Charlie scrubs at the plate until it is spotless; then scrubs some more. She wants to remove all traces of the chocolate cake , hoping the scrubbing will eradicate the calories from her body, her lack of will power from her mind and the longing for the next treat from her mouth.

Tomorrow is another day, she told herself. I won’t have any more chocolate. Not ever. Not in any form.

She lifted the plate from the suds and placed in the drainer. She could still see the chocolate confection there in her mind’s eye. She could taste it in her mouth – and wished there was another in her cupboard. “I will get rid of the chocolate bars I bought today,” she told herself. “I will go to my bag, open it and throw the offending articles straight in the bin…”


She picked up a tea towel. To her disgust there was a chocolate stain on the edge. Just a little smudge against the white cloth but enough to make her feel guilty about yesterday’s treat.

Picking up the plate she started to dry it but stopped half way. Her distant sad eyes were framed by lines of years of disappointment. She started to sway around the room with the plate clasped to her. Head jerked back, Charlie’s movements became more staccato as she moved into a single partner foxtrot.

“Only 2 more days til Saturday,” she thought. Then she could imagine herself as one of the glitter clad vague stars of the small screen, showing off their learnt ballroom moves in the ‘celebrity’ TV dance show.

Coming to a halt, Charlie looked at her plate. “Stupid fat cow,” she cried, smashed the plate against the wall and stormed off to bed.

(c) Louisa Davison

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