The only room we could get without showing ID was that motel on Lincoln Avenue with the bed masked with a fuzzy brown comforter that in its day was neither brown nor fuzzy. You yanked it off, tossed it onto the floor where the closet would’ve been, if the room had a closet.
When summer ended, you went to the coast that got cold and I to the one that stayed warm. Throughout the semesters, I wrote you letters I signed with a heart that appeared more like a dented toaster and me scribbled below and famous authors on the stamps. Hemingway, Joyce, and Austin delivered my words. I don’t write letters, you said. It was ok just the same.
A few years later, our diplomas hung in our living room near the prom picture framed on the table, its drawer housed the letters I had sent you. We giggled the first night we crawled into bed together, felt grown up when we wrote the first rent check, then cringed that winter when we saw our first heating bill.
One spring, more years later, I got a haircut that you overlooked. You got permission from the landlord to put a backsplash in the kitchen like tiny gleaming graham crackers stuck on the wall. Nice, I said. You just noticed? I put that up days ago.
Then that Tuesday night. You said you’d pick up dinner, but when I got home it wasn’t steaming food in cute little boxes I found on the counter; a letter. The words were sores that bubbled on the page. I pressed my fingers over them so they’d burst and disappear. We both knew this was coming. We’re not kids, anymore. If I don’t do it, you’ll never give up trying. You don’t give up on anything.
That letter disappeared around the time you moved in with her. Maybe it got lost in the pages of a book, maybe in the pocket of the sweater I liked to sleep in, thrown into the laundry, washed away until it was no more.
About the author:
Cyn Vargas has received a Top 25 Finalist award & an Honorable Mention award in Glimmer Train’s Short Story Award for New Writers contests. She’s currently a MFA candidate in Creative Writing at Columbia College where she is a Follett Fellow. Her work has appeared in Curbside Splendor, Hypertext Magazine, Hair Trigger 33, among others. She writes because it’s her way of legally exposing herself in public. www.cynvargas.com