Baby Blues

The unspoken elephant was blue, pastel blue. He didn’t have a name, and perhaps would remain nameless forever. It was better that way; aunty poppy used to say never name anything you don’t want to keep.

“So Ally, what have you been up to?”

Everyone waited expectedly around the table, their faces darkened by the dim room, only lit by the excessively decorated Christmas tree around the corner of the intimate dining room.

Her lips went dry. Of moisture, empty of words.

Taken back to that place. White, white, white walls that smelt of unscented hand sanitizer and rubbing alcohol. The room she lost him, her pastel blue. The memories clung to her tongue like a bad taste; sour and vile. She couldn’t say, wouldn’t say, to her nearest and dearest –or at least that was whom they were meant to be- that the blue elephant had a name after all: shame.

Shame had fingernails and a heart that went tap tap tap through her and made music with her own. Shame was of her, and hers and all of her belonged to him; he was a little pastel blue boy that came and then gone gone gone. Shame was a fear that grew sharp teeth.

It was named now, and so it will keep.

“Nothing much” she whispered, smiled a dry, unwilling smile and looked at her silent elephant named shame, her always companion, her secret to keep.