The Cowboy Junkies and a Glass of Cabernet

You. 1998. Twenty-two. Him. Valentine’s Day. A single red rose. A hot kiss in a cold stairwell. Midterm exams. You. Veggie burgers, vanilla cappuccinos, and video games. Him. Religion. Rollerblades. You. Midnight neon. A drunk Thursday at a southside bar. Him. Shooting pool. You. Cranberry and vodka. Him. A gravel driveway. Ford Fiesta idling. You. Gear stick in belly. Him. A tongue tasting like extra-hot Buffalo wings. You. Denial. The alley next to his apartment. An uneven sidewalk. Trojan wrappers. Empty bottles of Mad Dog. The last day of the semester. Him. The Cowboy Junkies. You/Him. Side by side on a yellow couch. Dim afternoon sunlight. Bolted door. Him. The CD on repeat. Sounds seeping into your skin. Voices. Him. A one-sided conversation. You. Unsaid rebuttals. Regret. Spring softening into summer. Him. Freedom. You. Postcards signed with love. Missouri. Oklahoma. Texas. Arizona. Nevada. California. You. Fidelity. Two months. Him. Coasters. Ink smeared in condensation. Blurred words. Unreadable. You. Twenty years later. You. The Cowboy Junkies and a glass of cabernet. You. The CD on shuffle, not repeat. You. Sounds seeping into your skin. You. A long cool sigh of relief.   

Jessica Klimesh is a US-based editor and proofreader who works with academic, technical, and creative writers. She holds an MA in English from Bowling Green State University and an MFA in Creative Writing from Cedar Crest College. Her short fiction has appeared in The Mark Literary Review, Briefly Write, and Backchannels. Additionally, at the beginning of 2021, her 10-word microstory made the shortlist for Briefly Write's inaugural "Write 10, Win 10" contest.

See more of her work in 9.2

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