My phantom guy


"Forgive me father for I have sinned", I said as tears rolled down my cheeks where my dimples used to be. I sadly let the words escape my mouth and began telling a story of a happy Deacon's wife that had been dealt a pretty shitty hand. Hustling my bloomers to fund my habits was something I never thought I would be confessing to father Joplin. The weight that I felt release my shoulders was a calming feeling my body craved. Calling Father Joplin was the smartest thing I had done since burying my husband. A good two hours later, I hung up the phone. I could hear the disappointment in his voice. It was comforting in a strange way. It acted as a deterrent to my driving to that ugly trailer where my dignity was last seen. While I tried to avoid Preston, I answered his hundredth call by accident. He told me of how Torie was murdered the night I left. That was five days ago. Her pale, bruised body was found this morning in a dumpster at the Purple Plum, a bar just minutes from Preston's trailer. Sexual activity was detected but the word 'rape' didn't come to mind for any of us who knew her. There were no marks on her body aside from the bruises of passion and years of drug use. I felt no remorse. Ding dong the whore was dead, I thought to myself almost chuckling. She was ugly on the inside making her less than desirable. She won't be missed. Not even her son, Ethan, which I learned to be ten, batted an eye for he too knew it was just a matter of time. He was sent a basket full of electronics, gift cards to iTunes, Playstation and all the things a ten year old boy would enjoy. Material things do not compensate for actual interaction with the missing person in your life. Especially the one that is supposed to be your protector. I hoped it would take his mind off his piece of shit mother. After all, I was him.


Bryn let herself in, catching me off guard. After three hours of screams, arguments, lies and tears, she was left holding my shaking body on my bed. She convinced me Ben and Jerry's was calling my name. They were my two favorite men next to Jim, Jack and Jose. I wept in silence staring at the dark town as I let her drive me to Sheetz to get munchies I desperately craved. I actually didn't mind my looking like death. My naked face exposing the dark circles that had become a permanent fixture, my mismatched pajamas and my stained Uggs. I felt too sorry for myself to even give my hygiene a second thought. Browsing the ice cream choices, I suddenly stopped, my head tilting towards the most beautiful song I ever heard. My heart skipped a beat as my eyes settled on the source of this melody. Heading towards the freezer beside us, a six foot seven hunk of man gracefully moved in a little closer. His golden eyes widened and locked on mine. He blushed as his lip formed a grin that set fire to my soul. My hand was shaky, I took the hair tie out of my tangled, unwashed hair and try to comb it into something, anything other than the disheveled mess it was. I watched as the other women in the store stared in awe at him as well. The muscles in his arms flexed as he reached up and retrieved a bottle of Galager's chocolate milk. I felt weak in the knees as his perfect body brushed by me, leaving the scent of Ralph Lauren cologne in my nostrils. I could now put a face to my phantom guy.

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