My Rubber Foe
“This should be a happy occasion,” she says, ripping the bag open. I feel my heart rate hasten, knowing what’s coming. Unaware of my mounting inner turmoil, she continues.
“We just act like nothing’s happened,” she sighs, happily plucking one of the disgusting items out. She pulls it taught, stretching the rubber more than is necessary. I feel the familiar prickle of sweat down my back, the ringing in my ears. She takes a big breath, blowing hard into it. I swallow hard as panic washes over me in nausea-inducing waves. As it grows with every breath, so too does my terror. I can’t bear to look; I want to turn, run, be sick. When the burst eventually comes, I’m a shuddering, inconsolable mess. She looks at me, her face a mask of worry.
“Darling, if it bothers you that much, we can just ask them not to come?”