I do love you, old Max, though now you’ll never know just how much. Danny knew, and my cousin Jack, he called me his little scorpion. ‘Underneath that carapace’ he would say, ‘lies a dark, soft centre, but sting first little scorpion and prevent being stung.’
Oh Max, your face when I told you I was pregnant. What was it? Shock? Joy? Panic? Love? Loathing? Certainly the latter when I said the baby wasn’t yours. I had to sting first you see. And then the gun was in your hand. ‘Kill me’ I screamed inside my head, ‘before this cancer devours me’.
We’re on my boat drifting far out at sea. You’ve removed the bilge cocks, the water will come in fast. Silence, then the slap of oars as you row away. Blood seeps from my body. I touch the flesh where your bullet penetrated my skin. I do love you, old Max. If I had a headstone my epitaph would be, I LOVED MAXIM.