“I’m Not in Love with You, But,” by Laryssa Wirstiuk
1. The text messages you sent were always so vividly sexy that I damaged two cell phones.
2. You offered $60 to cover the expense. I wouldn’t accept it.
3. Your hair smells like lilac only when it rains.
4. Your hair always smells like kiwi, regardless of the weather.
5. When I find your hair on my pillow, I imagine it’s a spiderweb. I pretend not to notice.
6. I won’t admit to anyone, not even myself, that I will allow arachnids and your dead cells in my bed.
7. What I’m telling you is true.
8. I can’t hug you without pressing my fingers into your back, like I’m trying to access you with my secret code.
9. I spend nine months of the year waiting for summer because you smile most genuinely then.
10. You’ve been so sad lately.
11. Not even one of the others made it past the first date.
12. I thought about you at least four times during each date, always when the girl tugged on her necklace.
13. You taught me the reason girls tug on necklaces.
14. I was insanely jealous when you confessed that my favorite professor bought you a beer.
15. After you called me “a piece of shit,” I missed you more.
16. I adore you.
17. I can’t hear the song “Counting Blue Cars” without thinking of the time we climbed the shell of the outdoor amphitheater.
18. Imagining my life without you is like remembering February 2005 and every year before it.
19. Time was longer then.
20. You are most beautiful playing solitaire on your back porch, drinking from a can of soda with a straw.
21. Only once have I seen you play solitaire.
22. Your favorite soda is Mountain Dew. You won’t share it with men because you heard it lowers sperm count.
23. I’ve imagined you truly happy.
24. You never realized I was standing in the doorway with my hand against my brow to shade my eyes.
25. The light falling around you, like the long dress you wore to my brother’s wedding, was so bright.
About the Author:
Laryssa Wirstiuk lives in Jersey City, NJ with her miniature dachshund Charlotte Moo. She teaches writing and digital media at Rutgers University-New Brunswick. She earned her MFA in Creative Writing from the University of Maryland, College Park, and her collection of short stories The Prescribed Burn received an Honorable Mention in the 21st Annual Writer’s Digest Self-Published Book Awards.
Image Credit: © Kudryashka / Dollar Photo Club