“I always like to say that there’s nothing more terrifying than the human heart.”
Tessa Told Me
by Rob Kotecki
Julie only half listened to Mr. Garland as he ran through the emergency numbers on the fridge, distracted by why Liam hadn’t texted her back. It had been forty-five minutes. They’d agreed to break up when she moved, but spent more time talking now than they ever did living ten minutes away from each other.
“I mean it,” Mr. Garland said, bringing her back to her babysitting gig. “Don’t forget to have fun… just wait until Noah goes to bed,” and he pinched his fingers and brought them to his lips.
As if. She had no idea where to buy yet. The stay at home Dads were always the worst, as they were either OCD about their kid’s every move, or desperate to prove they stayed home because they were so chill. Really.
“If all goes well, I’ll be home around one. If it goes great, I won’t be home at all.” Julie mustered a smile that fell just shy of condescending. He seemed to want something from her. “Don’t worry. Noah and I are going to be fine.”
That did the trick, and he grabbed his guitar case. He was off to play in some sad cover band at the sports bar that seemed like an off-brand TGI Friday’s from the outside. But as soon as he left, there was nothing to distract her from checking her phone and refusing to send a second text, until Liam responded to her last one.
Noah was lost in some stupid video game that seemed set in World War II. He was cute now, even a little shy, but she saw the inner frat boy Noah would grow up to be. She tried to do her calculus, but her attention never drifted far from her phone. Fine. “Busy?” she texted Liam, feeling so cavalier about it right until it was sent, at which point she realized how sad and desperate she was.
She decided to shut her phone off before she did even more damage to her self-respect and offered to play with the kid. Noah wagged his head.
“Tessa says no.”
“She’s nice. She likes you, but she thinks you should go home.”
“Well, too bad for Tessa.” But he merely shrugged and went back to the game.
“She says too bad for you.”
Imaginary friend. Fine. At least the kid’s quiet. (Continue Reading…)