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DECEIT | By Georgia Wetherall

He asked if I could tie knots in cherry stems using my tongue. I said I’d never tried. We borrowed two pounds from his mum and went to the shop and bought a whole punnet so I could try. I had never kissed a boy before, so I was eager to prove that I knew what I was doing.

The first stem slipped down my throat and I started to hack.

The second snapped as I tried to trap it between my teeth.

He showed me his work, four perfectly tied stems laid out on the table in front of him. I stared at them, trying to understand why I was so bad and he was so skilled. Were his stems longer than mine? Maybe they were thinner. Or more flexible.

Choose a stem for me, I told him. It had to be because I didn’t know which stems were the optimum ones.

The stem he passed me was no different to the ones I had tried before, but I tried it nonetheless. I twisted my tongue around in circles, pushing the stem around my mouth. It scraped my cheek and tickled my teeth. It almost choked me. I caught the tip between my teeth, held it tight, and tried again. It didn’t want to knot, but I persisted. Eyes closed, I focused on the stem.

And it snapped.

When I opened my eyes, I saw him tying knots with his fingers.



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