By Meghan Phillips
We don’t braid each other’s hair. Can’t stand the yank tug of the brush, the drag of bristles over scalp. Warm breath on the backs of our necks. We sit knee-to-knee. Rub each other’s scars with cocoa butter. Pink arms pink thighs pink cheeks seamed through like C- home ec. projects.
No one is left alone. Not to go to the kitchen for a diet soda. Not even to use the bathroom. We all use the downstairs powder room and pee with the door cracked.
We can’t watch romantic comedies now. A man follows a girl to her office, to her favorite coffee shop, to her childhood bedroom. He finds out her favorite flower. Blasts her favorite song from a boombox on her lawn. We know what that is. It’s not love.
None of us want to play Fuck, Marry, Kill anymore. Pretty sure not fucking’s the reason we’re still here. Pretty sure fucking’s just another kind of stabbing, another way to get us out of our skin. Pretty sure all the boys we’d want to fuck are dead anyways. None of us can imagine being married. We don’t have to imagine who we’d kill.
We greet the pizza boy with kitchen knives and hatchets and baseball bats one-handed behind our backs like fingers crossed against a promise. Even though we know he’s coming, we know better than to answer the door unprepared.
Meghan Phillips is the fiction editor for Third Point Press and an associate editor for SmokeLong Quarterly. You can find her writing at meghan-phillips.com. She lives in Lancaster, PA, where she watches scary movies with all the lights on.