“Can’t write?” he asks. I don’t think he is trying to anger me. His concern seems genuine, but I just don’t care right now.
“Don’t.” I’m not in the mood.
“Why can’t you talk to me about your writing? We share a bed…” he starts, but I don’t let him finish.
“I’m writing a letter to Ray if you must know.”
His eyebrows lift and a low chuckle escapes his lips, sending a ripple of heat into my cheeks. “Writing letters to imaginary husbands?”
Putting my pen on the desk, I roll the seat towards the bed and crash into his leg hanging over the side.
“Ow,” he screeches.
“Ella, I’m tired of walking on eggshells. I never know when it’s story and when it’s real life. Answer me for once: when is the last time you saw Ray? No story, no lies.”
Closing my eyes, I trace in my memory for a picture of him, waiting as years fall away in my mind. I can see him standing outside the convenience store waving goodbye to me the night before my 13th birthday.
“The day I killed my father.”
I hope he understands this explanation will be the totality of what I give him. Pushing the chair to the desk, I take the pen in hand once again. I read the short beginning out loud to myself, almost trying to will Saul’s presence out of the room.
“You haven’t seen him since you were 13?” he asks.
“I will not explain basic math, Saul.”
Laughing, he sits upright on the bed and pushes his big gorilla feet into slippers. I grind my teeth in expectation of needless drama.
“What I give…” he says before stopping to consider his words. “…you can’t get from an imaginary husband.”
“Is that a fact?” I say. Crossing my legs, I lean on my elbow and wait for him to continue.
“I give you what you need.”
I fight to suppress a yawn. Men always think this way. Yes, boys, all I dream of is getting rapey rough fucked all day. I don’t want orgasms.
“Need? Come back to me when you learn to use your fingers and tongue properly.”
That wipes the smile off his face. It’s my turn to laugh. Men never want to hear the real truth.
“Yes, I have to finger-fuck myself thinking about an imaginary husband because you’re such an inadequate lover. Now get out of my room before I slice your throat.”
To my surprise he rises in an instant and walks from the room without even grabbing his clothes, striding down the hallway naked. In anger I grab the remote and turn on music. I feel the need to play a different song.
I’m just a girl.
Take a good look at me
Just your typical prototype