Romance

Watching the Sky Cry by J.B. Hartnett

I never really appreciated the businesses open twenty-four hours a day, three-hundred and sixty-five days a year until I’d stopped going out when the sun was up. But I’d come to find this necessity such a relief, I was close to sending the good people at Thrifty Corporate offices a thank you note. I could leave my house at midnight and buy a big ass bottle of quality gin, a pint of the best mint chocolate chip ice cream in the world, and a jumbo sized bottle of weed killer.

The guy at the cash register made a point of eyeing my products. So much so, for a split second, I wondered if I’d forgotten to wear pants. He had an obnoxious, patronizing smirk plastered to his face when he asked, “Big night planned?”

His customer service skills left a lot to be desired and I was in no mood to take shit from anyone. So, I gave it to him honestly.

“Oh yeah,” I enthused, trying to remember if I’d brushed my teeth that day. “First,” I said holding up a single finger, “I’m gonna get drunk. Second,” I continued with two fingers and noticed he was staring at my chest, “I’m gonna murder the plant my husband gave to me.” That’s about the time his eyes met mine again. “And for my big finale,” I patted the tub of ice-cream lovingly, “I’m gonna eat my feelings.”

He had no response, whatsoever, to my smart ass comments or manner, so I took my items, leaned in on my elbows, and gave him some solid, retail advice. “You know, it’s just a normal Saturday night for any single girl. Put these three items on a primary end-cap and watch the sales soar.”

Again, he didn’t find me funny. I thought I was fucking hilarious.

A few hours later, I was on my fourth homemade Hendrick’s cocktail. This consisted of gin and diet coke because these were the things I had in the house. Not to mention the jar of maraschino cherries which made for a lovely garnish. Sometime after my third drink, I’d gotten into Nick’s CD’s. With cocktail number four in my hand, I stood in my front yard, Don’t Stop Believing blaring through the open windows—on repeat—and looked at the mess I’d made. My previous plan for the night was to simply shut my broken heart up by drowning it in liquor, then drowning that plant with poison. I thought…if I killed the plant, I could somehow move on from the pain. But the closer I got to home, my plan morphed into something a little more…sinister. The gin helped, of course, but I had two years of livid, confused emotions chomping at the bit for release.

I walked into the shed and saw the area dedicated to the care of that Plumeria. I filled the wheelbarrow with big sheers and a shovel. My intention to release the plant from the earth was foiled by rock hard soil which required me to soften it up with a little water. While a shallow pond formed around my flip-flop clad feet, I gave the offensive blooms their last trim and final rites.

“Forever’s a long time, isn’t it little flowers? I bet you thought that nice man would take care of you until the end of time?” Then I opened the bottle of weed killer and poured it on top of the neat pile of blooms. “Wrong, wrong, wrong!” I said, shaking my head as I bathed them in poison.

I don’t know which one of my concerned neighbors called the cops. But if it had been me, and I knew what happened to that poor woman in the blue house, I would have minded my own fucking business and hoped she only had one night of power ballads in her.

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