by Kevin Myrick
I sometimes miss the feeling of running my hand across your bare skin as we laid naked together on the futon in my tiny apartment. You used to wiggle under my touch and complain that “it tickles” before holding me down and kissing me lightly on the lips. That was a moment I used to live for when we were together. There are other things I miss too: The smell of your hair from the coconut shampoo you used to use, the way the necklaces you always wore around your neck jingled around the apartment, reminding me of Christmas. The smell of your freshly baked cookies. I especially miss your cooking.
You left because I was a drunk and a fool, unable to see myself in the mirror for who I really am. But you were never an angel yourself, always allowing me to continue further down the rabbit hole until finally I hit rock bottom.
The fight between us was all my fault. I came home drunk from a night out with my friends from work and then vomited in your laundry basket. You woke me up disgusted the next morning and threw the soiled clothes on top of me. “You smell that? That’s what happens when you go out.”
“You have no self-restraint. I honestly don’t know why I still care about you.”
I was hurt and shot back that you were just as irresponsible when it came to liquor and life. It was fine for you to party and get drunk. It was fine that you always come back to me whenever you get yourself into a crisis. You want me to be a shoulder to cry on when things go bad. I am not that shoulder, and if you don’t like it you can go away.
“Don’t let the door hit you in the ass on the way out,” I said as I got up and put on my coat.
“Where are you going?”
“Anywhere but here,” I said.
I stumbled down the stairs and hung over as I was I must have looked like an old man with a broken hip. I ended up in the diner down the street flirting with a waitress and coating my stomach with greasy sausage and eggs. On the way home I stopped by the package store to buy a pint bottle of Jack Daniels to even me out. I drank it on the way home from a crumbled brown paper bag. As I staggered down the block I let my drunken anger get the better of me with innocent pedestrians and blamed them for all my problems.
Once home, I found that you’d left nothing more of yourself than a scrap of paper with a note on it as I fell onto the kitchen table. All it said was “I started to feel like a liar, saying I love you.”
I guess you couldn’t think of any other way to say it was through. And now I’m all alone again, nothing more than the bugs to keep me company as the scurry across the living room floor. I got drunk for two days straight and by the end of it decided that you were never worth it. And now I’m 12 years sober.
Kevin Myrick is a writer and journalist living in Rome, Ga. His work has been featured on 52/250, The Auburn Plainsman, The Auburn Circle and his website. He plans to release an e-book short story collection in October. Myrick’s last purchase was a can of Dr. Pepper from a vending machine.