“You’re a fat bitch and no one would ever want to date you,” he said to me as we sat on my couch together. It was a winter night; long past dusk, but still early.
“Thanks,” I said. “Would you like another beer? I bought Red Stripe. I know you love to try new beers. Just like that time at the Sugar Bowl, remember? When we sat on the patio and talked about–”
“Yeah, yeah, whatever,” he said. He took a Red Stripe from the beer fridge and popped the cap. The foam rose up the bottle’s stout neck and he sipped it all from the top. The amber froth around his mouth was akin to that of a rabid animal’s; he grinned, and I looked closely at his canines.
His hands were so large compared to mine. It was so rare, me being so close with a man – so close we were sitting together on a love seat in my apartment. I marvelled for a moment at masculine hands. I wanted to hold the ones I stared at and never let go.
“No one would ever like you, you know,” he said. “Except me. I’m the only person who will ever matter to you.”
“I know that,” I replied. My voice was small, a lilliputian speaking to Gulliver. Look at him, I thought. Just look at him; his sandy hair and large, sensitive eyes… his sideways smile. I was lost for a moment. Only for a moment. When I came to, he was spinning his cell phone around on the glossy surface of my coffee table and gazing, bored, out the window.
“What do you want to do?” I asked him.
“Nothing, really,” he said. “At least– not with you.”
“I always want to be with you,” I said, leaning over to grab my own beer.
“Too bad you won’t be.”
He looked at me with his head cocked and his eyes narrowed; a bewildered, angry, spiteful glare. “Why?!”
“YOU’RE SUCH A USELESS PIECE OF SHIT BITCH!” he yelled. His face was scarlet. I had never seen him so angry. I winced, as though he was about to strike me. I was surprised he didn’t. When I opened my eyes however, he was standing; he was reaching for his coat.
“Hey… don’t go. I can change. For you. So I’m good enough for you. I love you. Please don’t go.”
He didn’t answer. His back was turned to me as he zipped up his jacket.
“Please? Wait? Please!” I screamed. “WAIT! PLEASE! PLEASE DON’T GO! I love you more than anything. I love you more than I love rainbows and seeing shooting stars. I love you more th-than… the ocean! Than alternative country music! Than my pet and my childhood relics and my record collection. Please… don’t go… don’t… go.”
I sat up frantically and my body felt heavy and weak. I reached for him and my hand went right through him. I retracted it, and it felt cold. He bent his knee up and crouched halfway to tie his suede navy sneakers. Their laces were the round kind; white and dirty, the ends frayed.
But he did. He left.
I was so glad we were friends.