TITLE: Bitter Like Orange Peel
GENRE: Literary Women's Fiction
His head is ripped off. In that photograph. Of him. Kit spots it buried among four years worth of undergraduate essays; the photo she stole from her half-sister Ivy, and misplaced in an effort to keep safe.
She drags her bottom dresser drawer out too far. The stiff wood clunks as it slips out of its casing and hits the floor with a thud. Sitting cross-legged and naked on the hot itchy carpet, she stares at the photograph--at five-year-old Ivy's carefree grin and trusting arms wrapped around her father's knees. A drop of sweat tickles Kit's crotch. She scratches herself and wipes her wet fingers on the carpet beside her thigh as she stares at her father's hand placed delicately on the top of Ivy's head, and Ivy's sideways and upward glance toward his non-existent face. Kit touches the top of her own head, trying to imagine what his touch may have felt like, what it would have been like to be Ivy those twenty-five years ago, before she was even born.
She stands. Her knees crack. They've cracked ever since she fell off her bicycle when she was six and the rubber seat ruptured her hymen. She rubs her left hand on her thigh to dislodge the tiny beige pebbles that have embedded themselves into her palm. Stupid new garden path. She leans the photo against her bedside lamp, where her four-year old self drew a wobbly shape of a rainbow with blue biro onto the cream parchment. It's still there.