Of Plagues And Destroyed Hearts

I had just ejaculated into Gina when the phone rang.

I’ll get that, she said.

No, I said. Rest.

There was a phone in the kitchen so I grabbed it and a beer out of the fridge. I was half drunk already, having spent the afternoon shotgunning Miller Lites and smoking meat on the back porch. Hello, I said into the phone.

Hello, said Andrea, my longtime ex-girlfriend.

What do you need? I said.

Everything, she said. You. A life together. Children. The whole shebang.

Well, I said, you can’t have it.

Why not? she said. Have I used up all my chances?

Years ago, I said. Around the time you rigged my car to explode.

That, she said, was a token of love. I was trying to get your attention.

Well, I said, you got it.

I’m not dangerous, she said. I’m just in love.

Your kind of love, I said, isn’t something I need.

She paused. I drank my beer. I grabbed another.

How is the missus? she said.

Fine, I said. Swimming with me.

Oh, she said, how I miss that.

I know, I said.

I looked in the fridge and saw it was mostly bare. There was a lemon though, so I pulled it and quartered it while I waited for Andrea to speak. Speak, I said. Speak or I’m getting off the phone.

There’s nothing to say, she said. I’m distraught and ready to give it all up.

Good, I said. It’s been a long time coming.

Remember that night, she said. You’d spent the day cooking on the porch and drowning in Miller Lite. You came in of the evening and ravaged me. You said it was harvest and you were hungry.

I remembered that.

I remember that, I said.

Why can’t it be like that anymore? she said.

Because you’ve tried to kill me too many times, I said.

Three times, she said. I’ve tried to kill you three times. Once with the pistol, once with the TV in the bathtub, and once with the car.

The TV was something, I said.

You were watching it all the time, she said. Baseball and golf. Bowling on Sundays.

Your conversation, I said, was too much to handle. Plagues and destroyed hearts.

It was a rough time, she said.

Don’t call here anymore, I said.

I won’t, she said. Until next time.

Damn you, I said.

Damn you, she said. Damn you and your wonderful organ.

Enough with that talk, I said. I was sucking on one of the pieces of lemon and chilling a beer from the pantry.

There’s never enough of that talk, she said. It’s the only thing I ever want to talk about. I was telling my mother about it earlier today.

That’s awful, I said.

It’s not, she said. Something that beautiful has to be shared. Has to be appreciated.

Enough, I said.

I mean it, she said, you got the Louvre between your legs.

Then I came close to hanging up the phone, but I knew she’d call back.

I have to go, I said.

Meet me at a hotel, she said. Tonight. I’ll be discreet.

No, I said. I’ve just performed and I’m tired.

Just a Best Western, she said. I’ll pay. I’ll have them send up some champagne or liquor.

No, I said. I’ve just performed and I’m tired.

Please, she said. It’s been too long. I heard her take a drag of her cigarette. She sighed exhaustedly. I’ll be yours, she said. I’ll let you do whatever you want.

What hotel? I said. And what kind of liquor?


Jared Yates Sexton is an Assistant Professor of Creative Writing at Georgia Southern University and serves as Managing Editor at BULL. His work has appeared in publications around the country and has been nominated for a Pushcart, StorySouth’s Million Writer’s Award, and was a finalist for the New American Fiction Prize. His first collection, An End to All Things, will be released by Atticus Books in November.