First published in DeBasement ‘Xmas Special’
That girl is dead now and yet
her facebook lives on.
Someone had bothered to phone him
someone usually did
there were some initial pleasantries
there usually were.
Then the voice on the other end
just cut right to it-
the girl had died
it had taken a while for anyone
Still waiting on the coroner
but they thought it was an overdose
the funeral was next week
and could he make it?
A lot of images flashed before
his eyes then.
He wasn’t sure, he was working a lot.
Well it would be good to see
When the young die, all turns of phrase
have an uncomfortable lilt.
He sat later with his lady,
her face wet with tears.
They’d got a better bottle of wine
It was for the girl.
To the girl, they both said.
She had wept the same way when
on Christmas eve, the girl had hacked
at a wrist with a bar knife.
Not wanting to go home.
They were the same type of tears,
they tasted the same.
Of confusion and of guilt.
They sat and blamed everyone
for not helping
sat and admonished themselves
for not understanding.
They clinked glasses and played music
they thought they remembered that she
had said she’d liked.
He did not cry but wondered
what sad thoughts of the girl she
was thinking, as her tears fell.
The day after, he told a friend,
who told him that people who wanted
to die would do so eventually,
and not to worry about that.
The day after that a friend of the girl
told him they thought it had been
accidental. Misjudged dosage.
She had been happier, if anything.
He thought that was sadder,
It had been a couple of days
and all the people went to work
and caught the bus
and got confused about how they liked
a steak and everything
was normal, really.
His lady asked him out the blue
what was your favourite memory of the girl?
He pretended to have a think
and told her it was when she had
discovered the assholes he worked with
had uncovered and promptly destroyed
his notebook and she had bought him
a new one,
with an embossed pocket-watch on the
cover and a cute note inside
about finding the time to write
His lady said she had had a big heart.
He did not tell her of his saddest memory
of the girl.
When in the early morning once
she had kissed him and
he had watched as she mounted him
“I know I’m not good at much, but I’m good
and he had stared into her dark eyes
that stared back at him and knew
that she had meant it.
He had fucked her anyway.
Because he was an awful person, goddamn.
She had been good at that, after all.
And possibly a thousand other things,
but he had told no-one
and now it didn’t matter,
He realised then that a little bit of him
would stay forever now in that
and when on that fateful eve
he had carried her bleeding,
to the ambulance
because she had not wanted to be alone
His Christmas would always be hers now.
The glasses clink.
They usually do.