Wednesday Stories: Wretched

You’re bossy and you’re conceited, I thought that you were mean but that the meanness was hiding something more tender. You called me a prostitute once, when we went to a restaurant – you sat at our table and I went to the front to order, you saw me laughing with the cashier. You asked later what it was and I said you wouldn’t get it, then you asked me if I was still on the clock. He called me Amy, the cashier, because I looked so much like his sister who had the same name. And we both laughed, he had a boyish smile that told me that he’d jerk and slap me around in bed, in that moment I imagined us fucking in the back room, you still outside eating your fries like the oblivious idiot you are. Your mom died when you were younger and once I convinced you that it was your fault, that she killed herself because it was so miserable to have you as a child. You didn’t speak to me for weeks, I was surprised and proud that anything I said would be important to you at all. She probably did kill herself, she looked so frail and pathetic in the pictures and don’t tell me it was the cancer. You left me at a mall once, we argued and you suggested I could get home myself so you went. I put on my sunglasses and cried, feeling theatrical in my sadness, feeling the looks people gave me, I wanted everyone to know what you had done to me, that I was a woman that something terrible had been done to. We both took turns, we were both victims of each other. I saw you years later, alone and in a bookstore, you spotted me from a distance and we both understood then that it was better to walk away, to keep running from whatever it was we had, that thing that made us the people we once were.