A Nice Story by Ashton Russell

You ever been surrounded by your family that loves you but you just want to hide? Hide in the bathroom, hide behind wine, hide anywhere but in the same room as them. Crying on the toilet while you try to squeeze out the last bit of pee before one of your kids comes knocking on the door to see where you are at and why it is taking you so long. You’ve fucked up and started something with someone new. There’s no going back and it hurts.

For you it’s the end of everything, for him it is a good time. A nice story. And you know this, yet still, you agree to meet in secret. To tell lies, to romp the streets of your city like a whore. Like you are twenty-five when you know everything about you is thirty-five. And he texts you to tell you what bar he is at downtown but at this point, you don’t know why. It’s not like you can meet him there. Sometimes it’s fun to message but alone in the dark, it’s sad. You have become a story so many have told before.

Ashton Russell’s work has appeared in the Journal of Compressed Creative Arts, X-R-A-Y Lit Mag, Bending Genres, storySouth, and Southeast Review among others. She lives in Birmingham, Alabama.

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