Emily fell forward across the bed. Her bare feet kicked up behind her. Her long dark hair fell over her shoulders and onto a notebook of old poetry.
The poetry is mine from when I was her age, an embarrassing mix of teenaged angst and horniness, wrapped in a fumbling grasp of the English language.
I had forgotten I even had the notebook, and I had no idea where she found it. One might think it was rather presumptuous of her to go through my personal effects, especially having only known each other for two weeks. But, in the short time we’ve known each other I’ve opened every door for her myself. She roamed through me so freely, what difference did a notebook of bad poetry make now?
It’s fucked up.
I know, I was pretty bad.
What are you talking about?
What are you talking about?
She looked up at me, her blue eyes filled with youth and innocence, but a smile sharpened with an awareness of just how beautiful she is.
What about me?
You’re really old.
No, I mean really old.
Thirty-two isn’t that old.
Yes it is.
I was pretending to do something important with random bills, and scraps of months old junk mail.
It’s not that old.
A feathery giggle drifted past her lips before she looked back down at the notebook. She was hardly reading the poetry. She stared at the pages, more interested in the age of the paper itself than the words written on it.
You know, they’re just going to keep getting crazier.
How do you know?
Well, think about it. Every girl you ever told me about was “crazy”. And that was a lot of girls.
Wait, not all of them. There were a few that were okay.
Yeah, and they’re the ones that you broke up with after like a few weeks or something. But the ones you really remember, like the ones you told me alllllll about. They were crazy.
You think you’re going to find one that isn’t crazy now?
I don’t see why not.
Come on, first of all, do you think there are any 30 year old women out there that don’t have some shit they are dealing with? And don’t forget, you like the crazy ones.
No, I don’t, and there are some very well adjusted women my age, I’m sure.
She let out a snort as she flipped another page.
Just say it.
You’re going to get mad.
No I won’t.
She sighed deeply, closed the old notebook, and rolled over to her back. Her shirt lifted slightly to reveal a sliver of skin from her stomach.
You still think you’re normal.
It’s all relative. I know who I am, and yes, I am normal.
No, you still think you’re that guy that wrote all that shitty poetry, just…..better.
And who am I really?
She hesitated for a moment, her eyes fixed to the ceiling in a blank stare.
I don’t know. What do I look like a psychiatrist?
My headache from earlier was coming back. She had exhausted me in the short time she had been there. She always exhausted me. I still don’t know if she is aware of how good she is at leading a man to places, before leaving him completely alone. I would imagine every beautiful woman has that innate ability, even one so young.
So, are you one of the crazy ones?
What do you think? Would I be here if I were normal? Please don’t answer that.
Did you tell your boyfriend about me yet?
He’s not my boyfriend anymore, and why would I tell anyone about you?
I have no idea.
Not that it matters. We haven’t done anything…..yet.
She arches her neck to look back at me and smile. She loved to tease me.
So you broke up with him again? What was it this time?
Well, we’re not really broken up because I didn’t tell him yet. He’s probably trying to call me, and leaving whiney voice mails. But anyway, the reason I am going to break up with him is because after this semester he’s transferring to some school in Maryland, and I’m not doing another long distance thing. I tried that once in high school, and it was stupid.
You should go to school.
You sound like my father.
I’m just saying you don’t want to work at a movie theater your whole life.
Maybe I do want to be there forever and ever. I like it there. It’s easy.
Sometimes “easy” isn’t the best option though.
She waited to reply. Her timing is impeccable.
Is that what you say before you start dating one of your crazy girls?
Okay, I think it’s time for you to go.
Oh, come on! It’s still early.
No, you gotta get home, and I have to get some work done. Let’s go.
We can watch a movie, and I’ll let you lay next to me on the couch.
No, you’ve been here long enough, time to go.
She sheepishly slunk off into the other room to gather her socks and shoes while I tried to find a place for the old notebook.
She came to the doorway, her shoes in her hand, and her eyes full of regret.
Will you call me tomorrow?
We’ll see. I have a lot to do.
Okay, well, call me.
She thought I was upset with her, but that was impossible.