Short story: Boyfriend

F off stitch 2

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My boyfriend embroidered my text messages. At first I thought it was cute as he found the chained featherstitch to be most effective with its complex elegance, he said. “One up, insert, up two and through,” he’d recite. Our relationship became taut when he began pegging his finished products on the washing line and hanging them between the east tower block and ours. I sometimes caught the old man with the windowsill geraniums trying to read the immortal texts with binoculars. Enough’s enough I thought, and texted him a final ‘fuck off’. I then watched him delicately stitch the two words in peach. “One up, insert, up two and through?” I yelled. After he finished he plucked two pegs from his pocket, reached out the window and attached the cloth, letting it slide to the centre, then stood back to admire his handy work. I had to admit, his needlework had really come along.

Sophie Dumont


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