All Pain And No Gain

“Do you like pain? I don’t. But sometimes you don’t got any choice.” Her words had been white noise until that point but now I was listening.

“Sometimes he’s all like, PAP PAP PAP,” she raised her fists to her face and made little jabbing movements akin to a Victorian boxer.

“He loves it, but I aint fussed. Keeps him sweet though, init. Makes him feel like the big man. It’s not my thing though.”

The room fell silent. Her eyes darted around hoping someone had “got her”. Nobody had.

“Joking!” she screeched, arms dropping, and hands landing on her hips. “God you lot! Can’t even have a bloody laugh in ‘ere no more.”

A rogue sheet of paper from my in-tray, caught a gust of wind from the open window, and danced across the room like a dusty tumbleweed.

“Anyways,” she said, pausing to rub her tongue-stud on her upper lip, “I’ve got shit to do.” She bent down to pick up the paper. Her top lifted slightly as she crouched, revealing a tattoo above the waistband of her bright pink underwear. To the left of her Chinese tattoo was a collection of blues, yellows and purples.

A bruise the size of a fist.

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