The Pocket

The Pocket by P Akasaka

The pocket used to be on my old skirt. I was 6 and in Japan.

The red skirt Mum bought for my first day at school didn’t have a pocket. She stitched a thick tartan check fabric on it and made an impromptu pocket. I was happy. That made the skirt far classier I thought.

 

Over the next two decades, it stayed with me. When I grew out of the garment, Mum moved the pocket to a new skirt. It endured many such transfers. I taught myself to sew just so that I can unstitch and stitch the pocket. When the fabric wore thin and looked weak, I embroidered on it to strengthen it. I had a reason to do so. The pocket gave me “gifts”.

 

The first gift was a lipstick. I didn’t know how, but it was there. I took it out, wore it, looked into the bathroom mirror and then, put it back into my pocket. And then, it disappeared.

The gifts were small. Little pink shells, shiny blue glass beads, and little coins from foreign countries. As I grew older, the gifts changed. The pocket occasionally gave me a cigarette or two. And then there was that one night, when it provided me with a condom. The thing is, I was certain I didn’t put it there myself. Nevertheless, it was a lifesaver. Literally.

 

When I turned 30, I started hearing voices from the pocket. It talked in different voices. Sometimes a young woman and sometimes a little child and I started putting things into it. Things like—a condom.

 

I’m drinking coffee now in a tunic with an old tartan pocket. A little dandelion flower just dropped out of it. I smile. In return I put coins into the pocket for that girl age 7.


About the Author

  1. Avatar P Akasaka (1 story )

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    P Akasaka is a Japanese writer living in the UK. She has published boh in English and Japanese. She is currently obsessed with making a perfect tarte tatin.

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