by the bed. Poppy had disappeared. But in a flash, he climbed onto her. He perched atop her chest and folded his paws until he looked like a loaf. The loaf purred and her chest eased. She stroked his head hesitantly. But when Poppy bunted his head against her palm, she made the strokes more elaborate.

The next thing she knew the furball was staring at her with marble-like pupils and mewing by the door. Groggy and grumbling, she clambered off the bed and let Poppy out.

She followed him as he trotted to the main door and out the cat flap. A tiny ray of sunshine fell onto the carpet, by her feet.


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