The shadow of Clive’s former self reflects in the patisserie window. Chants of ‘cakey Clive’ burn in his memory. His reflection, much larger than the real Clive, is licking his lips. Move along, Clive tells himself, you don’t need this. You’ve come so far—you’ve done so well.
One can’t hurt, Clive. He looks up and his reflection is rubbing the boulder of stomach Clive remembers too well.
“No—one will lead to two, two to three and more.” Clive tries to move but it’s as if his feet and the pavement have become one. His skin prickles. Perhaps just one, he ponders. His ribcage closes in on itself like a vice, lungs squeezing, breathing tightening. His heart swells. Excitement and dread blast around his body; his feet become unstuck as he decides to go inside.