A Conditional Friendship

Ellen (Reno) Palmer

“Good for you girl! Dump him cold. He doesn’t deserve the likes of you, or any other girl for that matter. Women are not products, all right? Men are scum, so you leave him broken-hearted instead of the other way around, got it?”

I didn’t want to be the only one. That’s why I said it. I didn’t want to be the only one with a broken heart. And there was Luke and Samantha, right there next to me, hitting the brink of their relationship and I just wanted to see her crush him. I wanted to see a man fall to the ground and get depressingly drunk over a girl, because that was something I never saw.

The next morning a stranger, who I now live with, came up to my hotel room and found me smashing an empty wine bottle at the wall. He came in to scream at me, and tell me how I ruined his life, but Luke is a good man. So instead he calmly and gently, carried my shriveled up and crying self to the bed and lay me down. Any other person might have felt harassed, but he was warm and his embrace had saved me as I was jumping off a cliff.

My eyes closed I said sorry over and over, for a whole hour. Perhaps I fell asleep in between, I don’t know, but somewhere inside of me didn’t stop saying sorry. When I woke up, he had gone and I only met him again at the lobby, both of us checking out.

“Hi there, you, uh, going somewhere?” I didn’t even know his name and he’s already seen me at my worst. I wouldn’t classify him as a stranger, no, I would say he’s a… long time friend who I just fell out with for a while.

“I’m checking out.”

“Oh, right. So am I. I think I’ve had enough of this place… You, uh, with someone?” It was the ring on my finger that made him ask. A ring that was suddenly only a rock, and no longer a symbol of love, so vast and so strong as I had thought it was between Mike and I. Enough to forget about the rest of the world and feel like the cherry on top of the ice cream.

“Sadly enough, no, I’m not. I’m supposed to be, but he never showed up so, I’m heading back to L.A.”

“You live in L.A.?...”

He offered me a ride in his fancy Audi, and I accepted. The ride hasn’t ended yet. 

The End

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