‘Happy anniversary,’ I say with my fist in my mouth, retrieving his present. ‘Sorry about the blood.’
His upper lip curls as his fingers grasp my still-convulsing tongue.
‘It’s funny really, when I cut it out earlier, I thought that I would have to gut it like a fish. I thought that maybe it had those tiny little bones inside of it, the ones that you could cut yourself on or choke on? But it turns out it’s just a muscle. It opened itself up to me nicely once I pierced it with a knife.’
I say these words, but they reach his ears as a mushy mix-up of sounds created only by the clanging of teeth and gurgling of blood, the sound of a mouth as vacant as a tunnel.
‘Look, you put your finger in here,’ I stick my finger through the gash and wriggle it around to demonstrate, ‘it’s for you. This way, you can control my tongue. Give me the words that you want to hear, as if our life is a movie and you are the director. Or, as if our life is our life but you are God. Then when I open my mouth, my voice will say your words. Then nothing can go wrong.’
I wipe away the spit and blood pouring down my chin with the back of my hand. He pushes my tongue away from him and back toward me. ‘Can you put it back in?’
I nod my head up and down like a bouncing ball. I affix my tongue back to its flesh root. I can taste the sweat of his fingertips, the dusty lint from his under fingernails. It’s okay. It’s all okay if I am the one choosing this, if I am the one with the power. It’s all okay if he loves me.
‘Happy anniversary,’ he says, flashing me his teeth in way of a smile. He takes out of his pocket a petite powder blue jewellery box and slides it across the table to me. He is careful not to dirty it with my stream of blood and saliva on the table.
‘Thank you,’ my heart is beating fast fast faster. I make quick work of the small golden clasp. ‘Oh, it’s perfect.’ I say, my fingers caressing his nail and hair clippings.
Sarah Enamorado is an emerging writer whose work focuses on class, sexuality, mental illness, and trauma. Her work has been published by The Lit Platform, Into the Void Magazine, Moonchild Magazine, Clover & White Lit Mag, and more. She lives in Hertfordshire with her wife and ragdoll cat and can be found tweeting at @SarahEnamorado1