I pushed a piece of hair out of my face despite the fact that my hair was really too short to be blowing into it and I looked up into the eyes of my partner, those same eyes that had kissed me for the first time on my blue couch that’s now destroyed from her cats using it as a scratching post and I tried and struggled to figure out how to phrase the words I need out and I went as around them as I could repeating the phrase “are you happy” as if asking after her happiness could call back mine, but it couldn’t because happiness is not the dog in the poem I read to my father as a child the night before I knew he’d divorce my mom, the dog who always came home, sometimes happiness flutters away like a butterfly like the Monarch on my partner’s foot, a reminder of the one who landed on her mother’s casket when my partner was 8 and the world was just showing how unfair it could be and then I shifted my feet underneath me because I couldn’t get comfortable and I mumbled something about “experience” that I wanted, no I needed more and there’s of course the difference between want and need but sometimes I forget that they aren’t twins dressed in the same clothes but usually descendants of one another, wanting being an adolescent in mismatched clothing already at the end of the line, needing carrying a cane, running her hand over her temple and sweetly thinking wait and this too shall pass, which reminds me of the meeting we attended yesterday in the room with the uncomfortable chairs and the familiar faces and the one man, they call him the movie man, who always tells the same sad story about how he was late because he was watching a movie and my partner practically screamed after our conversation after we hadn’t broken up, but also hadn’t stayed together in quite the same way “why can’t he just pause the movie” because sometimes you just can’t, I thought I understand what he’s trying to say, so the next time I see him I’ll just smile and try to convey what I’m always trying to convince myself: it’s okay.

Story by Haley Sherif
“The Breaking Point” was published in Perversion Magazine Issue Five
See more of Haley’s work at thehappybeasts.wordpress.com