John’s cock was a hot poker. In, in, in, in. July grimaced and bit lip, drew blood there as well as there. Afterwards she foetal curled while he sweet whispered soothing.
“It’ll get better. The first time always hurts.”
He couldn’t stay with a woman who didn’t enjoy sex. She offered her mouth, but it wasn’t enough. July wondered if it was inexperience that caused the pain. She found a stud: Don, a muscular body, hard and smooth. He ripped into her, pounding, jack hammering, agony, agony, agony, agony.
When July was fifteen the gynaecologist told her she probably had a strong uterus that contracted too hard. Maybe she had a low pain threshold, hence the sickness.
“When you have a baby it will all stretch. You’ll be fine after that.”
July was proficient at holding her hair back with one hand while vomiting into a basin of running water. She didn’t eat when her period came so there were no chunks to squish into plugholes, only slippery liquids and sour green bile. Her eyes watered as she retched, her stomach dragging and pitching as she rocked back, forwards, moaning, the rubbery scent of a hot water bottle in her nostrils, her flesh scalded by its hot clamp. Ibuprofen, one leg jerking, a deep meditation as static unloaded into her ears. Focus on blank. Zone out. Rock leg. Ride the pain.
So lonely, so deep down lonely in her suffering. The electric charges sounded from the depths of her womb. She knew her eggs were black, her blood treacle dark and sticky. It matted pubic hairs and forged a metallic stink. Clump of womb. Deadly uterus. Tears. Nails indenting her arms as she rocked and rocked and wept.
The diagnosis – endometriosis – took seven years to get. Scraping, burning, lasering, keyhole surgery. Adhesions of blood that glued parts together, separated. Blood pockets burnt away.
“A spring clean,” said the surgeon gaily.
Pia’s conception was an incredible pain free orgasmic fuck. July on top of Hank, unabashed, in love. Her pregnancy a delight. July’s swollen stomach pulsed with the kick of a miracle. Her hair shone, skin flushed bright with hormones, no periods, no pain. Life bloomed.
Pia! A soft-cheeked blue eyed blonde haired marvel. Kisses, hundreds of kisses. Hank was a dad who preferred the pub to the nappy wet air of home and July’s adoration of her miraculous Pia, who became her planet.
Periods returned with unendurable agonies that somehow July swallowed, bit by bit, vomit splattered mouth wiped to ensure that Pia didn’t notice.
“Mummy is crawling,” said in a bright hot voice. “What fun, Pia. Can you crawl with mummy?”
Hank was gone, forgotten, unmissed; being alone with Pia was a blessing. Sleeping curled together in a double bed, inhaling marshmallow breaths. Pia’s warm body and those eyes so blue like Milly Molly Mandy. Nothing else in the world – living on an island of thank you universe for the joy.
School gates and scraped knees. Still wet paintings to be hung with clothes pegs across the lounge room. Scrunched up cotton wool, white socks, laughter. Pia’s friends, Pia’s class, Pia’s club. Dancing, Brownies, park, ducks, kites, trampolines. Pia, Pia, Pia, Pia.
Homework. Heads together on a school project. July’s friends were Pia’s friend’s mums. They sledged down snowy banks, or paddled in tepid sea. They caught tiny crabs in nets and collected seashells. Reading books and playing dolls, cuddly animals and gold fish.
Senior school arrived fast, and the growing away, apart, faster still – their closeness becoming a void, an ache so large. Pia grew taller, thinner, angles in her face, elbows, legs, haughty hair tossing. And her own periods, mercifully easy. So easy that Pia wondered why her mother made such a bloody fuss.