What I Wish Hadn’t Happened…
By Tammy Delatorre
I wish we hadn’t moved to a new apartment closer to your job. A fresh start, you said.
I wish I hadn’t come into the kitchen one morning and found you staring out the window at the neighbor girl walking around her bedroom topless. I looked, too, just a peek. She had big pale breasts, cotton-candy pink areolas. You stood at the kitchen counter, eating your Grape Nuts as if watching an intriguing morning talk show.
I wish I hadn’t joked: “Look all you want; that’s all you’re going to get.”
A couple weeks later, I wish you hadn’t told me you saw her at the market because then I realized you weren’t just looking at her breasts. I wish she hadn’t started keeping her blinds closed because I suspected you had said something to her.
I wish I hadn’t tried to forget all about it because two days later a cop came looking for you. I wish I hadn’t acted like I didn’t know what it was about, wish the time hadn’t come for you to lawyer up, go down to the station and answer questions.
I wish you hadn’t called from the parking lot and told me the girl had filed a peeping-tom complaint.
On the phone, I wish I hadn’t defended you saying, “It was her fault—parading around for people to see.”
I wish your response hadn’t been “Yeah, she was just asking for trouble.”
I wish my girlfriend hadn’t pointed out: “You know they don’t take you in just for ogling.”
Now, I wish I didn’t have to keep our shades drawn, and when you come home, I wish you wouldn’t complain, “It’s too damn dark in here.” And when a large U-haul appeared outside the girl’s building, I wish it hadn’t been her, but me, moving on.
# # #
Perceptions Magazine is edited, designed and published by students at Mt. Hood Community College since 1969. On Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/perceptionsmhcc. To purchase, contact Megan Jones via her email, megamind9 at gmail dot com.