Foiled Again
Carolyn Cottom

"Heck, nothing's fair in love and war."
LeRoy Calder

Lord knows, I tried to make sense of it. How she could leave me without so much as a hang-up on my caller I.D.
Afterwards, I went roller-blading on Miller Street. Going down, I thought of nothing. All was sensation. Walking back up, I remembered how she'd touched the hairs on my neck, so lightly, like a baby's breath. It was just before she told me she'd never loved anyone the way she loved me.
"Oh?" I'd puffed on our shared cigarette, trying to sound cavalier.
"LeRoy." She stared at the crumpled sheets.
"Yes, darlin'." I liked her, but I wasn't sure I even knew what love was.
"Do you even know what love is?"
Ouch. I gave her a blank look. "Of course, I do. And what I don't know, you can teach me."
"I don't think so. You remember the night we made love beneath the bridge, when you handkerchief fell out, with mauve lipstick smeared across the L.R.C? When did you kiss her, LeRoy? When did you kiss my sister?"
"I-I don't remember."
"Oh, yes, you do. That lipstick was fresh."
I'd never had two sisters at the same time. Just hanging around that house, I wanted them both. I couldn't resist--like having two desserts.
"Well, I talked to Cynthia about it." She was lacing her boots. "And we're outta here. You'll have to go back to screwing yourself."

First published: February 1997