Dear G.R., You said, the last time we talked, that you never wanted to feel like you were growing up. This is why we were in the alley behind the 7-11 on Front Street drinking cheap beer cloaked in paper bags. Your hair was so short, bleached so white that from behind, wearing all black, your head looked like the moon and I found that funny. And I was going to tell you that I found it funny, but you looked at me as I was thinking about your moon head and smiling and your face was straight and your eyes were squinting and suddenly, even though you didn’t say a word, I knew that you thought it was stupid. So I didn’t bring it up.
So this is what all I didn’t tell you that night: 1. Your head looked like the moon. 2. That I was in love with you. But I think you already knew that. 3. That I was the one who sold out your boyfriend.
It was a week before that night. I’m so sorry. I was around the taco joint that he worked at and I watched him make a few—you know—deals to the late night stoners. I don’t know why he liked me so much. Maybe because you and I were friends and he wanted to be on my good side? Probably because he was just a nice guy. Either way, I watched as they made their secret handshakes as I ate tacos that he had given me for half price, which was totally nice of him. I’m really sorry.
Shit. Anyway, he came over as I finished eating, and we started talking about the restaurant and how it didn’t make sense to have a Mexican joint this far into white folk territory, that the people who came here only felt comfortable because white dudes worked in the kitchen. They probably hadn’t ever been in the same room as a minority out here in the flyover country. He said that was why there weren’t any decorations on the wall. “Can’t get too ethnic around these people. They flip out.” We talked that way dudes talk when they know they should talk but don’t have anything to say.
But the whole time I was in the restaurant, even as I looked your boyfriend in the eye, all I could think about was you. That’s corny. You hate things that are corny. I’m sorry.
It’s just, we’ve known each other for a decade now. We’ve hung out for a total of, like, three consecutive years, if you put all the time we spent together in a string. I mean, that’s a guess, I haven’t been counting. But, when you laugh I laugh. When you cry, I get uncomfortable with it but stick around anyway to help you stop crying. I only failed chemistry junior year so that you wouldn’t feel so bad about sucking at it. And now—you were so excited to be getting out of this shithole little town by following your boyfriend across the country and I was just going to community college still. And for what?
So I left the restaurant and called the cops from my car. I sat in the parking lot, waited there as three squad cars pulled up and the 5-0 left their lights on as they walked in the door. That’s when I left. My stomach was ice cold. I couldn’t watch anymore.
I heard your boyfriend tried throwing his stash in the fryer but missed the toss. Is that true?
The last time I saw you, as you were trying to pretend that your boyfriend wasn’t in jail, wasn’t going to be charged pretty harshly by a bored D.A. and your new life away from us all was still going to come to fruition, I thought about telling you this. I thought about it, but didn’t and then we finished our beer, then another beer each, then one more and we were out. Then we drank your whiskey, passing the flask that I got you for Christmas back and forth and back and forth and the liquor tasted like blood, which I guess is what our English teachers would have called foreshadowing. Then we got into our cars and left.
If I hadn’t—or we hadn’t... I’m sorry. I am so sorry. There’s nothing really left to say.
Your head looked like the moon.
I love you.
I called the cops on your boyfriend.
About the Author: Wyl Villacres is a writer from Chicago. His work has been featured in Bartleby Snopes Issue 10, Friend. Follow. Text., Hypertext, 2nd Story, etc. You should visit him at WylVillacres.net and on the Twitter machine: @wyllinois.
Story Song: "Because of the Shame (acoustic)" by Against Me!