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Mistakes That Repeat Themselves
Those warm, fiery lights shined above us and we sat in the middle of fancies. The waiters looked typical, in their white suits and gelled hair. There in the corner with shades of yellow and maroon, a woman sat alone. She was lovely, red cheekbones, dark hair that slipped down to her shoulders, and a thin dress, lucky her. A man with smooth black hair and warm skin shifted from his seat and towards the woman in the corner, to whisper some pick up line in her ear. She giggled at whatever he said.
I switched my focus away from the strangers, because it was such an annoying habit I had, to stare at random people I didn’t know. Collin sat in front of me, chomping down his chicken, trying to mumble some small chat, but the food squished in between his teeth made me lose focus. I really just paid more attention to the accordion which sang in the background instead of… Collin. He was decent looking and all. Blond, short hair, light freckles around his face, a red collared shirt he got at some store of his, and a goofy smile that made me smile too.
I took a bite into the melted cheese that blanketed the crust. I glanced at the woman, so skinny. Her legs were crossed, she wore red heels, and she grinned at the men who stared at her. So slim, I thought as I excused myself from my seat and went into a tiny florescent room. I didn’t notice the tiles had brown smudges smeared against the wall. I didn’t look at the mirror, either. I tended to avoid the disgusting things in life. Instead, I pictured the woman in the corner and allowed my finger to weaken my stomach.
The taste wasn’t as repulsive anymore, actually satisfying in a way. I held my hair back and pushed my finger inside my lips once more. Pain swallowed my stomach and I felt clean again, maybe even beautiful. I pushed my face under the faucet washing my mouth out with water.
I slipped outside the room, and we waited for the bill in silence. When he finished pressing his fingers against the pen to sign his name, he shoved himself away from the table. All he ever said to me in the ten minutes was, “Let me walk you home.”
It was still silent, as my bruised legs stumbled out of the chair. I looked at the white framed door. It was better contemplating on my surroundings rather than his eyes that screamed madness.
“She is wrong you know.” He stammered, and his steps were slow. The concrete sidewalk had little cracks in them that made you want to trace your finger along the curves and lines that were so, so, thin.
“Your mom, she isn’t right, and you aren’t either.”
My thoughts were empty until I was home in front of the thick, wooden door. He left me on the sidewalk, and said in my ear, “I just don’t get why you listen to her. You’re so beautiful.” Then, he kissed me on the cheek. He left me to walk alone, along the path that had little pebbles that got stuck inside my sandals. She let me inside. Her green eyes had red veins all around them. My pupils turned dry as I saw my younger sibling’s eyes and faces damped with sadness. She reached out to hug me. Her feet were shifting so that she started to shake, and my tongue was numb from the stillness.
“I need to tell you something important, Aubrey.” She grabbed my hand and pulled me aside. She took me to the kitchen counter, where so many of our other talks had been. She gave me ‘the talk’ there. She even took me there when Sugar, my poodle, died. I sat next to the sink and she stood in front of me, holding my hands tighter.
“What is it, mom?” My voice scratched the insides of my throat.
“I have to go away for a while.” She whispered.
My legs stopped bouncing off the marble cabinet door, and I stayed still. “I’ll be back in a couple months. I promise. Sixty days is all.” The teeth she showed me seemed fake.
“I have been very stressed out lately.” Work, it always corrupts adults in a sick type of way.
“They keep telling me I need to eat right… I haven’t well… I’ve been sick. For a while. And the doctors say I need help…” She muttered.
“Oh.” I repeated, and let go of her hands.