I was convinced for the longest time that she hated me. At parties, at home, outside, I was mostly kept hidden out of sight like an embarrassing secret. I chaffed at the restrictions, scarred by the confines of each hiding place.

In bed, at night, she would place the pillow over me, muffling my voice. Not that she’d let me speak, generally. I’d stay quiet as a mouse all night. However gently I’d shake her awake in the morning, I’d be greeted with a sullen, bleary face.

Once she even left me behind on the bus, and I found myself wondering which was worse: being manhandled by a gruff-faced stranger, or returning to her muffling hands. As soon as she took hold of me, thought, I was startled by the depth of her fear. Her grip was tight and slightly sweaty, reclaiming me with a fierce squeeze. An odd feeling overcame me. I realized later what it was: home.

I began to obsess about her hands. She’s an incredibly tactile person, her fingertips brushing against me carefully to ensure I’m still beside her.

When we pass by crowds of boisterous men, she holds onto me like a lifeline, head bent down and looking busy.

Then there are the even rarer times, when her lips brush against me, leaving a trail of moisture…

It’s love, she types in, and I flash her a wink to let her know I understand as I send her text on to her friend.

This sketch was inspired by one of creative writing prompts in Louise Doughty’s A Novel In A Year. The prompt was “write from the point of view of an inanimate object”.

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