Fifteen


“I’ve liked you since we were 15,” he said.

A clear manipulation.

That’s the thing about still talking to people who knew you when you were 15 years old. They have a kind of power overlooking the person you’re trying to become.

“What are you talking about?” I asked.

“I always thought you were beautiful.”

Says the man trying to convince me to have Skype sex.

This is what happens when you’ve been single for a long period of time. I started talking to him again and now I am drunk, with the possibility of nudity, on camera.

“But you were all about Jay,” he said. “Always talking about having sex with him in your Volvo.”

I felt like an icicle during the middle of summer. He has always had his own way of making me feel like a hollow puddle.

Once I remembered how to speak I tried to tell him he was full of shit.

“I—what? I don’t recall the Volvo ever enhancing my sex life.”

Why did he bring up Jay? Why do I have to talk about this?

“That was over ten years ago,” I said.

I tried to yell. I tried to click the hang up button, but I answered. Again.

Even staring into a computer screen I could barely defend myself.

“Why are you still wearing that silly sweater?” he asked.

“Because it’s comfortable.”

I felt nervous and disappointed. I regressed into my fifteen-year old-self. He could say anything he wanted, I acted like it was the first time I’d ever used a computer.

We both needed more beers. I walked to the kitchen and got another Coors. When I sat back in front of the computer my sweater was on the floor.

I was looking for a feeling. It felt like my mistake, reaching out to him and finding myself vulnerable with a Macintosh. He said something I can only barely recall. I reacted quickly and emotional.

“How am I supposed to know what you want if you won’t tell me,” he said. “You have to talk to me.”

He’s not allowed to say that to me.

My face felt cold and unresponsive. My tear ducts became full. All I could do was hit ‘Command Q.’ He was gone, until the text messages.

“I’m sorry.”
“Say something.”
“I wish you wouldn’t be mad at me.”
“I think you’re beautiful.”

But I was too busy being cuddled in the melodramatic whimpers of Coldplay to respond.

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Ten