She was never fully satisfied with anything. The cupcake was just a little too dry, the movie a little too long, the party a little too loud. Sure, she came—often, too—but it never seemed as earth shattering as it did when she saw it happen online, between other couples. Most of the time, she let him do what he had to do as she mentally recapped her day. In, out, she moaned every thirty seconds and kissed him just enough to reassure him that she, indeed, enjoyed the 13 minutes of whatever that was.
It was November and she became bored. She left the house not knowing what she was looking for; she was relatively thrilled she had successfully escaped.
Over the years, the diamond on her left ring finger lost its glimmer. She had stopped wearing stilettos seasons ago; her once feverish desire to impress was lost amidst the dullness of the
Her flats were dressed in street debris and fresh slush; she breathlessly ran to the one of the last phone booths in the city. The call couldn’t be made on her phone; he would see the number on next month’s bill. With a practiced subtlety, she slipped into the booth and punched out a phone number she unintentionally had memorized. After a brief exchange of private words and information, she hung up and made her way down West Street, the sun shone and the slush on the heels of her shoes began to melt away.
The motel was dirty from the previous occupants: red Solo cups littered the bathroom counter, a smell so sickening emanated from the air vent underneath the window, and the television was still on.
She wasn’t nervous because nothing fazed her anymore. The magic of excited anticipation left her like her dad did decades ago; it was sad but there was nothing anybody could do about it. She referred to her condition as “jaded”.
The voice on the other end of the phone booth call told her to be ready by 4pm, and she was ready by 4pm. While hastily shutting the curtains and dusting off questionable mold from behind the motel bed’s headboard she thought to herself, “this is probably a stupid idea, like everything else,” but her mind stopped wandering as she heard a knock coming from the outside of the room.
When she was 10, she begged her parents not to throw a surprise party for her, as they were fond of doing so in the past, because of the mere fact that they were disappointing. Surprises were never as beautiful as they were made out to be. Daddy and mommy smiled at their beautiful, curly-haired daughter and completely disregarded her advice. They threw her a party catered with her favorite jelly doughnuts and a piñata filled with lipstick tubes and flashy plastic rings for all the little girls invited. Her heart filled with disdain, she truly hated her parents for this; the doughnuts, the games, the friends, and none of it was as fun as they promised it would be. She ate potato chips in the guest bedroom, alone, that day. She never told anyone her real birth date after that horrible party, she didn’t want to endure yet another upsetting surprise.
A tanned, toned body accompanied the voice behind the door. The man murmured a quick hello and asked what she needed from him. “Make me feel good just this last time,” is all she said before he unbuttoned his shirt, then hers, and slowly slid his fingers underneath the zipper of her jeans. She had felt this before: the quick to come, quick to go intensity releasing after months of pent-up tension. It felt alright but she needed more. Without knowing exactly what it entailed, she guided his other hand to her collarbone and motioned him to wrap his fingers around her neck. It was gentle and loving but she didn’t feel much. “Tighter,” and the man squeezed a little harder. The dreamy dizziness left her in a limbo, she felt colors and smelled light. Flashbacks of him confessing his love, her promotion within a company she actually enjoyed working for, the two of them eager to start planning their family made her feel light headed; she was content for a moment but she was thirsty for more. “Tighter, please,” and without apprehension the man squeezed her fragile neck, a vein started turning purple as her face fell pale. She gasped for breath and violently shuddered. The happy memories, the sad memories, the repressed memories, the forgettable memories, they all rushed back to her. Waves of emotion drowned her in an overwhelming riptide; she was drowning and didn’t have the willpower to swim. She felt salty tears staining her cheeks, she hadn’t cried since her rapist’s trial. She recovered a soft memory of her younger brother graduating college two seasons ago, it was too late but she was finally proud of him for committing himself to something he loved, something that made him feel alive. As she began to lose consciousness, as she began to realize death was inevitable and only seconds away from snatching her into its merciless tentacles, she felt alive. As she closed her eyes for the last time, she finally felt satisfied.