Story #39

“Why do we kill ourselves for love,” Ashley asked.

Jennifer, her best friend, shrugged and continued stuffing her mouth with kung pao chicken. “All I know is that I’m in love with this Chinese food, dude.”

“Seriously, though! I didn’t even realize until 4 years into my last relationship that I was dying. I was LITERALLY dying,” Ashley exclaimed.

“Come on, Ash. You knew what was coming when you signed up for a relationship. I, on the other hand, avoid thos with a 9 foot pole.” Jennifer burped and rubbed her belly. “That hit the spot.”

Jennifer was painstakingly gorgeous. She was a bit of a slob, but she could have any person she wanted if she signed up for a relationship. Ashley was opposite though.

Fortunately, thanks to new laws and changes within society, you could now sign up to be in a relationship. A company called Life Partners set you up with someone of similar interests and you both signed a contract stating that you would be devoted to your life partner. There was a catch though: you and your partner would also die together and at a faster rate than normal.

“I realized that I don’t even miss Brock. He was handsome and sweet, but also really boring. Also, a bit daft. We were going to die together! Can you imagine dying with someone who makes paint drying seem like a sport?!”

Jennifer nearly spit out her drink from laughing so hard. “The good news is you’re out of that awful contract now.”

Ashley gave a nervous laugh. “Haha, yeah.” She stuck her hand out to grab her drink, and noticed the aging spots on her hand. “Oh, no! Not much time left, now,” Ashley thought to herself.

Story #38

Ellen stared at him as a he stared at his phone. They had been up for awhile, but barely spoken. Michael barely moved a muscle. His eyes focused on the small, lit screen. Five minutes passed before he even noticed Ellen staring at him.

“Are you okay? You look upset,” Michael said, trying to keep his voice even. He already knew what was wrong.

“I do? Nope, I’m fine.” Ellen turned to face the wall.

Michael replied, “Okay,” and went back to whatever was grabbing his attention on his cell phone.

Ellen sighed. Her body language screamed, “OBVIOUSLY SOMETHING IS WRONG AND I WANT YOU TO CONSOLE ME,” but she said nothing.

Warm, salty tears began to stream down Ellen’s cheeks. Before she knew it, she began shaking with uncontrollable anger. Michael sighed, set down his phone, and leaned over to hug Ellen.

“Don’t touch me,” Ellen yelled between sobs.

Michael asked, “What’s happening right now?”

In a matter of seconds, Ellen leaped from the bed and ran out the room. Michael chased her and found her sitting down, frantically stabbing her arms, nearly carving most of the skin off of one of them. Blood splatters covered the kitchen floor. 

“What the fuck?” Michael raced to Ellen’s side to grab the knife from her sweaty palms. She looked up and smiled. Black mass covered her eye sockets. She began laughing like a wild woman. Michael slowly backed up. “This isn’t funny, Ellen. Please stop!”

Ellen stopped laughing and dropped the knife. It looked as if she stood up amd levitated towards Michael.

“You’re pathetic,” the deep voice said. It was no longer Ellen. “You look at your stupid fucking phone all day. You ignore her, and stare at your shitty devices. How do you think she feels, Michael? Hmmm?” The voice coming from Ellen sounded demonic. Ellen began laughing again and grabbed Michael’s neck and squeezed. Michael, thrown off by her sudden strength, clawed at her bloody arms and hands.

“I’m…so…sorry,” Michael managed to say.

Ellen immediately let him go. She tumbled to the floor and gasped for air. She looked down to see blood streaks covering her arms. With desperation in her voice, she asked, “What did you do to me?”
The end. Lesson learned.

Valentine’s Day (Story #37)

“Table for two,” squealed the tiny 12 year old as her boyfriend squeezed her sides.

The concierge threw on her best I’m single and working on the worst day of the year face while grabbing two red, heart shaped menus.

“Fuck this,” I thought as I casually turned and walked towards my car. To be fair, the children were probably in their early 20s, believed that they were madly in love, and didn’t even pay their own cell phone bills. I’m not bitter though.

The closer I got to my car, the more I noticed that I was the only single female in that whole damn parking lot. Are you kidding me? Even the nerdiest of couples were walking hand in hand, absolutely love struck. My brain hadn’t even connected that today was Valentine’s Day even though Google was filled with pink and red hearts. I was off of work today so I missed the older women acting like middle schoolers, flaunting their gigantic teddy bears and shitty Whitman’s candy box bullshit. Maybe I should’ve known it was Valentine’s Day when I saw the ugly, obviously male written, paint on someone’s car windshield that read, “Marry me?” Or maybe I should’ve known when there seemed to be a billion people holding giant bouquets of overpriced roses. I swear, I’m not bitter.

