By Julian Faustini

I pirouette naked in front of the bedroom mirror from time to time.

My husband, Bob, when home, always comes to me as I twirl. He grabs me mid-air in his robust arms, presses his woolly chest hair against my back, unzips his pants, and does me. In the mirror, I see his mouth O-ing. I don’t, but he likes to spank me.

I’m forty-four, and my body hasn’t changed over the last twenty years. I don’t have any of that orange-peel thing on my thighs. Not a roll of abundance on my belly. Bob calls me Pear Preserve sometimes. I’ve never had a child, that’s the thing, and I swim and swim and swim every single day. That is what I look at in the mirror: I look at myself unchanged.

Every day at 5:50 am, I slip into my swimsuit. The first thing I do is smell the water. I should hate chlorine. It makes my hair dry. Bob always says my curls don’t look good anymore. But I love that smell of clean. It makes me think of movement. Energy. Flawlessness.

Bob used to get into the water, too. He did it only to come out with chlorine on his skin. I was tired of making love to him only for the purpose of trying to have a child. But he put my nose to his neck because he believed the smell got me all for it again. He then kept trying a little longer. Poor Bob.

I couldn’t go swimming before office hours today. At 4 pm, when I did go, five million school kids had already taken over the swimming pool. I didn’t smell chlorine but their piss. There was nothing I didn’t hate about them, goddammit, and I wasn’t going to let the monsters deform my body.

I got into the lane that had the least of them. I did some front crawls and warmed up arms and legs. I daydreamed about drowning a snotty one (he hit my elbow with his) and getting away with it, while I alternated breaststrokes and backstrokes. I soon grew tired. Too much running around the office. Then the butterfly stroke killed me. I got out of the water and noticed the empty jacuzzi.

I found the holes where the pressure spurted bubbles straight to my clitoris. I sat and closed my eyes. Bob and I were sitting in the same jacuzzi when he told me he was infertile. Poor Bob. He was terrified I’d leave him. Anyway, I made myself comfortable on the seat, and the bubbles were about to make me come. But before I did, I opened my eyes, and ten million kids rushed into the jacuzzi.

They jumped around, goddammit, shouting and stumbling over my legs and stomping on my feet. I did a 7-second inhale; a 4-second hold; a 7-second exhale. Useless. I lost it. I yelled and told them kids weren’t allowed in the jacuzzi. I sent them away, relaxed for a while, and then came, the bubbles pleasing me from underneath.

Once home, I said Bob, we got lucky having not had any.

I pirouetted naked before the bedroom mirror until he caught me mid-air.

Julian is the debut writer for the new fiction section of the Writers Initiative!

Julian Faustini is a writer working and leaving in London, but originally from Italy. He has recently completed his first novel and there will be a post on this soon. For further updates and news, from Julian, please see his Facebook link here or his blog