Tag: relationships

Island Intensive by Leila Wright

After his introduction, I lead the mantra. May I be Free from Pride. May I Live in Integrity. Through the Grit of Sand, may I become a Pearl. The faces below tilt upward like flowers to the sun. Smiling, I shift my gaze to Arnold, but he stares ahead, his lips turned down. It wounds me deeply, his brusqueness, because I know that I disgust him. I disgust myself. Thirty-two years with Arnold Burgstaller and I am still slow to learn.

“Perhaps, Bronwyn,” he says, looking at the students in the front row, “you could allow me to finish speaking before you jump in. Just something to remember going forward.”

Paint by Sammi Leigh Melville

You used to say that the difference between falling in love and loving was paint. If you fall into a giant tub of paint, you’re covered in it — everything you touch will get an imprint of that color. But love is also an action: it is more akin to painting someone’s skin. If you’ve fallen into the tub of paint, any time you reach out to that person and touch them, you’ll be loving them. It’s inevitable. But if you’re outside of the tub, it becomes more of a conscious decision. You have to reach back into the tub to paint.

Girlbossing Too Close to the Sun by Olivia Dimond

There is perhaps nothing more humiliating—nor humbling—in the world than getting a tampon stuck in your vagina. Specifically, having to call your gyno and ask them what to do after said misfortune.

The phone call is the last resort. It comes after you’ve spent an hour on the Internet Googling all of the things you can do, including attempting to literally give birth to said tampon. (That’s not the terminology they use but it’s certainly the mechanics they’re describing.) You try all of it while your roommate snickers, reading out the instructions from the other side of your bedroom door. You refused to grant her entry when asked, so there she will stay.

Idle Hands by Molly Andrea-Ryan

“This is not acceptable behavior,” she said as the cat pawed at the carefully painted skeleton. “That isn’t yours,” she said as the cat knocked the skeleton from the shelf, sending it skittering across the floor. She picked it up and put it back, shooing the cat away, knowing it was a game, knowing that playing the game once meant playing the game again.

His miniatures were part of a game he never played. Skeletons, goblins, witches, sirens, dragons. He bought the kits, built the models, painted them. He placed them on a crowded shelf, organized and reorganized by size, color, and assigned skill. “I’m sure the game is fun,” he said, “but it isn’t what interests me.”

Kickstand by Patrick R. Wilson

Erica fingered the wooden splinters of the food truck court picnic table and stared out at the water till she spotted Ryan rolling up on the fire-red Cannondale he bought on credit. He didn’t stop to park the bike before entering the dining area, but jostled his way through the lunchtime customers like an entitled eel in a koi pond. If anyone protested, or pointed out the PARK YOUR BIKE sign, or looked at him wrong, Ryan would explain he’d been sick. Thankfully, no one complained.

What Chloe does in the metaverse without you is about you by Salena Casha

Chloe mentions that she got her new track pants in the metaverse when she went shopping with Alessa and you hate to think that they’re hanging out without you in some virtual Ivy Park and getting matching tattoos while you’re sitting at home eating salmon salad with your parents. She told you she’d get a matching tattoo with you, a real one when you both graduate – two halves of a butterfly – but you’ve heard that in the verse when you have tattoos like that and you line up the ink, the blue outline will shiver and crawl right out of your skin, hover above you as you hold onto each other on a roller coaster at Cedar Point even though you’ve never left Florida.

Shit is so much cooler in there. Tattoos mean something in there. People go places in there.

Commitment Issues by Emily Harrison

I found her on a pale Tuesday, which is a good way to describe most Tuesdays in Scarborough. The weekend has a habit of sucking the light inside its vacuum.

The Tuesday was like any other except for random curiosity I decided to stop by the corner shop I walked past many (many) times on my way to the bakery. I’m sure it was a front for dealers. They only accepted cash and stayed open until 10pm on Sundays, selling things like joke cigarettes and cartons of milk.

They sold her too. The marionette.

Chopped by Erika Nichols-Frazer

Since Mike, our youngest, went away to college, Derek and I have been eating a lot of meals in front of the TV, or, specifically, while watching Chopped, which seems to always be on the Food Network. We’ve started to eat dinner in front of it most nights, not sure what to say to each other. We need something to fill the silence.

I’ve never considered myself much of a cook, nothing special, anyway. I made meals the kids liked, homemade mac ‘n cheese, lasagna, hamburgers and roasted potatoes. But now that they’re both in college and thousands of miles away—they both insisted on getting as far away as they could—Derek and I have been eating a lot of premade and frozen meals. It’s different with half as much food to make. I keep buying more than we need and having to throw out rotten apples and potatoes with eyes. I have to halve recipes. Sometimes I buy things out of habit, like beef jerky or Double-Stuf Oreos—Mike’s favorite—and they go uneaten for months.