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Abigail George: Friday Nights have been Lonely

Nothing is coming undone because so far it is all good. I’m still here on the one side of the world waking up. You’re on the other waking up with your wife and small son. I don’t satisfy you anymore. Never did. We sealed our love with no kiss, no session of furious lovemaking. You belong to another world. Let us not even go there for now. They do the same to me. The boys, the men, the guys, I tell myself they’ll never remember me. In my deepest hour, with all my insecurities, my fear, anxiety, ignorance, frustrated pain, will you still be there? Will you hold me? But you’re gone. A song is a song. A love song is a love song. You made me feel safe. You made me feel hopeless. You pulled me under. It felt good. Then you left, and along came Xavier. He was everything to me that you weren’t. He kissed me hard. I felt desperate, then despair, then hardship. Tried to keep my feet on land. Not a good idea. If this was love, I should have just let go. So, I went to a bar, went down on my knees, sucked a guy hard. He came in my mouth quickly, I felt sad.

The sea is here. But you don’t even notice me. You notice every other pretty girl on the beach. I’m lonely. I’m acting like a real bitch. We’re fighting in the car. You say you’re taking me home. Maybe we were moving too fast. Maybe this was just fast love, and now I long for happy words. I will tell you anything. Love is a game. You’re just a game. I’m a game. You broke my wounded heart. Watch me walk away. The drowning girl. The poet. I’ve lived in the wounded house with Susan and the wolf for the longest time. Lived in a bubble. I wish you were here, but you’re not here. You don’t want me. You say so a million times a day. That’s what it feels like. I want to kiss him. Wish he’d kiss me first. We are both playing a waiting game. Waiting, waiting for the other one to make the next move. You come over, but neither of us knows how to talk to each other. Drinking to forget. Drinking to feel. Heart wants you. Heart wants your heat. I just want to stop watching couples between love and hate. I’m blue. I’m blue. I see all these pale girls.

These pale girls dance with their kings. I have no kings. Only my brother. He keeps love underground. My heart wants you in my bed on every inhale and exhale. What is love anyway? Whatever does it mean? I’m hitting the road again. I just want to feel safe. You hurt me. You fucking hurt me. Now you’re gone. You’re gone. I just interrupted your life. This stupid girl, this dreamer, this poser, this faker, this actor, this terrible singer just interrupted your life. Those are not happy words. So, I leave. So, I’m gone. I can’t see the signs. You just come over Xavier to smoke, and roll a joint with my younger brother. You guys seem to need a fix all the time. I’m such a marijuana-virgin, you say. My brother laughs. I smile wanly. Coming undone. My world spinning. You’re high. I’m a little high. Make it stop. This stop. Are you lonesome, as I am? I need to sleep, but don’t. I don’t eat. Just surviving on cigarettes and coffee. You’re beautiful. Afterwards, Xavier goes down on me, and it makes me feel good, but we’re both high. We’re chained to the distortion.

Xavier was nothing like my intellectual and complex brother. Xavier just wanted to get wasted all the time. Girls like that. Guys interested in them all the time. I wish I was still standing. Not breathing in marijuana smoke that gave me a bad headache. Afterwards, I would put a mask on, smoke a cigarette, drink a glass of red wine, feel happy. Xavier will shower, watching me, looking at him. He made me feel so wet. His black eyes staring at my legs. He’d step out, French-kiss me, make me feel his hard-on. And all day, he’d be on my mind. I couldn’t wait to feel his hand between my legs. On Friday nights, we’d start in the kitchen, and end up in the bedroom. Tired, worn-out, because it wasn’t really him seeking me out, Xavier was seeking out an illusion of a pretty Coloured girl of mixed-race descent. You’re so brown, he’d say. I love that you have a permanent tan. It really turns me on. All my friends date these models. They never eat. Well, salads.

That would kill me inside, Xavier would take a long drag on the menthol cigarette, say if you ate a salad.

