Mostly About Michelle

Nothing but memories survive

the night I betrayed my best friend,

kissing his girlfriend in front of her house

grasping my hand, she led me up to her room

my mind about to collapse as I took off her top

on the same bed, he’d taken her virginity

at least, that’s what I believed, fumbling with the clasps of her bra

I’d learn the truth, the next day, while making out with her in my room;

it took twenty minutes and two attempts for him to find the courage

to place his first pack of condoms on the mini-mart counter

she had to lie on the bench-seat of his father’s old truck,

waiting a few slightly painful minutes, before he got off and drove her home

entering her room alone that night, she wondered why he’d left her at the curb,

I stood upon, a year later, about to follow her in,

even though I knew

she’d break down on our first date, crying hysterically in my car

because she still loved my best friend, who would never take her back

but I didn’t care, I was tired of just loving her

tired of pretending she didn’t know

after what happened when we got smashed at Dave’s,

raiding his parents’ liquor cabinet, but not wanting to leave any evidence,

we left the glasses alone, opting to chug whiskey and vodka directly from the bottles

blissfully unaware of the self-destructive impulse pushing me toward

an inevitable black out, which they had to hide from my dad,

who somehow managed to track me down

I could hear him yelling at the dark house

when I wasn’t throwing up into a trashcan

the alcohol I’d downed was slow to take effect,

giving me just enough time to flirt with my best friend’s girl

the two of us on the floor in front of him, tumbling on top of each other, drunk

he tried to separate us, but I kept fighting him off

Dave just laughed, unable to know we’d turn on him

in three months, she would complain to her boyfriend

about the unwanted advances

neither of us had noticed

Dave was gone, and with my best friend working all summer,

I had her all to myself,

everyday she ditched summer school,

which quickly became everyday

until three months later, we’re in her room, my hands inside of hers

as she tenderly lets them down, and starts to undo the bra herself

only to be interrupted by the sound of her mom

unlocking the front door of their small home

the bra falls, exposing her breasts for a moment

before she grabs the closet t-shirt and rushes to meet her,

leaving me alone with the impossibility of the night

I betrayed my best friend,

but that didn’t seem to matter anymore,

because I had her

beautiful and rebellious, bright and a little insecure

I wanted her so bad

I thought I’d lose it right there

on the floor of her bedroom, waiting for her to return

looking into my eyes when I left,

she promised to break up with him tomorrow

not knowing what to say, I reached out and kissed her,

running my hand through her jet-black hair

she went limp in my arms

as the endorphins bombarding my brain

dissolved the floor beneath my feet

the only thing I could feel was her

and for a second, I forgot

we were sixteen

and about to destroy everything.

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