A Misunderstanding

“I didn’t mean it quite like that,” I said, throwing my hands in the air.

“You think I’m cute when I’m angry. Well, get ready because I’m about to get really fucking gorgeous,” Dakota said, pressing her finger into my chest. “You’ve got some nerve.”

“Look, I can explain.” I raised my hands in front of my body. “Okay, I haven’t been completely honest,” I said, hoping to lessen the blow of her wrath.

“You slept with Margo, didn’t you?”

“I was trying to avoid this conversation,” I said, taking a step back.

“Don’t back away from me when I’m talking to you.” Dakota grabbed a fistful of my shirt and invaded my personal space. “I told you I didn’t want to see you around that bitch ever again.”

“You said that but–”

“But what?”

“But she’s my childhood friend.”

“Are you telling me you want that bitch over”–Dakota pointed to her freckled face–”me?” Dakota knew I had a thing for her freckles and long red hair.

I shrugged and looked away. “I don’t know and–”

And nothing,” Dakota said. “Get your shit and get the hell out of this house.”

“But…but–”

“But nothing! Now. Move.” Dakota waved me inside the house like a mother telling her child to get to their room. A sharp pain jolted across my chest. I hadn’t cheated on Dakota in a year, and now, I relapsed (kind of).

I reached to grab Dakota’s wrist. “Just let me explain.”

“There’s nothing to explain.” Dakota took a tissue to her streaming mascara. “I trusted you.”

I took a deep breath and blew out a sharp sigh. “I know you did.” I made my way to the bedroom to pack a small back. We’d fight, and then she’d take me back, but something about this seemed different. The frustration in her eyes cut me more than her words of disgust.

“Moving too fucking slow,” Dakota said as she stomped the stairs to the second floor.

“Oh, no. Please don’t!”

“I’ll help you,” Dakota said and started throwing my clothes out the window, falling to the damp grass. “Now get out!” she said.

“Let’s be adults,” I said. “Let’s talk about–”

“Get out.” Dakota’s eyes turned to crinkled slits.

I raised my hands in front of my body. “I’m gone.” I gathered my clothes and threw them inside the truck. I’ll just be gone. Dakota didn’t even ask why I spent the night at Margo’s house. It had nothing to do with sex. Margo’s mom died, and she needed a friend: I was that friend. I didn’t want to have sex with Margo again. I felt we’d got that out of our system when we were kids. I mean, we practically were kids the last time we’d slept together. Dakota wouldn’t give me a chance to explain that our night together had nothing to do with sex.

I held my phone to my ear. “Hello?”

“Maybe I was wrong,” Dakota said.

I rolled my eyes. “Just a little.”

“What is it about her?”

“Margo’s mom died. There was no sex involved.”

“Promise?”

“Dakota!”

“Fine…maybe I was wrong.”

“Maybe?”

“Look, I’m insecure and–”

“You say that again.”

“I’m trying to apologize,” Dakota said. “It’s my bi-polar kicking in again.”

“Oh no, you don’t get to do that!” I said. “You blamed me for doing something right, and then, you blamed mental illness for your actions.”

I could hear Dakota sniffle. “I’m sorry. I guess I’m overreacting, too.”

(© 2020 by Andrew Cyr)

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