He’d go on and on about me being a real woman. I had curves and legs up to my armpits and a tight body on me. I didn’t care. Xavier was more my brother’s friend than my own. I knew he didn’t really care for me. That he was really in love with my brother. That I’d caught him going down on my brother next to the pool one day. After that day, things weren’t the same again. The way Xavier touched me, caressed me, licked me up and down, and all I could feel was the texture and taste of his spit in my mouth. I wish I could be beautiful in the way that my brother was, effortlessly drawing both women and men to him with confidence. It was over. I knew it was over. But sometimes I still let him go down on me, and I still came every time. He’s wasting your time, my brother said to me one evening over cigarettes and coffee, with a smile, with a smile, with a knowing smile. I knew Xavier was in love with my brother. You’re in love, my brother smirked. It didn’t matter to my brother whether I was in love or not. He was scoring free weed.

I’m not young anymore. I feel like there’s a silent scream in my heart. I know you. I know you. I love you. I love all of complicated you, I want to tell my reflection in the mirror. I’m in my forties. Climbing into my fifties. Nobody wants to sleep with me, except my brother’s friends. They’re awful to me. After lovemaking, they laugh in my face with did you come, faker. Did you come, did you come, did you come? My culture is chess. I want to remember them all. Their names and their faces. But they’re always drinking, and I’m always drinking chamomile tea. My sister never telephones from Sri Lanka, long distance where she is teaching English. I want to forget about everything. About trying to take my own life. About being in a special hospital. I want to be loved. I want to be world famous. I want to feel empathy. I want to move mountains. I have no love. Tonight, on a dare, I kissed a girl in front of a group of guys. They all laughed. They all did.

Said, now take off your panties and come and sit on the winner’s lap. Xavier came into the room then, with another girl on his arm. They disappeared into the kitchen drinking out of a bottle. The sex was good. The sex was great in fact. He kissed me on the lips. His friends looked hungry, so I did them one by one, until they all came inside of me. And when I was done, I took a lukewarm shower. I cried and sobbed into my pillow that night. The girl came to find me. She stroked my hair. Told me I was so pretty. She hugged me. Asked me for money then. Said she had to get home, somehow, didn’t she? What did it matter anyway? No one ever loved me for me. Not my father. Not my mother. Not my sister. Not my brother. Not the boys, not the guys, not the lookers, not the so-called friends. I’m a waste of time. Xavier came looking for me, but, without the girl. I’m wasted, he said, as he climbed into bed next to me. I don’t like to drink alone.


Photo by Cristina Gottardi on Unsplash (modified)

Abigail George
Abigail George
South African Abigail George is a blogger, essayist, short story writer, screenwriter, novelist, and poet. She briefly studied film in Johannesburg. She has two film projects in development and is the recipient of two grants from the National Arts Council, one from the Centre for the Book and another from ECPACC. Her publishers are Tendai Rinos Mwanaka (Zimbabwe, Mwanaka Media and Publishing or Mmap), Xavier Hennekinne (Australia/New Zealand, Gazebo Books), and Thanos Kalamidas (Finland, Ovi). Her literary representative is Morten Rand. She is a Pushcart Prize, Best of the Net nominated, and European Union Poetry Prize longlisted poet. Her poem “The Accident” was Identity Theory's Editor's Choice for Spring. Ink Sweat and Tears chose her poem “When light poured into me at the swimming pool” as a September Pick of the Month, and she recently made the shortlist of the Writing Ukraine Prize 2023. She is a poet/writer who believes in the transformative, restorative and healing powers of words. Her latest book is Letter To Petya Dubarova (Australia/New Zealand, Gazebo Books). Young Galaxies (a poetry book) was released in 2023 from Mmap and a memoir When Bad Mothers Happen is forthcoming. “Clarissa, Hector and Septimus Redefined” was recently published by Novelty Fiction in Kindle format.


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