After an argument, Millie likes to sew. She makes little heart-shaped cushions out of whatever fabric she can find. This time, she’s using the curtains. Last time, it was the dress she’d bought me for our anniversary. There are heart-shaped holes all around our house.
The cushions are always spotted with her blood; Millie sews like she’s trying to kill a disgusting insect. I offer her a plaster and she sticks it on her chest.
“Can we just get over this?” I say. “Let’s think of something nice.”
“What about getting a cat?” says Millie. “I like cats.”
When Millie is angry, she plays with the buttons on her coat, or chews the end of her sleeve. One time she bit a hole in her white fluffy cardigan.
Millie’s pincushion is a smaller version of her heart-shaped cushions. She made it from the red velvet curtains we found in the basement. I wanted to use them in the living room, but then we argued. When we argue, Millie pulls all the pins out of the pin cushion, then pushes them back in one at a time when there is a silence. When she is calming down, Millie does the washing up. She’s still annoyed, so she’s using a cheap sponge on the pans. It will scratch the Teflon.
“We could go to an adoption centre tomorrow,” Millie says. She watches my reflection in the window.
“Let’s talk about it in the morning,” I say. “I’m tired.”
Before we go to bed, I collect the new heart-shaped cushions from the living room and throw them down the basement stairs.