Kayla – Prose by P. Bain

Untitled by Kingsley Nwaeke

Phoebe Bain majored in English at the College of William & Mary in Williamsburg, Virginia.

The natives of Madagascar believe that anyone born in November during the rainy season is doomed to a life of sorrow. Maybe that explains why your dad tried to kill himself two years ago, or why you keep the letters, notes, drawings, and stuffed animals of every girl you’ve ever loved in separate bags in the back of your closet like skeletons.

I’m writing this from my futon without any sheets on it even though it will only ever function as a bed. We had a life together, before this futon bullshit, and man did I have it made. I had a twin sized bed with a memory foam mattress pad that I only had to sleep in once a week. The rest of my time in bed was spent in between the crack of your mattress and the wall. Your roommate (who I now know as the guy who puts molly in unattended solo cups) told you it was okay for us to have sex in the room while he was asleep.

“If I’m out, I’m out.”

So we’d fuck and I’d fake an orgasm before shimmying back into my wall-bed crack. But to be honest I still liked sleeping there better than my own room. You two might try to rape and murder women, but my ex roommate voted for Trump.

There were seven of us, you said. You’ve loved seven girls. You definitely never said you’ve loved seven women.

I am obsessed with one of your ex girlfriends. Kayla. As soon as you told me her name I knew that you wanted me to hate her too. She manipulated you, threatened suicide in some vague story that made no logical sense. I believed you, believed you, believed you. You spent four days in jail but you never told me anything about what your experience was like in there. You were on house arrest for a month which made no sense because you won your case “fair and square” when Kayla allegedly broke down and told the truth in court. You are such a child. I never even felt badly for you when you said you had to wear an ankle monitor to school that month.

You were breaking up with her in the front seat of your bright yellow Hummer and she jumped out of the car and said you pushed her. I just wonder why you didn’t pump the breaks if this girl who was your “first love” jumped out of your car.

From the instant I knew that story about Kayla I could see that, in your eyes, she was a villain. I started to see myself that way too. I still don’t think I understand that Kayla and I have different stories. Before I ever knew you, or anyone who will ever read this story, I, too, attempted to jump out of a vehicle when I was 17. I loved the boy who held me back (again, definitely not you) and gave me bruises on my arms while I struggled to get out of the car and run into a highway. You gave me bruises on my arms from bad sex and tried to trap me in your life. The only thing he trapped me in was safety. My car wasn’t moving, after all.

But your’s was, and I know you tried to kill her. And I know you hate the memory of her that comes up when you visit a pet shop and see a chinchilla or when you find the teddy bear that you have hidden in the back of your closet in the plastic bag marked “KAYLA B.” Maybe you can only hate someone that much after you try to kill them.

I haven’t looked up your name on the internet in months. I rarely even write about you, and I whip out my yellow legal pad with my coffee every morning. But it’s different when it comes to Kayla. We became internet friends pretty quickly after I reached out for her help and she told me that I was the 5th ex of yours to reach out to her. She’s probably my most popular search on Facebook.

The other day in a car full of strangers I watched a five second video of her dancing for way too many minutes. Anyone else would have looked stupid dancing with a bottle of cheap vodka while two burnouts watched her in someone’s parents basement. But not Kayla. She’s magnetic. I couldn’t have taken my eyes off of that video if I tried, which is why I shielded my phone screen so no one in the backseat of the car would realize what a creep I am. If it wasn’t for you, I’d think I was in love with her.

Check out the latest issue of In Parentheses by clicking through here.

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