I found the handkerchief in his trousers when I searched through the pockets, before it went into the wash.
Delicately laced around the edge and monogrammed J.B., the formerly white cloth was now obliterated by dark, sticky blood.
I burned it, together with the trousers, in the cast-iron wood-burning stove that sits fat and warm in our sitting-room, until all that remained were little metal chips that once made up the zip.
That was my first mistake.
My second was to tell him what I’d done, confessing eagerly to my complicity in his crime, desperate for him to include me in any small way into his life, so lonely was I at being left out.
Now I watch, numb and paralysed, as the blood seeps from my own wound into the cold, snow-rimed handkerchief he holds to my wrist while he whispers softly that he’s sorry, but as I’d destroyed his memento it was up to me to replace it.
Ms Penny Harper called me a cheat and slapped my wrist for my last offering (and she was right), so here is another. Hopefully this one makes more sense (another problem with the previous story) but I didn’t spend much time on it, so it probably won’t.
We are intending to roll out the idea to school in the run up to World Book Day 2011. Can’t wait to see what the children come up with.