Kristy Webster’s third time charms…again

 Movie Night without You

by Kristy Webster

Claire has left me. I can still smell her drool on my pillow. Her fine hair scattered on the faux wood floor like brazen little slivers of abandonment.

I didn’t mean to yell at her like I did. I’m the type who gets into it with everyone at some point—parents, boyfriends, girlfriends, bosses, the bosses’ kids. Each time I promise myself I’ll practice being responsive, not reactive, but before long, I lose my way again.

But Claire was supposed to understand. She was supposed to stay. We’d made a pact, each in our own language– over Netflix and General Tso’s Chicken, over deleted Facebook profiles and cancelled accounts, a promise to grow middle-aged together.

I keep the door to my one bedroom duplex wide open, leave some cut up pepperoni on a plate in the doorway. I beckon her. I tempt her. I pray her to me silently, then in sobs. I think of all the times we watched Buffy or Friends, ate cookie dough ice cream out of the carton, all the times I walked out of the shower to find her waiting on the bathmat, wagging her tail, looking up at me as if I were her Venus.

Claire doesn’t know that I’m a nobody. It’s a secret I’ve kept carefully hidden from her for eight years. She doesn’t know my phone rings off the hook because of collector’s I can’t pay off with my $10 an hour job. Claire doesn’t know I’ve gained 50lbs in the past five years, or that I haven’t had a date in three. Claire only knows that she belongs to me, not like a pet, but like a sister, or a best friend.

I hear brakes squeal and a man yell, Stupid dog! I throw the pillow off my lap and run outside, past the sun rusted shrubs that frame the sidewalk, past the darkened windows of my hope to see the tip of a white tail. I hear the sound of a hurried pant, I watch her running not towards me, but farther and farther away…






5 thoughts on “Kristy Webster’s third time charms…again

  1. Parisianne Modert says:

    “Movie Night Without You” introduces us to the confessions, regrets and yet joy of relationship in vulnerable honesty. The connections of love are therefore emotionally available to us as readers, because the wooden walled words are not painted over.

    From these carefully word crafted layers of experience with sprinkles of other relationshps prepares us, but still shocks us sad and empathic at the parting of bonded companions. Brilliant once again Kristy as we join your mourning and celebration of a dear friend lost.

  2. Miryam says:

    Great build up and ending in such a short amount of words. I actually felt sadness at the end, and I’m not an animal person! Thanks for a wonderful story.

  3. Tiffany V says:

    Good stuff. A wonderful character not quite altogether. How you got years expressed so adequately in 350 words was pretty cool. Wonder what Gary or Peggy would’ve said about this one.

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