Telling Jack

Traditionally, Jack and I don’t talk. There is no apparent reason for it other, other than the fact that I don’t suppose we’d have that much to talk about.
    He’s a boy, I’m a girl.
    He’s from a small household, I’m from a big one.
    He attends one high school, I attend another.
    He’s a Scorpio, I’m a Libra.
    You see? Nothing to talk about.
    But, sometimes, when you are sitting on a park swing, at midnight, in pitch black darkness interrupted by a sole street lamp almost a block over, and the moon is blinking at you from behind ominous clouds, well, sometimes you just have to say something.
    I’m looking at the mosaic gravel at my feet when I do it.
    “My best friend is a prostitute.”
    My legs shoot out and sink into the gravel as my head snaps forward and I halt. Where did that come from?
    Not the saying something, that I knew would happen. But I haven’t called Lola my best friend in a long time. I don’t think that she is. Or is even remotely close. I’m not even sure that Neleigh is.
    So why would I claim Lola as my best friend in the same sentence that I am labeling her a prostitute?
    I’m flat-out, down-right, straight-up crazy. That’s why.
    But, Jack, it appears knows that.
    He is silent and the only way that I know that he had heard anything is that his face is contorting, like he’s analyzing the sentence. I don’t know what all he can get out of six words, but I wait for him to process.
    When he does finally speak, he does it slowly. “So,” he says for about three syllables, “she’s like a geisha?”
    I tip my head back and pull on my swing. The moon is staring back at me like some sort of all-seeing eye. “Yes,” I say to Jack and to the moon. “She’s like a geisha.”
    A cloud wipes over the moon and as I watch it, I find a bit of clarity.
    “She’s exactly like a geisha,” I tell him. “I mean, she’s really a geisha.”
    I start to laugh. Laugh at myself, laugh at the situation, laugh at Lola, and laugh at the moon, watching and no-doubt judging.
    I release the swing chains and let myself fall back onto the gravel. Jack does the same thing and we lie there a minute.
    I can’t stop staring back at the moon, staring at me. The stars around it flicker and my clarity is gone. Even as I had laughed at Lola, I knew I wasn’t done with her. I couldn’t be. How I had gotten myself into this situation no longer mattered. It only mattered that I was in it, and I didn’t know what to do.     
    “How,” I ask Jack, not the moon, “do I be a best friend to a prostitute?”

The End

3 comments about this story Feed