Subcutaneous Magazine Fall 2016 - Page 21

I was sure that she was younger than me, sexier than me, more fun than me, able to drink more beer than me. Even if she wasn’t all that, I needed her to be.  She had to be amazing for Jake to throw away a relationship that had lasted longer than five years. There was no doubt that my life was going to be different now. Obviously, I’d moved, but even the things that hadn’t changed, like my job or my car, seemed to have been altered. It was like I was looking at them from a different angle, just slightly askew from what I was used to. By the time I sat down to my frozen dinner, thinking that I was really going to have to get in shape again now that I was single, I had unpacked the majority of the boxes schlepped over from Jake’s. They sat in a sad pile down by the dumpster while I collapsed onto the saggy couch and turned on the television. The house creaked and groaned around me. I knew that old buildings did those sorts of things, but it unsettled me anyway. It sounded like someone was walking back and forth through the walls, watching and waiting. I focused on the figures on the television, mentally kicking myself for having such silly thoughts. Soon enough, the selection of sitcom reruns and news programming available with my rabbit ears had me lulled into a state of dull interest. I knew I should get up and go to bed, but the sofa was surprisingly comfortable. A soft rapping on the door brought me bolt upright just as though someone had broken the damn thing down. I breathed in and out, straightening my hair with my fingers as I got up. It was probably Mrs. Pritchett, wanting to see how I was settling in.  Or maybe it was my neighbor, coming to give me the stern rebuke that I deserved for my earlier behavior. But it was Jake. He stood on my doorstep with that charming look on his face, the one he used to get me (and other women, apparently) to do what he wanted. He didn’t ask to come in, but stepped onto the flattened shag as though he lived there. “I’ve been thinking a lot, Fee. We had a really good thing going, and I messed it up.  I want you to move back in.” He swung the door shut behind him and locked it. My heart shoved itself into my throat, and my stomach dropped down into my feet.  It was crazy that someone I had once loved could make me so fearful, but I couldn’t help it. “No, Jake. We’ve done enough talking. Nothing’s going to change. It’s time we moved on.” The words were the right ones, but even I could tell that they didn’t sound convincing.   “Remember all the good times we had?” he asked as he advanced on me, steering me into the bedroom simply by using the fact that I didn’t want to be near him. “I might’ve made my mistakes; every guy does it sometime. But I know now that I’m ready to come back to you. We can make it work.” “Get out of my apartment, Jake.” He already had me through the bedroom door. My mind raced to think of something I could use as a weapon, but the penknife in the drawer of my nightstand wouldn’t scare a squirrel. “I don’t want you here.” We were at the foot of the bed now. “I’m not leaving.” His lip was curled, and his hands were balled into fists. He wasn’t playing nice anymore. “You and I belong together, and you know it.” He shoved me onto the bed, and I landed hard. The frame groaned underneath, threatening to ٔ݅)$ͼՍ)եɴѽՍ)չ́ݕЁ䁅́)́ͅѼѡ̸Qɥ́́՜)Ѽ䁅ɵ̰ѡ́͡ɽչ$՝)Ѽэ䁉ɕѠЁЁЁ)ЁЁЁݥѠ́ݕи($+qMѽѥгtɽݱqeԁ݅Ё$݅)Ը%ӊé今t!͕Ё՝Ѽɕ)ȁ́ЁՍ䁱չ́ݥѠȸ($)$͡ɥݥѠѡͽɥ)ѡͱ䁍ɰݡ݅́ɽ䁉Ёݽɬ)ɥЁܰ5̸Aɥэаͽ݅ɥ役($))չ́ЁѼͥЁ)ѡɔٕȁѼɥٔЁ)$!݅́ՍѼѡ݅́)Ѽѡݽ!́ЁݕɕeЁѽՍ)ѡȸ((