He’d been living with Anna for two years now, and things couldn’t have been going better. They’d settled into an easy pattern; he would get up while she was still asleep, being careful not to disturb her, and slip off to work. He liked that quiet time in the morning. The sunrise truce, he liked to call it. When everything was still and golden, and he could watch her slender limbs cross, and her chest slowly rising and falling as the air entered and left her perfect lungs.
He knew, with conviction, that she would have perfect lungs, and a perfect liver, and a perfect appendix. He sometimes felt a bit guilty about thinking about her like that. He wondered whether that was what other people meant when they spoke about objectification.
He would have asked her if she minded him thinking about her like that, but she didn’t say much. That was what had drawn him to her. She was mysterious. Whenever he came home, she would be there, curled up on his sofa, or sitting in the kitchen. He had no idea what she did all day, and she never told him.
They had met at her mother’s house. She had been staying there, in her sisters’ room. He’d asked her why she had moved back in, but she didn’t tell him. She didn’t say much.
He was there to fix a burst pipe. He was a plumber, by trade, and enjoyed his work. As he fixed the pipe, Anna had followed him around the house. As he moved from room to room, checking the pressure of the radiators, she had stared shyly at him through the doorway. He wasn’t a vain man, but he knew that he wasn’t unattractive. Years of fixing burst pipes had given him broad shoulders, and he enjoyed the weight of her gaze on his back.
He knew it was wrong, but he told her mother that would need to return in a week. He’d need to order in a part. He wanted to see Anna again.
He would talk to Anna as he worked. She didn’t say much. But she stared at him shyly from the doorway, her huge brown eyes beginning to wander downwards from his back.
Two years later, and they were living together.
Was it wrong that she was six?
Did it matter that she was a daschund?