Volume 5 Number 4


Autumn 2007

Indignity and Instinct

by Jasmine Fall

Nick and I were supposed to go out that night, and by go out I mean screw. We used to date, but we hadn't seen each other for months. Not since he found out.

I had just awakened from a quick pass-out nap on the couch. I walked down the art-filled hallway to his bedroom to find him perched on his bed. He looked somewhat like a child with his long, skinny legs crossed over one another (I never liked his legs), but his face was wearing the expression of an infuriated man.

"What is this?" he had asked, looking at me with intense fury. My cell phone was angled toward me like a magnifying glass preparing to roast an ant.

He had found out. Not that I had done a very good job at concealing it. He had obviously read the text message I had sent just hours before, while he and I were at dinner. It was a lovely little place, a yummy BYOB restaurant in the city. He knew of my plans for the weekend: to visit my ex-boyfriend the same day my current beau was leaving for a European business trip.

My ex lived in Arizona. That's where I'm from. Nick and I were living in Philadelphia, where we both were attending graduate school. Now my current wonderful, caring man was glaring at my slutty, Arizona-bound face.

All I could do was stare back. I was mortified. I had been cheating on him with my ex-boyfriend. The same boyfriend I had dumped to date him.

I walked closer and got onto the bed. "How could you?" he charged. His slap was more shocking than walking in on him looking through my phone. It was the kind that didn't hurt physically but was one of the most emotionally scarring acts of my life.

I wiped a stream of salty tears from my face.

"Get your stuff," he warned. "You are going home."

Nick and I had only been dating for a few months, but I had stuff everywhere. I scrambled to get everything I could, certain he would throw any remnants in the garbage once he returned. My mind was reeling as I drunkenly wobbled on my high heels. I tried to recollect everything I had in his picturesque apartment: make-up bag (check), extra pairs of shoes (check), select Victoria's Secret items (check check check). I ran down the stairs just in time to see him chuck my phone down the block. I had already gotten over the severed relationship, and now I was just pissed I would have to walk in the snow to get a new phone the next day.

We rode together in his black seat-warming car to my city apartment. I felt like I had at graduations past, knowing that this was the end of an enjoyable era. He was lecturing, but I couldn't hear. I felt the soft, beige leather surrounding me; I was entranced by his tender, grayish-black curls. I noted the tone and pitch of his older, mature voice but didn't hear the words. He was a handsome, successful man who had loved me. Pity.

Now, months later, Nick occasionally sends dirty messages to the same number that got me in trouble. Tonight, Nick and I were supposed to "go out." I wanted it, but declined the invitation; that kind of indignity isn't worth the instinctual pleasure it yields.