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We lay in the park, drunk with ethnic motives of the planet. Musicians of all skin colours change one another. Her stomach starts growing. “How do you do that?” – I ask lightly. She shrugs and spreads hands wider on the grass, eyes locked on the stage: “Endocrinologist told me this is not dangerous”. I embrace her slowly ballooning tummy. She grows more relaxed and rounded. We smile at each other. I crawl to sit behind and around her, to support her frame – the pose is more intimate than intended, but it relaxes her even more. “My abdomen always swells most” – she smiles apologetically leaning on me, and it is my turn to shrug: “I love you either way”. We watch how Africans on the stage drum furiously the sunny song of life. She starts obscuring my view. “My boobs swell only slightly”. I kiss her neck, and linen hair tickles my nose, her long dress stretches under my palms becoming even softer. I tilt head to kiss her inflating bust gently, and say: “What a lovely music, don’t you find?” She answers placidly: “I never felt so good in my life”.

We are in the palace, and she is incredibly beautiful. She repeats after me: “I take you to be my husband…” I am excited but she is so tranquil. “…I promise to be true to you in good times and bad…” – she starts inflating solemnly. I chuckle nervously – what a funny harmless disorder! “…In sickness and in health…” I embrace her feeling her belly and hips swell. “…I will love you and honour you all the days of my life.” – she peeks at our shocked officiant and laughter spills in her eyes: “Until I pop!” I whisper: “You never will”. Instantly I have her huge eyes examining mine – and I feel her inflation stops. I kiss the bride. Putting a ring on her puffy finger is a challenge.

She stands in our newly furnished living room, reading a book and listening to me playing the piano. The ceiling is high and provides excellent acoustics. Large leaves rustle in the wide open window, on the height of the fifth floor. She leaves the book and glances straight into my eyes. I stop playing and hear the voices of our children. Moments later two spheres fly in and start deflating. They shout loudly of where they have been and what they have seen. They can’t stop talking as I help them with their gear and my wife looks at them with motherly concern… and what is it? Envy? She leads little pilots to the kitchen and the hubbub moves there. That night she woke me up a second time and asked if I mind buying a pump.

“Come on, turn it back on”. She is huge, enormous collection of spheres, filled to translucency – in all our sessions she never stretched so big. “No!” – shouts her daughter. – “Or you will say I want to get rid of you!” Even on her puffy face I see surprise. “Are you repeating what someone said?” Our girl shakes head. “I am safe, I just need to get bigger” – she explains. My daughter is genuinely afraid, so I take her by the hand and comfort her as we leave the room. Before long I return and switch on the pump again. “They are watching cartoons”. She fills full: “Do you think the same?” I laugh: “No, of course not”. “But I might pop, you know”. I come closer as her inflation slows to a crawl. We should stop, but I smile wide, embracing as much of extra her as I can – she doesn’t stretch at all. “I won’t live in this house, with the memory of your bursting in it”. She laughs – like silver bells ringing – and I bury my face in the pulsing warm gauze. Her laughter and creaking change pitch, so I leave her for a moment to turn off the pump. “You… could… pop… With!” “…meeEEE!!!” “You are on your own in this.” “I am… teasing… you.” She trembles unevenly, unable to contain one more puff. “I know” – I stop in awe because she is not round, but rather slightly oval. “Hey, you reached the ceiling!”

She looks even bigger outside, our children already returned – junior from school and senior twins from the University; they stand among our neighbours shadowed by her bubble – proud of her. Damn, I am proud of her! Nobody else here has inflation hobby. We are in front of our house, and her head is almost on the height of the second floor – or at least it looks so from below. Her buoyant shape bounces on asphalt that has been cooled by her shadow. She wobbles a few centimetres above the ground “WHOAH!!!” She tips forward slowly, and I rush to fix her in the air looking at our balcony through her huge but not enormous bust: her t-shirt is stretched to translucency. She barely holds so much. “I can’t… believe it!” – She exhales. “I… can… fly… again!” She hovers upwards. “How does it feel?” – I say as I detach the pump. “Amazing!” – she cheers, visibly struggling to stay at once upright and together. She succeeds in both, and victorious serenity engulfs her. She smiles wide and closes her eyes – and of course starts stretching slowly on her own, to all sides at once, creaking louder. I laugh: I always laugh when her calm inflates her. Triumph shows in her smile – and then she loses balance. Her inflation stops. “Hold it first!” – I advise. Tugging in two directions makes her shake dangerously… “OOOOH!” – for a moment I meet her mad eyes – and the head becomes her lowest point. “You can fly” – I taste the words as I reach up to fondle her pulsing cheek. Then I pull her a bit down to earth. I put affection of all our years together into a slow kiss of confident mutual love. Her creaks drown in cheers of our neighbours.

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