2 minute read

"all that i had" by Alison Gadsby

We sat under a pussy willow tree with the big box of chocolate chip cookies between us, the ones with the cross in the middle. Jesus cookies. They must have been God’s cookies, otherwise daddy wouldn't let us buy them. You stuck your hand in and grabbed some for me and for you. I watched you put whole cookies into your mouth, even though I was scared someone might be looking for them. You were all that I had, so I took them and shoved them up my shorts. You swallowed them one after the other without any milk or anything. After a while, after I saw that you wouldn’t stop until they were gone, I was mad. Mad because mummy bought us new bathing suits and you wouldn't go swimming with me. Mad because she used her own pay check to buy them so she didn't have to beg daddy for money, and because daddy was sure going to be mad as hell when this box of cookies was empty and you weren't going to get blamed for it, because he would yell at mummy, his stinky Pabst blue ribbon breath in her face, and she'd be blamed for your gluttony and greed and she'd be embarrassed because, if he bought the Jesus cookies for the church potluck, we'd have empty hands and open mouths as usual, and when she spat back, if you didn't drink your pay check, we could have cheesecake or a tuna casserole, he'd smack her on the mouth.

Because you ate all the cookies.


I asked you to stop but you didn’t. You said if we don't eat them someone else will and I kicked your blue canvas shoe so hard my toe hurt and I wanted to run away, but you were all that I had so I stayed and you watched me as I slowly ate all the Jesus cookies from my underwear. You laughed. I loved you. I miss those days. They are long gone.

You were all that I had and I was all that you had and we lied to everyone but we never lied to each other.

When you told me you loved me

I believed you.