April 15, 2015

Amanda Harris

To My First Crush

If we were classmates, you would've hated my guts. I had the words and smarts, but you had baseball and girls and cheap vodka. Occasionally, you had me too—like the time I texted you naked pictures. Or the time I tripped on a pebble and accidentally fell in your lap. A woman in love shouldn't rely on tricks, but there was no other way you'd take me seriously. You told me I was cute, someone who didn't have acne or hangups about losing my virginity on the first date. Every time I'd ask though, you had a new reason you'd rather stay single—your aunt died, you lived too far off, you didn't own condoms. What made it worse was that my parents would give me shit for flirting with yougroping me and smacking me and twisting my arms. By the time you noticed the red marks, you couldn't rescue anything. All of the criminals were out of my life, had already done their damage.


When he's horny, my pet guinea pig likes to bite the girls' cage. He's only about two pounds, but his teeth can gnaw through just about anything—DVDs, furniture, you name it. My boyfriend says that breaking things is just an animal's way of trying to flirt, kind of like the way he used to flex his biceps whenever he saw me crossing the street. All of the other girls would go crazy over himsquealing and blowing kisses and fanning themselves. You think they'd be able to find someone else to hit on, but I guess it's easier to flirt with a guy who's already taken. There's no date, no attachment, no having to worry about what kinds of girls he's talking to at work or when he'll stop returning your calls. Every night is the same ritual—brush my teeth, get undressed, check his phone for calls from her. We've been together for four years and not once has he ever come home with another girl's smell on his breath. I should let this go, should accept that he doesn't cheat, but that's not how I deal with things. I throw plates on the kitchen floor, scream at my pets and curse myself out for ever getting into a relationship. I lock myself in my room, all alone, and leave my boyfriend to clean up after the demons in my head.

Below Heaven

It's 8 pm. My husband is massaging my ass, sliding down to my thighs, grabbing everything he can get his hands on. He tells me he likes it down there, where it's nice and soft. I just call it fat. We've been together for ten years and I still don't get why he's into me. I don't have a college degree, I'm not blonde, tall or particularly beautiful. Hell, if you believe the kids I went to camp with, I'm downright ugly, the kind of girl with love handles and a stomach and a million little acne scars that didn't want to go away. One particular boy liked to call me a fat slut when he got on the bus—right in front of the driver too, where all of the counselors could hear him. His voice still echoes whenever my husband touches me—the even tone, the way he makes sure to stretch each word out slowly and painfully across his tongue. In my mind, I tell him to fuck off, to go fall into a ditch somewhere, but he always finds something new to throw at me. Maybe I'm bad at sex. Maybe I don't know the way a man's body works—what to touch or play with, what to do to make my husband scream and kick and orgasm like the way the men do in the movies. Nobody ever teaches you how to be a woman—you just spend years failing at it and hope to god someone likes the act.


Amanda Harris is a writer and college student living in Flushing, NY. When she's not working on her own stuff, she's either on Fictionaut or editing her own journal, The Miscreant: http://miscreantmagazine.com/

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