Either way, I started my car and powered up the radio, only to hear, “What’s Love Got to do With It.” The DJ who decided to play that was probably cheated on by their significant other. I laughed at the thought. The streets were mainly empty. I suppose everyone was either eating out or eating in, but I was starving and didn’t want to cook. I decided to drive to the nearest diner.

The windows had leftover Christmas lights loosely strung around the border. It looked as if the diner was halfway empty. “My kind of place,” I thought. The bell rang when I pushed the door open, signaling a waitress with dark red lipstick to look up. This woman had to have been in her late 60s. Her caked on eye shadow melted into the deep creases of her eyelids. The dark, crusty lipstick sat on her thin, wrinkly lips. “Just one, doll,” she inquired, nearly suffocating me with the smell of old cigarettes. I nodded my head and she motioned for me to follow her to the table.

I sat at the table and waited for my server. When I looked around, most of the other patrons were single. They all seemed very content, but they were also all much older than me. Cigarette scent Sally shuffled back to my table. “Here’s some coffee, doll. It helps with broken hearts.” She gave a sympathetic smile and walked away. Do I just look miserable or something? Honestly, I was just super hangry. Nearly every restaurant in town had an hour wait if you didn’t reserve your space. Even McDonald’s was packed! My waitress could’ve given me a Snickers and I would’ve devoured that shit in seconds. Love was not on the brain; just food.

After an hour, I was happy, full, and on my way home. I felt fantastic. My cat, Hero, brushed against my leg when I opened the door to my house. “Hey, bud,” I cooed as I scratched behind his ears. The evening was coming to an end and I had work the next day. Hero curled up beside me in bed and purred while I stroked his back. “Who the hell proposes via car windshield? What a loser,” I said to my empty bedroom. I laughed until my stomach hurt and fell soundly asleep. Valentine’s Day was just that…a day.

 

Story #36

He gently slid his rough, masculine hand down the same face that he punched the night before. The same mouth that constantly belittled Joy kissed the old bruises on her neck.

“We can finally become a real family,” he whispered, rubbing his hand on her belly. 

A few days ago, Joy had found out that she was pregnant. Her heart had sank and she planned on taking care of it…but there wasn’t any place to hide the test or the wrapper. She had stuffed them both under tissue in the bathroom trashcan, the only place she could think of. When Ben had come home from the bar that evening, he stumbled over the trashcan in the bathroom. His blurred vision focused on a plastic unlike the tissue around it. There, in the pile of desperate hope, laid the wrapper and the test. His eyes lit up.
Unfortunately, his happiness had faded as quick as his anger had rushed in. “JOY!” The woman, trembling with fear, ran into the bathroom. “Yes, honey,” she asked. “Pick this shit up. All of it.” Without a second thought she dove to the ground, frantically picking up the tissue. Her thin, shaky hands threw the tissue, wrapper, and test in the trashcan. “Is it mine,” his slurred voice asked. She nodded and he grabbed her, whisking her off her feet. She flinched and nearly collapsed back to the floor. He had kissed her and said, “I’m going to be a daddy. I love you.” Instantly, she had cried, knowing that it was too late to take care of business. The rest of the night was peaceful.

Ben had a short temper, but anyone that knew him thought that he was an angel. He even fooled Joy sometimes. It was only 3 days after he found out about the pregnancy, that he hit Joy again. She was convinced that things would change with him because it had been so long since he hurt her. She was wrong. The mistake this time was serving him cold dinner.

He touched the chicken on the plate. “What the hell is this,” he inquired in the softest tone Joy had ever heard.

“It’s chicken, babe. I made your favorite.” Joy smiled lovingly.

“HOT chicken is my favorite, not cold,” he replied. Ben calmly set down his fork and knife.

“Okay…I’ll heat it up for you.”

Joy stood up and just as she grabbed his plate, he stabbed her hand with the knife. Blood drained from her hand as she screamed. Ben started laughing.

“It’s just a little blood,” he chimed. Joy ran to the sink to run water over her hand. She continued to scream as large tears streamed down her face.

