Fiona the Monkey woke up alone, discontented and tearful, for she had dreamt of her beloved, who loved her no more. The pair had been running in a field, spinning in messy circles amongst the tall grass, Fiona swathed in pink cloth and her lover dressed in yellow. How beautiful they looked together in the dreamscape, lips painted red and toenails painted emerald. They tamed wild horses and rode down the rocky mountainside together and everything smelled of lemons.
When she awoke, twisted tight and alone inside her blankets, she could not help but shed a tear. The seclusion was overwhelming. She lay there listening to the kettle boil and the shower running and the toaster popping, until her housemate left for work. Then she lay there for a little while longer, listening to the cold and the empty.
Cold and empty. That’s how Fiona had felt since Margaret had left her. Disconnected from everyone and everything, but too exhausted to connect. Isolated in her treehouse, but too tired to traverse the treetops and visit her friends in their treehouses.
When she finally pulled herself from bed, she discovered her housemate had used all the hot water. She stood shivering in the corner, splashing cold water into her fur, thinking of the way her girlfriend used to giggle and smirk whenever she’d used up all the warm before Fiona could get to the shower. “Not my fault you’re a dumb sleepy baby,” Margaret would laugh, and Fiona wouldn’t even be mad because Margie’s big white teeth would flash and her eyes would crinkle up at the edges. Fiona would wash herself with her hands tucked under her pits and a grin on her face because she loved Margaret ever so much.
Now that her lover was gone, Fiona thought she looked older. Standing before the mirror, all wrapped up in her towel, she inspected her face. It did not appear that she had acquired new wrinkles, but without the flush of love, her skin looked an off shade of grey and her fur lay weird and flat. Before Margaret left, you could have almost smelt the joy emanating off Fiona’s skin.
But now the whole house just reeked of sad – the couch cushions stank and the clothes in her wardrobe and when you opened the oven the smell would seep out. The scent had been sticking around ever since Fiona had bumped into Margaret’s mum in the supermarket. She had asked how Margie was doing, and Margie’s mum had told Fiona about Margie’s new job and her new life and how great she’d been. Fiona clutched a bag of oven fries to her chest as her eyes glistened with tears. She had been clinging to the idea that Margaret was hurting too. That she missed their love too.
Fiona had drunk a Coca-Cola with her breakfast every day since her lover had left. She ate her dinner watching the TV. Put her feet on the coffee table. Made a conscious effort to perform all the acts Margaret used to hate. These things did nothing to ease the ache. Nothing to fill the space Margie left. This particular morning, Fiona slumped onto the couch, Coke in one hand and banana in the other. She had grown weak. She was hollow. And on this particular morning, once Fiona had downed her Coke and nibbled half-heartedly on her banana, she decided that she did not have the energy to get up. And she sat there, for the entire day and for the entire night and for the entirety of the next day and the next night. And soon enough, a whole week had passed. And a month. And eventually Fiona got so good at keeping still that tiny asteroids started mistaking her for a small planet. They circled her wrists and danced along her fingertips and occasionally crashed into her. Soon enough her whole body would be covered in cavities. Tears began to catch on the crevices in her face and turn to rivers, and the half-eaten banana turned rotten in her lap and had grown into a small forest of moldy trees. Insects started laying their eggs inside her and their children built clubhouses in the hinges of her bones. She could hear them playing Pink Floyd on their tiny insect radios and running in the streets wearing their tiny insect sneakers and whispering “I love you,” as they tucked their tiny insect babies into bed. She never had to feel lonely again