"I just want to meet your expectations."
For some reason I put my hand behind my back and cross my fingers. I take my thumb and my pinky and grab at my now long hair that rests unbrushed and unwashed. He's staring at me. Sitting on a poorly lit patio of crappy chain restaurant. We are sipping cold cheap beers on an unfortunately warm night after long nights at our jobs that include indulging people who really just need punches in the face.
Him in all black.
Me in short shorts and a crop top.
Him always looking me in the eyes.
Me always looking away.
"My expectations? I don't know that I have any anymore. Um... don't suck? Can you meet that?"
Chapter 7 sits half finished. It's the chapter that addresses the day I decided I didn't need to be anyone but myself. So far it's the hardest to write. Because how do you tell other people the thing you still can't fully convince yourself of? Chapter 7 is titled #beyourselfbitches Or Try to Pick a Good Persona.
"I want people to look at us and say, 'Those two, they got it. They got what I want.'"
I pick up my beer and take 3 long gulps. I look back at him and smile and look down.
"I'm sure they will. But remember the outside reflects the inside."
"What do you mean?"
"I don't know."
He reaches for my knee. Looks at me softly.
"You're so pretty."
Chapter 8 started off, "This one time on a bridge I made a phone call. Ok, ok... phone calls...". I stopped there and cried. Then I threw a glass against the wall and scared the cat and called my best friend and told him shit was fucked and how did it happen? He said nothing. So I hung up. Chapter 8 is titled #gofuckyourselfyoupretentiousworthlesspieceofshit36yearoldassholewhobrokemyheart Someone get me a broom. Please.
"This is all great stuff, Stephanie. But I think people want more of the hopeless optimism that they read in first 4 chapters. You know. Where you talked about how everything was awful but you didn't care because you kind of liked it that way....?"
"Is that how I made it seem? I didn't like it. I was dealing with it. There is a difference. A stance versus just being passive. Look, this is where I am at right now, you guys are..."
"We just need more. That's it. Maybe start doing some research? Or. Wait. Aren't you going down to San Diego in a few weeks? What if maybe you just..."
"No. Not a chance. Hire someone who looks like me, I'll tell them what to do, but no chance. No thank you. This heart is a gun and fuck you all it's loaded and the safety is off and Lord only knows what I am fucking capable after almost 4 months of being treated like I never even existed."
"But aren't you mad? I mean... he went to NY, he might be dating the girl you were convinced he was into, the one from chapter 2 with the weird name... remember?"
"God, your feistyness really defines you. It's brilliant!"
Coffee cup dumped on the floor on purpose. Pen tossed across the room. Slammed door.
"Fucking bitches. When is my next meeting, Lisa? Can you leave a memo telling them to fuck themselves? Can you put it in comic sans? Is his car the Lexus or that shitty Ford? Do you own one of those metal letter openers? Can you mail something to 933 West Palm... forget it. Can I borrow a stapler?"
"You really ARE a character, my goodness (laughlaughlaugh)"
Please tell me you're just getting tired... because if it's more than that I fear that I might break.