“More of a polar bear when she makes a move, ripping her boots free from the park’s frosting”
I was five months in when I did it. Could still see my toes when I looked down. But I was definitely pregnant enough for people to notice my bump. Or at least, they might have, if they weren’t distracted by the fact that I was naked, or that my stomach was covered in black ink. The teams were in position waiting to start the game and I remember thinking, as I dropped my one-piece to the floor, that if I was quick I might make it to the centre circle before the television cameras noticed and panned away.
Over the barrier and onto the pitch, running, arms out wide, I hardly felt the cold at all. But I did see one of the players; his facial expressions as he saw me coming. First, shock. Second, amusement. Third, unease – maybe when he realised how young I was – that there was nothing sexy about this – and finally, horror. I’m sorry he never got to read my message. I was still some way away when three women in yellow brought me down, and cheers went up round the ground. But he didn’t need to be any closer. I was dragged from the pitch, screaming, crying. Telling him why I was there.
The police let me go before the game was even finished: I could hear it playing in the pubs on my walk home. Once in the flat I undressed again, took a hot shower and scrubbed the letters off my skin one by one, thinking that maybe, once the season of goodwill was over, someone might listen. Next time I would shorten my message. Make it big enough for everyone to see. Hope that 2000 years after His birth, something had changed for people like me. What else could I do?