Zest Lit Issue 2, October 2013 - Page 182

Stuck | Racquel Henry

In his eyes, I see nothing. I had thought that I would by now. We are sitting in the same diner we always sit in when we eat out, ordering the same burger with the same fries and the same coke. Bernard orders for me because he says that is what American men do. I have always wanted to try the barbeque chicken sandwich, but I never say anything. I just watch other people lick the barbeque sauce off their fingers instead. That’s how I know the sandwich is good. That will have to be enough for now.

In the diner, there are always happy people, laughing and touching each other like they really enjoy each other. I try and remember the last time I laughed, the last time I really enjoyed touching someone or being touched. I have never felt that with Bernard. His touch is uncomfortable and whenever he touches me I feel a little bit of me deteriorate. Eventually, I will be nothing, and I’m not allowed to resist him.

I wanted to come to America because I wanted to be like the people in those romantic perfume ads seen in fancy magazines. I wanted the passion in those ads. I wanted love. Bernard agreed to marry me so that I could get my Green Card. He had promised me life would be full of the passion I saw in the magazines. He had promised that if I didn’t fall in love with him, I could serve my time with him (until my legal status was solidified) and he would set me free. That was seven years ago today.

He brings me to this diner and tells me to wear a skirt instead of jeans because we are celebrating our anniversary. I looked up anniversary in the dictionary the other day, just because, and it means, ‘the annual recurrence of a date marking a notable event.’ I guess our