Extract III

Written by Melissa Booey

Dirty-sofa.jpg

Christian was not the kind of person who opened up. We at least had that in common. He and I often bantered and with drinking and smoking no one was ever surprised when it escalated to malicious. I maintained that he wasn’t as smart as he thought he was. He was a veteran weed grower and supposedly graduated to making wax; he caught fire in his kitchen and underwent second degree burns, but anyway, that was later. Back in 2010, “before the war” as we once called it, he and I were considered worthy adversaries, flirting more than anything, but we’d never admit it, so it was just easier calling it shit talk.

One night, everyone else had gone to bed, but he and I stayed up drinking and smoking and talking into the night. Minus the rest of our friends and our bull shit facades we were able to show compassion and understanding towards each other. I saw through his arrogant sarcasm on a daily basis, but this was the first time I noticed his indisputably mild-mannered nature. He usually saw through my overly independent hostility, but this was the first time he witnessed my Wendy Bird, Tinker-bell hybrid the other boys swore I was.

He cried to me on the bong-water-stained sofa as the sun rose outside. Hot, hushed tears flooded my eyes as I listened to his heartache. He had been broken, and he was hardened, perhaps permanently. The truth of it seemed to empty him, and watching his evolution throughout the tale terrified me; what would happen when I fell in love? For real? Both ways? Legitimately? One of the guys burst through the door at six AM. I can’t recall where or even who they’d been, but I do remember that it seemed more normal than Christian and me sitting so close on the dingy couch, hands intertwined, foreheads touching, both trying so hard to wipe their tears the moment morning light hit the floor. I wonder if Edmonds remembers. Pretty sure he’s graduated to selling meth to the outskirts of town.

Edited on 07/05/2018 by author's request