Her lips are frosted in that pearlescent lipstick that women coveted in the nineties. The kind they outlined with dark liner to give their lips extra pout. These were the days before collagen was just a reasonably priced syringe away. Hers move like fish lips when she prattles “Name at the top. Answer the questions. The doctor will come.”
It is the speech of a robot. I tick my way to question five.
Have you had a poor appetite or been overeating?
I look over at Fish Lips. “What would you constitute as overeating?”
Her sickly pink fluffy jumper hugs her chubby arms. She reminds me of Flumps (the marshmallow). She wasn’t into portion control.
“Who cares honey. Just tick in the middle.” She goes back to reading her Real People magazine. Pages of relatable souls that have gone through terrible times. ‘I was 20 stone by the time I was 13.’ ‘I sold my baby for £25.’ ‘I was stabbed by my husband’s father’s brother in law’…
Have you had trouble concentrating on things like reading the paper or watching the TV?
Fish Lips rustles in her desk drawers. She pulls out a toffee and starts twisting the shiny wrapper with her pink globulous sausage fingers.
I stare at her ’til she looks up. Pools of toffee moisture have collected in the corners of those lips. She smacks them together with each chew.
“What honey?” She says through her caramel mess.
“Does porn count? As watching TV?”
Her spidery eyelashes meet as she gives me the death stare. She crinkles her nose and hisses “Vile.”
Last question. Number nine.
Have you thought that you’d be better off dead or hurting yourself in some way?
Her lips smooch louder. She pours toffees onto her desk and shoves another in.
I stare at her again. “Does it count if I’ve thought that someone else might be better off dead?”
She stops chewing and holds her mouth open. I see a syrup goo of saccharine and pearlescent lipstick.
I continue, “If I’ve thought of hurting someone else?”
I notice the gleaming red handles on a pair of scissors that are casually laid next to her pile of toffees.
Revenge is sweet.