Christian | Sarah Penney

Christian is all ebony, hair thick and exuberant; when she speaks about sex, she dulls and lights up at the same time. Christian’s first girlfriend was a white girl with red hair and freckles, who liked to manhandle Christian – Christian could have died happily being manhandled by this ginger. Christian’s eyes glow when she describes the way her daughter’s eyelashes are so very lengthy. Christian is twenty and has slept with many more people than her years. When I come over for Chinese, Christian hugs me very delicately but gushes very loudly, listens very intently, breathes very deeply.

Christian walks me to the bus stop, I notice her hips, she’s been doing exercises which increase the valley of waist to hip, so she’s become ninety percent curves on such a small frame. She’s missing vertebrae in her back, so she’s petite, more petite than most, and is never seen without heels. She wears heels that could stab a man to death, and if a man ever raped her again, she would do so without pause. Christian tells me, if you fuck with me, I will end you.

Christian listens to me crumple about being too kinky, listens to me bitch about the way days lengthen, waits until I drink my purple drank. Christian waits until I’ve visited her baby and I’ve heard about the exboyfriend who she recently destroyed for perfectly legitimate reasons and I’ve spoken to her roommate and I’ve eaten my chicken, waits until I’ve knocked over her recently purchased black pumps and I’ve smeared my lipstick and I’ve tied my shoe, and then Christian tells me quietly about the cancer they found in her chest today. She says it with a fragile smile I’ve never seen before. “I just don’t want to lose all my thangs,” gesturing to breast, hip, body. Her eyes full of the way life never seemed to give her a handout. The way God never seemed to cut her a break.

Sarah Penney is an art therapy and visual arts student originally from Newfoundland who grew up in Senegal and is currently residing in Columbus, OH. She loves to write as well as paint and draw and be a vagabond in any capacity that she can.


Nonfiction for the restless soul. Published online quarterly.

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