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"The Best Person Who Ever Lived," short story excerpt

Wednesday 8/10/22

This kid in college had a huge crush on this hot girl, nursed for thirty percent of a decade. She was totally out of his league. Not just because she was so hot, which would have been plenty. She’d even acted in two Christmas Hallmark movies. She was the smartest person, too, with no less than four majors, which the kid didn’t even know was this theoretically possible academic option. She spoke five languages. Had a student film shown at the Brattle as part of a program on local college filmmakers, called Despair (Don’t), which was summarized in the notes as “a powerful meditation on depression and sunlight in its myriad, surprising forms, and the healing powers of the woods.” She worked for three different professors as a TA. She edited the school paper. She had an op-ed in The Boston Globe on being a mentor at a young age and giving back while in the first quarter of life and how you’re never too young or too old to help people. On Saturdays she volunteered at a soup kitchen. She was, he figured, the best person who ever lived.

Then one night at a party she started talking to him. Made a point of it. Came right over as he stood against the wall, thinking how this was like a junior high dance and things never change but what he wouldn’t give if they would. He was shocked. Had he been struck by lightning thirty days in a row—and lived to tell the tale each time—he’d have been less surprised.

Her small talk was pretty rapid fire but pure polish. It felt almost like a job interview and he was the last candidate of the day to get through, but he didn’t care, because it still seemed big. He was honored. She asked him if he wanted to hook up and he nodded. Words wouldn’t do. This was some dream. The other side of the looking glass. The party was at these friends of hers. She was so comfortable there, the kind of person who can act as a guide in homes that are not their own. Knew exactly what room to take him into. They were doing what they were doing and she started saying what she did.

“Tell me I’m your n-word queen,” she said, only she said the real word. She was a pixie short-haired blonde who had to be proactive against the sun and visited a dermatologist twice a year.

“What?” he asked, in search of a little clarification.

“Tell me I’m a lost little n-word girl who shouldn’t be here, but you’ll get me home.”

This was pretty bad. Now he wished he could just say the first item instead of the second one, so he did, only he editorialized, hoping “n-word” would work in place of the real thing. He thought about dreams, and how you’re not responsible for anything bad you do in them. No one can hold that against you. Whether you murder someone in your dreams, or torture them, it’s not your fault. Or anyone you have sex with. Siblings. Those are just dreams. Maybe this was one of those things for her.

“Tell me I’m your n-word slave,” she continued. “Your twelve-year-old n-word slave. Nail this little n-word.”

That did it, and he said exactly what she wanted. He couldn’t hold back any longer and he could have sworn he had two distinct releases instead of just the one. It may have been orgasmically unprecedented. Straight away the term “the double” was coined in his mind and he began to wonder if he’d ever experience it again or was it just this one time with her? The time of times.

She still looked beautiful to him after and he liked hearing her out of breath. It was cute the way she tried to catch it, the way any human would, which was reassuring, though he also wanted to ask, again for clarification, “Um…am I supposed to find you repugnant?” or say something, anything, because he didn’t know how to start, or re-start, whatever came next.

“That was intense,” she said luckily, kissing his eyebrows for some reason. She arose, stepped from the bed, kicked around in her pile of clothes on the floor, feeling with her toes, which she stretched outwards. She even bent over with her rear end facing him when she’d located what she was in search of, and everything opened and he could see right up her practically.

“What’s your number?” she asked, sitting back down, having retrieved her phone. He was worried that she was going to have to ask him his name, and was relieved when he watched over her shoulder and she typed in Justin and thought it’s beneficial to have a name that people can’t misspell.


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