Ben stopped laughing. “Stop it, Joy. You’ll wake the neighbors.” Joy continued crying loudly. Ben stood up and yelled, “Stop crying!” Joy tried to suck in her breaths, but she couldn’t stop. Suddenly, Ben took two swift steps towards the sink and punched Joy in the face. “Snap out of it and stop crying,” his deep voice bellowed.

Joy fell back, stunned and terrified. She reflexively put one hand over her face and held the bloody one up as a shield. Ben stormed out the kitchen into the living room. “Clean that blood up and bring me a beer when you’re done,” he hissed.

The next day, Joy woke up to a room full of roses. At first she thought she had died and gone to Heaven. When she sat up, she saw Ben sitting on the small love seat next to the bed, scrolling through his phone. He looked up and smiled radiantly. “Good morning, mommy-to-be. I’ve been waiting for you to get up.” Joy slowly sat up, her face still sore from the blow. “What is all this,” she asked.

“A sneak peek to what I have in store for you today.” It was as if all memory of the prior evening had faded. He was absolutely insane. Joy mustered up a faint smile. “I’m so excited,” she said.

The day was a blur of dining out, going shopping, and getting a makeover. “My girl was robbed and beaten last night,” Ben told the cosmetologist. “So I wanted to spoil her and make her feel good again.” The cosmetologist beamed. “Well aren’t you lucky to have a boyfriend so sweet,” she asked while goving Joy a little squeeze on the shoulder. Joy looked at Ben and said, “So lucky.”

That evening Ben checked them into a fancy hotel. He placed the DO NOT DISTURB sign on the door handle. As soon as the door closed, he began kissing her. It took everything in Joy to stop herself from backing away from him. “I have one more surprise for you,” Ben whispered.

He got down on one knee and pulled out a small, black box. “Joy, will you do the honor of making me the luckiest man alive?”

Joy broke down. Angry tears streamed from her eyes and fell down her cheeks. She was mad, but more than anything, she was afraid. If she said no, what would he do to her? She shook her head yes and he slid the ring on her finger.

“We can finally become a real family.” Ben lovingly rubbed her belly. He hugged her tight, nearly squeezing the air from her lungs. She realized in that moment that she had made the biggest mistake of her life.

Story #35

“That was the worse date in history.” Ben playfully jabbed Kaila. She prerended to look shocked.

“Seriously?! I thought y’all would be perfect together. Sadie is so sweet. She was literally nicknamed Sweet Sadie by everyone in high school,” Kaila replied. She dreamily syared at Ben and held the cutest smile she could muster. “So where did it go wrong? Was she not naughty enough for you,” Kaila giggled.

“Oh no, I didn’t say anything about Sadie. She was very sweet. Super gorgeous, thanks for the set up. We get along well. The date was the awful.” Ben patted the couch cushion next to him so that Kaila could join him. She tried her best to look relieved.

“Well, tell me everything. We are best friends, ya know.,” said Kaila. She gave a supportive smile.

“So I took her to the little cafe next to Franklin Park. You know the one, right?” Kaila nodded. “Okay, so I’m sitting at this table next to the window. I wanted to see her first and see if she looked like her picture. Anyways, this pregnant woman stands right next to the table. She’s huffing and puffing. Basically, hinting she wants my table since all the others are full. I offer her a seat at the table and she shakes her head no. Sadie walks in a few minutes later and we greet each other with a hug.” Kaila shook her head, staying focused on every word.

“We have a seat and start chatting a bit, basic stuff like what’s your major? How do you like the city? Whatever. Well this dude comes over and starts yelling at me for not letting this pregnant woman have a seat. It’s embarrassing. I explain the situation.” Kaila continued to shake her head, anxiously waiting for the point when Ben and Sadie connected. Ben droned on and on about the nonsense she could care less about.

“…and that’s when our eyes connected. I was trying to be cool, and she immediately laughed, totally catching me off guard.” Ben started to laugh, too. Kaila grasped at the cue and laughed so much louder than she meant to.

I had this idea for a story yesterday. Basically Ben totally likes Kaila’s friend, Sadie. Kaila purposely set them up because she thought that they wouldn’t fit together. She has a major crush on Ben, but she’s crushed when she finds out that they’re going on a second date. The end. It’s late. I’m exhausted.

Story #32

The marriage was over before the love ran out.
We were in our early 20s and madly on love. In all honesty our love was just that: mad. We went on 3 dates before we decided that marriage was the right answer.

