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Rebecca Grace Cyr

A girl I knew in middle school just got divorced.

She used to throw these parties called Parties from Hell, where the girls from our grade would go down to the basement with every hot tool in the house and see who could stand it the longest. We’d  heat up the hair curler and the straightener and the crimper, and we’d stick out our arms and take turns waiting for it to burn. We weren’t sad or troubled or bad kids, it was just something to do.  And this girl, the divorcée, she always won, over and over and over, like she didn’t feel a thing. 

At the time, I thought it had something to do with the attention, but now I think differently.

Now I know that when I’m old, I’m going to die. I see a wet death in my future. I see a puddle. The puddle could be rainwater or coffee or Barefoot’s Red Blend or blood or whatever else leaves your body in the end… excrement, mine or someone else’s. Nobody wants this, of course. Nobody wants to go out wet. But we all don’t want a lot of things to happen and they happen anyway.

What I do want is a wedding, but that, so far, hasn’t happened. 

The dream is to walk that long walk down the aisle and then: flip. He unveils me. I’ve always liked the idea of a reveal. It’s your one shot to show everyone—it’s your one shot. 

I’ve still got some time. “You’ll meet him when you stop looking!” people always say, but I know what they really mean.

I have this other image of the divorcée that comes to mind every so often: she’s running down the street in the night, in slippers, leaving a party, chasing after some boy—this was years later, at a real house party, not a Party from Hell—and she’s sliding all over the place because the slippers are too big, and it’s raining, too, coming down hard, and I see her from the upstairs bathroom window. I didn’t mean to. I just happened to be there at the right time, and I saw her. 

She didn’t seem like the type of girl to beg, but that night, she did. She begged. I watched her get down on her knees and cry out with this immense sound—an impossible sound—for this boy.  Thinking about it now, I couldn’t have been the only one to hear it, unless what I’m remembering isn’t the sound of her crying at all, but the pain in her face, which I now associate with a noise  like nothing I’ve heard since. 

She got married to someone else two years after graduation, at the church down the street, but I didn’t go. I had something else I had to do that day.

Rebecca Grace Cyr is from Seattle. Her work has appeared in Maudlin House and Muumuu House, as well as on her blog, urban germ.

twitter: @madamepsycho_

instagram: @ rebeccagracecyr