She contracted herpes in 1984, just before the threat of AIDs hit the English shores and everyone still believed in free love like it was the 60’s. It flared up every time she thought of him, a big red sore on the top left hand side of her lip that oozed and bled whenever she touched it. They had divorced in 1987 when she found him balls deep in her best friend, Mandy. Mandy had curly hair and he loved it, he often made his wife wear a wig when they were having sex. She can’t ever remember making love, it was always raw and thrusting and she often got thrush for a few days after. The cold sore was just a lasting reminder of that bastard. Mandy died a few months ago, they’d made up a few years back after her ex husband eventually cheated on Mandy too for a younger curlier model. At least they had something in common and would often share stories well into the night about the bastard who left a mark on both their lips. One night, after three bottles of shared wine, they kissed and grabbed at each others tits in some sort of failed attempt to feel loved. They both remembered what happened in the morning but never talked about it and just got on with their day to day lives wondering what each other were thinking and whether or not they could be lesbian. She decided she couldn’t. She never liked the look of her own cunt, how could she go down on someone else’s. Also she’d found out that herpes could be transmitted that way and she didn’t want anyone else to be cursed with her ex-husband’s sins. That bastard was still alive though, they still lived in the same town they were married in, she couldn’t afford to move out and he had a good job in town and bought a house three streets away. She saw him often but he ignored her by looking down at his shoes, or suddenly turning heel and walking in the other direction. He was the one who did wrong so how come he still made her feel like a piece of shit that had been trodden into the carpet? She’d once tried to turn round quicker than him in an attempt to get the upper hand, but she almost walked into a lamp post and she heard him snort a laugh before walking away. One day she will make him pay, make him realise what he had lost, as soon as she worked out how to get the money that she owed the council for her studio flat in the basement of a decrepted Victorian four story house. Her top lip started stinging again so she walked to the broken bathroom cupboard for some vaseline.
Herpes – A Bitter Love Story