It’s Saturday. We’re with his friends and he feels happy. Because it’s Saturday. He’s had a drink. I’m here. His friends are here. They are competing with each other and then he picks up his phone. I prepare myself.
‘See. This is…’ I try to tune out. I might crack if I focus on what he is saying. I might yell. Or cry. Or make a comment just a little too sarcastically. So that he picks up on it even though he is drunk. I go as far as feigning disinterest. But it doesn’t work.
‘Did you see this one?’ He leans closer, our shoulders touching. I am forced to look at the picture. I haven’t seen it. It could be a holiday snap but because it is not I do not know how to respond. I haven’t seen any of them. I resist the urge to say that and so I just say ‘no’. It is safer that way.
‘I’ve shown you these pictures, haven’t I?’ I shake my head. It is much safer than to speak. Than to say that I haven’t seen any of them. That I kept getting excuses every time I asked. That he would say he had to organise them or find the right time or enough time to explain them all. I want to say that I haven’t seen any and it is his fault and now it has been too long and so I don’t want to see them because I don’t care anymore. But that isn’t true.
But I don’t say any of that.
‘I thought I had.’ He frowns quizzically as if trying to recall. He can’t recall. Because I am right. ‘I’ll have to show you some time.’ His phone goes away and I know my chances of seeing any other photos go with it.
Words by Jessica Tucker
Jessica Tucker is a lawyer, a reader and a writer – not always in that order and sometimes all at once. Her legal background, and her interest in crime, psychology, human motivation and politics, inform both her reading choices and her writing.
Artwork by Rhianna Carr. You can find more of Rhianna’s art on Facebook @RhiannaCarrART or on Instagram