The first one was typical.
We were nervous and anxious all at once — two separate things. We did the typical dinner & a movie. The dinner was just okay and the movie was great, maybe because there were no expectations in the dark. An hour into the movienwe held hands. It was sweet.

The second date was a group one.
We were with mutual friends at a karaoke bar. He always said that he knew I was the one when I sang T. Swift’s “I Knew You Were Trouble” song. The irony in that is beyond measure.

The third date was a picnic.
The weather was somehow perfect. It was right after a few days of rain, but right before the biggest storm in history. The day basically represented whatever we had. We talked for hours outdoors.

Not too soon after that he asked me to marry him, and I accepted the offer. We were in love or something very close to it. We were young. We felt invincible. Our respective families disagreed, but we didn’t care. We thought it was the only choice that made sense.

The marriage was over before the love ran out.
We were destined to fail from the start. He was a bartender at the hippest club in town and I was a waitress at the local diner. Our schedules didn’t match. We ignored the coincidence. I quit my job to spend more time with him. He thought he could cover everything on his own.

The marriage was over before the love ran out.
We argued over money and made up over sex. We were convinced that our love would keep us above water. Love doesn’t pay the bills. He resented me for unemployment so I got a job at his club. We had to play single in front of customers for more tips. It was fun…for awhile.

The marriage was over before the love ran out.
We still argued. Neither one of us understood the other. Go figure. We tried many things to spice up our marriage even though we had only been married for 6 months. We just needed another element, right?

The marriage was.over before the love ran out.
The day I was served, I was 4 months pregnant and we hadn’t even been married a year. My husband was basically nonexistent in our marriage. I constantly tried to reason why this happened or how, but it was clear. We were never in love. We just wanted to be in love. There was none.

At the age of 22, I was divorced with a child. There was no love. There was barely a marriage. We were young and foolish, fallen madly for the thought of love.

Yup. Til tomorrow.

Story #28

“Can I buy you a drink?”

Rachel looked up and down at the man that offered to buy her a drink. “Let’s see: the average drink here is $6 a pop. It probably takes the average woman about 3 drinks to feel tipsy, 5 to feel slightly drunk, add in one or two $5 shots and she’s ready to go home with you. So you’re basically saying that it only takes 40 bucks to sleep with the average woman. Well I’ll tell you something: I’m not the average woman.”

“You could just say no thank you,” he replied.

Rachel sighed. She was hoping for some type of witty banter. “Thanks, but no thanks.”

The guy walked away. She looked around the bar and saw more of this. Men were courting women by filling them up with alcohol and shitty conversation. Pathetic.

“What’s a nice girl like you doing in a place like this?”

Alas! Witty banter could commence! “Who says that I’m a nice girl,” Rachel asked.

She turned to her left and a strapping young lad held out his hand. “I’m Landon. I assumed you were nice. Was I wrong?”

“Well, I’m Rachel. And you know what they say about assuming, right?”

Landon chuckled. “Let’s take a shot of tequila. Bartender, 2 shots of tequila please!” He turned and smiled at Rachel. Usually she would say something like she had before, but this time she kept her mouth shut. The bartender passed Landon the shots. “Put it on my tab, please. Escott.” He turned to Rachel and gave her one of the shots. “Here’s to you, beautiful.” They both raised their glasses and threw them back.

“I’m going to have a beer. What would you like to drink,” he asked with a smile.

“Ummm, a vodka tonic, please.” What a gentleman! He ordered their drinks.

“So you never told me if I was wrong about you being a nice girl. I’m dying to know.”

Rachel touched his forearm and said, “It depends on how I’m feeling that day. For the most part, I’m nice. It doesn’t hurt to be naughty every now and then though.” She could feel his muscles flex under her hand.

“Sounds like we have something in common,” Landon replied with a wink.

Another shot and a few more drinks later, they were in the back of a cab making out. Rachel didn’t usually do this, but tonight she couldn’t help herself. Landon gripped parts of her body and continued to aggressively kiss Rachel. Within minutes they were back at her place and the rest was history.

Rachel woke up the next morning with a raging headache and an awful stomach ache. She farted and rolled to her side. Soundly asleep was Landon from the night before. Surprised, she tiptoed out of bed and quietly closed the bedroom door behind her. A receipt was on her dining room table next to Landon’s jeans. The total was $82.50, which means that he had spent roughly 40 bucks to sleep with her. She sighed, grabbed an ice pack for her head, and went back to sleep. Way to stick to your guns, Rach she thought to herself.

This one was just okay. Female power!