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  • Writer's pictureJulia Roscoe

Fish and Vodka


All the single ladies! All the single ladies!

“What the hell...”

Now put your hands up. Oh oh oh!

Grumbling, I turn to my side and fumble for my cell phone. I find the device and fumble some more until I hit the button that turns off the alarm clock, having already pressed the snooze option too many times.

With a yawn, I sit up in bed and take a minute to get used to the idea of ​​another day. My heart also needs a few moments to get back to normal. Why did I let my niece put Beyoncé as my wake-up call?

On the too-bright iPhone screen, I see a list of notifications I choose to ignore. Mentally, I make a note to delete the fitness apps.

How about starting the day off on the right foot? A 20-minute walk helps you burn up to 200 calories!

Oh, really? Shot put helps me burn a lot more than that.

Find your inner peace with this simple breathing exercise.

Apparently, I also have to delete meditation apps. The amount of oxygen in my lungs isn't going to change what happened, but I'm betting a bottle of vodka will do the trick.

On the way to the kitchen, which is less than five steps from my bedroom, my phone vibrates with a new call. Without looking at who it is, I turn off the device.

If it is someone from work, it's better not to answer, after all, sick people are bedridden, without energy even to answer the phone. And I'm sick, I mean, I'm pretty sure I've seen in an episode of Grey's Anatomy or House M.D. something about broken heart syndrome.

But if it is, well, him, it is better if I don't answer it, or I'm in danger of going to jail for passionate murder.

I drop the phone on the kitchen counter and head to the fridge, standing on tiptoe to reach the bottle of vodka covered by a solid layer of ice that has been there for about five years, ever since he said alcohol was for unmotivated and weak people who have no control over themselves.

Ha! All that physical activity and all the mantras weren't enough for him to control what's inside his pants, were they?

I uncap the bottle and take a long swig, not worrying about frills like glasses or socially acceptable drinking times. How did I go by half a decade without having a single dose?

One reason: brainwashing.

Or rather: big dick.

Shit, that’s two.

I sigh. The sex was really out of this world and, thinking about it now, I admit that I let myself be carried away by a good fuck. In fact, for thousands of breathtaking fucks.

In my defense, Fletcher was quite a catch, at least at first. These days (at the risk of sounding like my mother), it's not easy to find a heterosexual, educated man with a steady job and the intention of starting a family.

And Fletcher claimed to be that man, one of a kind.

I didn't think it was weird when he suggested we get a pet after we had our first fight. "We have to take our relationship a step further, princess." I agreed, that's what adults do: dialogue and move on. Of course I was expecting a puppy or maybe a guinea pig, not an aquarium with three goldfish.

“This one is called Callie and this big one here is Fletcher,” he explained the next day, the rectangular tank in hand. The third fish was the smallest and could only mean one thing. I was thrilled and threw my arms around my boyfriend, no longer disappointed that I hadn't gotten a puppy.

It turns out that the smallest of the fish already had a name. And profession. Francesca Slut, executive secretary, nice to meet you.

I'm a walking cliché. A damn character in an '80s drama.

The vodka goes down burning. Good. I take another sip. The height of elegance.

Fletcher had a lot of rules. Or rather, guidelines of what he considered proper, worthy of the woman who would stand beside him, and what was relegated to lesser people, that is, everyone who didn't think like him.

“I only want what's best for you, princess,” he once told me when determining for both of us that we would no longer drink alcohol. This was right after we set up a physical exercise routine and consulted a nutritionist. “Oh, and no lazy bath in the tub. We have to be in shape for the day of my presentation”.

When Fletcher said “we”, he was referring to me. Because I was the only one who had put on a few extra pounds since I changed jobs and took the stress off by eating doughnuts from the bakery next to my new job.

A shrill noise makes me jump in the middle of my kitchen. I check my cell phone again just to remind myself of the intercom.

Two. Three. Whoever it is, they won't give up before waking up the entire building with their persistence.

“Who is it?”

“It’s me. Callie, let me in”.

His voice keeps me frozen in place. How dare he show up here again?

“Look, I'm sorry. You know that...”

Even over the intercom I can hear he sighing. I've never heard him so desolate, helpless, begging. My finger hovers over the button without my command.

“Just let me in, princess”.

My index finger freezes and snaps back into place beside the other fingers, forming a fist.

“Fletcher, you better not show up here, or I'll call the police. And I also don't want to hear anything about you acting like an asshole with another girl, do you hear me? Or your little friend will turn into fish food”.

I don't give him time to respond. I leave the kitchen, the bottle of vodka still in my hand, and turn on the bathtub tap.

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