The oppressive heat of the summer returned, just like that. Judy spent half of the day burrowed under her boyfriend’s covers and the other half splashing around with her four-year-old cousins. She saw no connection between the two. Lover and mother were still separate for her.
When she woke up the next morning, there was a message on her phone: “We need to talk.”
No we don’t, Judy thought. She knew where it was heading. Still, it was as sneaky as the summer itself, a shock to shake her out of her complacency. Because why couldn’t she just be comfortable?
She didn’t love him, so it shouldn’t have mattered. Or at least that’s what Judy told herself.
After it happened, her friends sent texts, checking in. They stung even though they weren’t meant to. Like she was some kind of pariah, her singlehood the equivalent of a stray dog.
On one level, she was sad for him. He would miss the days of shorts and sun dresses. On another, she was sad for herself. She wasn’t ready for this. She thought it’d be another two years, one at the least. Fun, and maybe something will grow. She had no idea that he had wanted more.
Regardless, he had stumbled out of her life as easily as he had sauntered in. Judy refused to cry. She felt angry, as if they had just had a fight that would never be resolved.
The resolution was their separateness and she wanted it to stick, but she wanted the whole thing to have been... better.
She wanted a hug and a kiss and goodbye, not slamming doors and ignored text messages. She should have done it herself, sooner, but she was reveling in not being so serious, for once.
All he cared about in the end was his stupid sweater, folded safely in her dresser. He hadn’t wanted her to borrow it. “Cashmere,” he had said, “expensive.”
He came back for it five minutes after she had locked him out.
Judy sat by the door, observing his knocking and pleading text messages like they were happening to someone else’s house, someone else’s cell phone.
She wanted to laugh. She couldn’t believe he had come back for the fucking sweater. After twenty-five minutes, he walked away, sent her a message about his “last request.”
Finally, Judy laughed. She laughed until tears came to her eyes and a warmth crept through her body.
The warmth concentrated and she looked down. Fresh blood seeped through the white shorts she would never wear again. Judy had never been happier to see it. Lover and mother were still separate for her.
Logan Rose moved from a small town to a big city to chase her dream of telling stories. Now, she is a legal copywriter at an ad agency: writer being the key term. Outside of work, her writing deals with love, fear, and the intimate relationship between the two. Visit her at logancrose2017.wixsite.com
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