How To Be A Good Girlfriend

by | Feb 13, 2024 | Fiction, Issue Thirty-Seven

Think, I’m sure he’ll change his mind when he says he is not looking for anything serious. He only needs to get to know you.

Show up everytime he texts you so he can see how reliable you are.

Pick up the things he mentions casually, an engraved lighter, a beard kit, like the flannel lined waxed trucker jacket he’s been meaning to get, and hand it to him like a secret when he calls you over at 2 am the night before your sister’s wedding, the one he can’t even remember even though you asked him to go, but don’t ponder that too much, go to him so he can see how caring you are, how considerate.

Press down when he takes your hand in his, think of how you picture him soft in your hands, how you eat and eat and eat until you have to come up gasping for air, but don’t tell him that now, it’s too much too soon.

After he fucks you, tell him how you can taste him on your lips, peach-scented, feel him in your pores, reach your hand over to touch his back, your whole body vibrating, waiting like a question, watch him trail something on the inside of your arm, lifting it over his head to turn away from you, accept that he can’t sleep if you cuddle.

Watch how you hold your knees to your chest, stiff as a cadaver, rib cage compressed to fit into the drought of his body, untouched, sort of an unfortunate marionette, only able to bend in a certain way, only able to be used for a certain carnal purpose.

When he asks to cum on your face, nod slowly, draw the braids from your face into a tight low bun, lips like a fig split open, wide-eyed innocence, just how he wants you to, like a good girl. Say nothing about the things you read on the internet, about how no man who loves you would ever want to do that. Walk to the bathroom, stare at yourself in the mirror, your face like the soft-jelly of a rambutan stomped open, wash it off.

Instead think of that liminal time when he’s all yours, when he sweeps you off your feet and into his arms with the devotion of a soldier back from some war, reunited with the wife whose black and white picture he kept in his pockets, and how that was the only thing that kept him going, how he would trace the shape of her lips on the barrel of his gun, how he was kind because she is kind, how he kept moving because he knew that was what she would want, how she doesn’t have to be around to make him a better man, how their mouths fall together when they meet, soft and open.

Realize that he looks at you the same way he looks at his mint condition G.I. Joe action figure, like something he owns just to own.

After the threesome, think about how the green of their skin creep out as though to outline just where and where you are broken, how they touch as though the crevices of their bodies materialize in a way that they lock right into each other, or how the patter of their feet sounds like moving in and out of love, but not too much.

Feel something bitter rise in your throat when he says he wants his next relationship to be the last one.

When he places his hand on your chest, say, that’s where my heart used to be. When his brows settle into a question mark, say nothing and laugh it off.

Search the internet for what you do after a breakup, if you can even call it that, laugh at the advice to do things for yourself, to fill your time with things that keeps you from thinking of him, until one day he’s no longer the first thing you think about, but the second.

Later, lay on your side, look up at the white nothingness of your ceiling, clasp your hands together and place them tightly between your legs, think of the things you shouldn’t have allowed but did, keeping score, collecting sins, absolving him of his, carrying yours like a cross you nail yourself to. Cry if you need to. You are an accountant at the end of the world.

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