She lied once to the police; added a crucial two years. The twist is it was unrelated to what came next. The twist is age is about perception, except when it comes to voting or drinking or driving or sex. The twist is he had been perceiving her for more than eleven months.
The twist is her lie permeated each later statement, became a pattern the way one short skirt becomes a uniform, stank like a dead mouse under the floorboards. And she had learned how it felt to be compressed, hands to wrists, love climbing all over her. The twist is police came to his house for some other purpose and it damned her.
The twist is he was her escape from a house where the walls squared her shoulders and she grew listless, cankered; where the windows exploded around her. She told you his name but never how they met. The twist is adolescence begged her, shook her, desperate not to go backwards, and so she fought for the sinkhole in which she stood.
The twist is, afterwards, they made her his protector: the doubt in her shrouding him, and her words no longer her words. The twist is he is still the reason for locked doors.
The grass under the car does not grow back, but she does. She turns golden through that Indian summer, after so many weeks inside. You ask how she is sleeping and she says, fine. The final twist is not an ending; it is the appointment she makes without you knowing. And as you both walk over the late autumn mulch, your talking soft and everyday, she tells you about the chlamydia kind of carelessly. Her laugh afterwards is twisted.
Eilise Norris writes short stories, flash fiction and poetry, but normally not all at once. She lives in Oxfordshire and tweets from @eilisecnorris.