Wednesday, May 27, 2015


Jess sets the glass on the new granite counter top. Her snake tattoo pokes out from her sleeve. “I don’t know why you took the plunge. Everyone complains it breaks every glass it touches.”

Amy points, “Not that one.”

Jess rolls her eyes. “I put it down nice. You’ll have to put everything down gentle. You’ll always have to think about it.” Jess leans her elbows on the counter.

Amy doesn’t move close, instead she crosses her arms; her pink cardigan bunches at her elbows as she concentrates on the polished counter. “So?”

Jess looks up, “So what?”

Amy opens her arm, palm up in question.

Jess watches Amy, her eyes narrow and she bites her bottom lip close to her steel lip ring.

Amy shakes her head. “You come all the way here to ask why I put something normal in my house. Normal people do this. What about you, huh? What about that?” Amy points her chin toward Jess’s mouth.

“You mean my ring or this—” Jess sticks out her tongue and shows a steel stud in the middle of her pink tongue.

Amy breathes out slow. “Does it matter. Both?” Amy shrugs and mumbles, “One addiction to the next.”

Jess stands up, “I’m a lot things, but I’m not deaf. And it’s none of your damn business.”

Amy rounds on Jess and closes the gap between them. “Exactly. It’s none of your business that I have granite in my kitchen or if every one of my glasses breaks because of it.”

Jess leans away, “Jesus—”

“Is it money you want for blow, juice, whatever? What do you want?” Amy gestures wildly.

Without a word, Jess snakes her arm into her back pocket of her jeans and takes out her phone.

Amy leans one hand on the counter and one on her hip, “What is this?”

“Can you shut up for one second? I’m trying to show you something.” She fiddles with her phone for a couple of moments. “Here.” She hands the phone to Amy. On the screen is a photo.

Amy raises her eyebrow but takes the phone.

Jess points, “You’ll find more if you swipe.”

Amy narrows her eyes as she flips through them. Jess cranes her neck a little closer to Amy and watches her steady inhale and exhale. She waits to see some kind of shock or recognition. Nothing.

Amy looks up from the phone and shrugs. “So?”

Jess’s jaw drops, “That’s all you have to say? Did you even look at them?”

Amy shrugs again.

Jess grabs the phone and flips through the photos. She finds the worse one and points the screen in Amy’s face. “This.”

Amy folds her arms and stares at some space beyond Jess’s shoulder. “It’s not him. You’re crazy.”

Jess’s disbelief turned into a mean smile. “Oh, I’m crazy? I saw it with my two eyes and I’ll have new photos next week, too. He does it every week in the back of his Mercedes in the back of O’Reilly’s parking lot. Every week.”

Amy blinked, “Get out.”

Jess laughs, “Now I see,” She shakes her head. “Shit. You already knew. What are you still doing here?” She gestures around the house, “For this, really?”

Amy stands as still as a reed. “And you’re so perfect.”

Jess shakes her head in surrender, “You know what? I’m out.” She grabs her keys and just as she turns for the door, she picks up the glass on the counter and looks at it. “I have my answers here.” She lets it go and it falls.

Amy inhales and rushes forward to catch it but it shatters and shards scatter everywhere. “Seriously?”

“Right back at ya,” Jess raises her fingers to her lips, “Oops.”

“Fuck you, Jess. You have no right.”

“Yeah, well,” Jess shrugs, playing cool, “At least I know I’m not the only fucked up one. There’s comfort in that.”

“Get out. Leave. Now. Getoutgetoutgetoutgetoutgetout.” Like an avalanche, Amy’s scream follows Jess out of the front door and into her beat up Volvo. She revs her engine, shifts into first and speeds away.

Jess twiddles her fingers on the wheel. She’d never let Amy know she was shaky from the whole thing. Never. She leans toward her glove box and flicks it open; sitting in a bed of hair ties, cigarette packs, and pens is a pistol. She slams the door closed and grips the wheel tight.

It’s her turn to be the big sister.


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