course of crackers and half a jar of requeijão cheese. A Coca-Cola pushes down the lump in her throat, then she feels a desire for something sweeter — shelooks for a piece of chocolate in the pantry, but it’s gone. Bernardo ate it… that son of a bitch. Now she needs to pee. What a drag! It’s the third time in an hour — must be a UTI. Bernardo ate all the chocolate, Bernardo didn’t know how to fuck, Bernardo gave her a UTI. She pulls up her panties and adjusts the waistband, washes her hands with antibacterial soap, looks at herself in the mirror, at the excess skin, at how time has left streaks on her belly like pen dragged across paper. The mark of pregnancy hasn’t gone away. The baby didn’t work out, but the mark will always be there. Like the spot on the sofa, it’s his fault; everything is his fault. She searches for a better angle, widens her eyes to hide the crow’s feet, plucks a couple hairs with a tweezer, noting that she needs to re-dye her roots. She turns on the shower. Hot water flushes her skin pink. She scrubs herself with a natural loofa (the scratchy kind) getting a deep clean, down to the cellular level. Steam fills the air and the room disappears. A piece of the ceiling is about to flake off. The painter had warned them: they needed a special paint, one that’s waterproof. Bernardo didn’t listen, and now the mold is a plague that comes from the ceiling, oozing down the walls and creeping up her legs. She shuts off the water. Her feet touch the cold tile, body dripping on the way to the bedroom. Moving one leg, then another, she takes a seat on the bed. She picks out a party dress, changes one smelly sheet for another, cramming the excess fabric under the mattress, pulling on the duvet, putting away the pillows — it looks better without them. She collects the scattered laundry, throws it in the washing machine; as for Bernardo’s clothes, she tosses them. She looks at the broken clothesline — what a disaster! Their price was so high for such a small job, just to change a screw. She sits down on the sofa, on the clean side.