Saturday, April 5, 2008


Melbourne Train Girl stood in front of the pantry at her parents' house, contemplating the processed and packaged foods. A post-Christmas sale had obviously inspired the grocery shopping, as there was an abundance of factory-made plum puddings. She selected a small one. The plastic tub went into the microwave. Miraculously, a look inside the fridge offered her cream. Low fat, but cream all the same. The upturned pudding steamed. Her spoon broke the top, yet reached her mouth and she tasted nothing.

Why, of all things, had she chosen the pudding?

The memory of standing behind him as he searched his pantry for dessert rolled in and could not be stopped. Melbourne Train Girl sat, the lump of pudding in her mouth a solid, indigestable thing. "I can only find one,". Plastic tub in microwave. No cream. No ice cream either. Frozen yoghurt. Small bowl, last scoop of yoghurt melting where it touched the hot pudding. Two spoons and a smile and then it was finished and then it was perfect.

Melbourne Train Girl swallowed the mouthful of pudding, where it fell, heavy, down, landed at the bottom of her stomach, sat there unmoving.

In the moment he had hung up the phone, Melbourne Train Girl had known her heart had never been broken before. The other breaks she had perceived so dire were not even scratches in comparison to the shattered thing she held in her left hand. The phone still in her right. Charm, nor wit, nor wish, nor plea could stop him, and he did it, and then it was done and she was done and everything stopped.

Melbourne Train Girl pushed the plate away violently, wishing it to slide off the other side of the table but pulling back her strength for fear of breaking a plate in a house that was no longer really hers. There it sat, cream melting slowly to watery liquid until it ran in a moat, pudding floating in the middle.