Sequel to my movella Iris. It is two years since Iris met Gareth and she is only just beginning to re-assemble the pieces...


1. In which I attempt to offer a disclaimer

Before you become too invested in me, it is only fair that I tell you a not-so-guarded secret: I am, I discover, a shit person. I don’t care if ‘shit’ is not an adjective because it is one of the few words that I can truly fit myself into. The truth is that it would be best for all involved if you just turned around now and left.

People, I’ve noticed, have a tendency to either care too much or to not care at all and it would be easier for me – and infinitely easier for you – if you simply refrained from caring one iota.

This is because, as well as being a shit person, I am also a careless one which means that I am not in the least bit easy to care for. I never have been, to be honest, which is probably why the state has kept me in a ‘care home’ for all this time. Care homes are, ironically, a magnet for all those who have not been cared for, thus they are never overwhelmed by caring intentions.

Someone once told me that “care kids never know how to care” and although I acted hurt at the time, I realise that I have never since been offered such honest words. I write my careless status into every pore of my skin; beg you to heed it and let my disclaimers turn you down.


I can’t bear people who love me; they’re much more painful than people who don’t. Or perhaps they’re simply foreign concepts and they hurt me most because they’re diseases I have no immunity to.

Gareth was my first inoculation.

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