All tagged star-crossed lovers

Littles

He shows up in the kitchen with a deep tan and a gash below his right eye, three crusty stitches. That spark smolders at his fingertips; his usual testament to the Panhandle. When the kids scramble and clamber atop him, he tells them he’s been wrestling crocs and none of them even looks my way when I mutter, Gators.

The Girl Who Cried Diamonds

The baby’s mother went to nurse her and found her bassinet full of bits of glass, sparkling around her head like a halo. Panic stricken, the mother swept up all the crystals into her cupped hand, heart pounding, wondering how the glass ended up there—had a burglar broken in?

Candy Mouths Are Made of Wax

“Tell me something nobody else knows about you,” he says, sitting across from you at the romantic table. In most settings, he looks like a boy, but sometimes he looks like a man, or a cat, or a telephone pole. He looks past your left ear when he speaks, like your eyes are the production assistant’s camera, like your eyes are the burning loins red foxglove on the mantel.

At the End of Osama bin Laden

Jaime and I started breaking up over coffee on a cold, spring morning.

He’d been unemployed since the previous year and over the last few months I had been paying for most things—his Metrocard, our lingering brunches in Williamsburg, the entrance to museums; little luxuries like tickets to see Chromeo perform a sold-out show at Terminal 5.

True Stories Never Satisfy

A woman broke up with her boyfriend. Then she went on a few dates using a popular website but nothing worked out. Her parents encouraged her to get out of the city, spend a weekend at the family cabin upstate even though it was out of season.

The Second Star

Marcus was plugging in our new alarm clock when I noticed his tattoo. He was wearing a thin white T-shirt and I could see the star, small and blue, through it.  

“What’s this?” I asked and swept my hand over his back.

“I’ve had it a week,” he said. He pushed the nightstand back against the wall. The new alarm clock still flashed twelve. 

A Possession

Menstruate. Watch the blood stain your sari, blooming outwards in a defiant whorl. Grab your hair by the fistfuls and scream expletives until your lungs swell urgently against your ribcage. Demand cigarillos and arrack from your husband, from your neighbors, from the anxious twist of a woman that brings you packets of milk every morning. Give in to convulsions, every three minutes or so. 

Buy You

I found him at a pawn shop a while back, searching for a cheap hammer. He looked good on the outside. Shirt tucked into jeans with pocket flaps, hair like pipe cleaners, shoelaces tied too tightly. He bought the hammer for 59 cents. I said I’d be his girlfriend three weeks later. 

Fly

You’ve just lost thirty pounds when you see him at the party. Sure, you’re still eighty-five pounds from your goal, but thirty is no joke and your hair and outfit are on point tonight; everything looking extra fly. It’s simply one of those days when your hair product cooperates and your curls fall tight, and your dress fits you curvier than you really are.

Jeffs

When I get older, I’m going to live alone. Not some little kid “no boys allowed” treehouse bullshit. Just alone. No boyfriend, no husband. Just me. I won’t need anyone.That’s my mom’s problem, that she needs this Jeff and all the others. It’s like she thinks she’ll stop being real if someone isn’t touching her.

How to Date

Did you know that in some versions of Sleeping Beauty he rapes her awake? My date tells me this as if trying to truly understand me and spark some sort of interesting conversation on the nature of messed up fairy tale endings and the ways they may play out in contemporary expectations regarding romance, princes, and sleep. 

Out of the Strong, Something Sweet

Always, the three of us. One brown girl, two white girls in the sun—those clicky striped vinyl lawn chairs from 1985-ish that Claire's dad still had in their garage for whatever reason. We were in the backyard, not the front. Last time we were out front, Mandy's asshole brother stopped in his red Stang and asked us if we knew what a pussy was before skeeing off and running the stop sign at the end of our street. Hannah had sat up and pushed her sunglasses atop her head. Of course we know what a pussy is, asshole. We were fourteen.

The Ex-Mermaid Buys Chocolate Milk

The ex-mermaid is opening the door of the dairy case when she hears a voice she recognizes behind her, the voice of the ex-mermaid’s ex-boyfriend’s new girlfriend. The ex-mermaid looks quickly at the image of herself that is reflected in the glass, a transparency superimposed on bottles of one and two percent. She looks okay. Not as good as the new girlfriend, who has a pert nose and pert breasts and is generally very pert, pert all over. But the ex-mermaid looks fine, and she registers this as she grabs a bottle of low-fat chocolate milk, which is what she came here for.

Get Dumpt!

On the day I first called Jacob, I was out looking for dachshunds. I chose dachshunds because they were some specific thing I could probably find in this city that was not my ex-boyfriend.

The Dead Kids of Hennepin County

The boy's mother assumes God is an asshole. The girl's mother says the boy is an asshole. The girl's father blames: This half-frozen lake. Global warming. But also, not enough global warming. Himself. Teenage dreams. The neighbors for not seeing. The night for not letting them see. The sundown. Time. In general. He should have told her how to be young.

Because We Make a Living

Allen knows how to double check. He sets boundaries, wears sunglasses, sends flowers, proceeds to the end of the tunnel. His anger is really quite something, but that’s what the boundaries, the double-checking, the flowers are for.