The Fairer Sex: Lemonade

The Fairer Sex: Lemonade
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Photo by Niklas Morberg (copied from Flickr)
Photo by Niklas Morberg (copied from Flickr)

She was squeezing lemons when he walked in. Standing at the table, apron on, she had piled the squeezed hollow lemons on the sideboard, and placed a large bowl full of the whole fresh lemons in front of her on the table. With one hand she gripped the lemon, grinding it into submission. With the other, she held the squeezer in position, her hand grasped around the whole bowl rather than just the handle. Her arms were at right angles to her body. She stood tall, straight backed, stomach in, chest out. Proper. She had her back to the window. She couldn’t look out at the world today. She didn’t want to see Mrs Casper’s cat skulking across the low front wall or Mr Sheen washing his car again or the carefully mown lawns all around, hemming her slightly scruffy lawn in. She preferred to look at the lemon, her hands and the squeezer.

Yellow, the squeezer. Yellow, the lemon.

As he closed the front door, the juice splurged through the holes in the squeezer and into the little yellow china jug below. He hesitated by the door, and sighed. She stopped squeezing the lemon, her hand still tight on the squeezer, it’s shiny, yellow surface unbreaking in her grip. He walked into the kitchen and she gripped the lemon again, harder. The last juice drained through the little round holes. She didn’t look up. Her eyes focused on the green petals around the handle, and then on her raw red hands. How many lemons had she squeezed? She placed the gutted lemon down on the sideboard, trained her eyes on the task in hand, avoiding the door where he stood waiting. Another lemon. She looked at the jugs she had already filled. Yes one more lemon.

Yellow, the squeezer. Yellow, the lemon.

She picked up another lemon and the kitchen knife. She sliced the lemon, split the fruit in two, turned the exposed surface faced down, and squeezed the juice all in one fluid motion. She didn’t look up. She picked some pips out of the squeezer and turned towards the bin. He put his briefcase down by the door. Ready.

Yellow the squeezer. Yellow the lemon.

She turned back to the table, the knife, the lemon. Him. He walked closer now, and wrapped his arms around her. She was all squeezed out.

Eleanor Massey

About Eleanor Massey

Eleanor Massey is a 23 year old living in Brixton. She is inspired by Katherine Mansfield, the Mitford sisters and Agatha Christie. She won the Undergraduate writing prize at Oxford Brookes University in 2013.

Eleanor Massey is a 23 year old living in Brixton. She is inspired by Katherine Mansfield, the Mitford sisters and Agatha Christie. She won the Undergraduate writing prize at Oxford Brookes University in 2013.

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