She’s still upset about it. I’ve considered correcting her. I mean if you’re going to spend years being upset about something you should at least know what really happened. Then I remember that I’ve already corrected her dozens of times. But unfortunately her narrative is one that resists any encroachment from what the rest of us regard as reality.
I should explain. I have this long history of hooking up with crazy women. I don’t think all women are crazy and I’m not a sexist or anything. I’m just saying that for whatever reason I’m attracted to the cray cray.
I know it’s not good for me. I’ve got the scars and restraining orders to prove it, but for whatever reason, I don’t seem to learn my lesson. And Sheila, despite having a good job, a solid education, and a head on her shoulders that’s a lot smarter than mine, was the craziest of the lot.
About eight years ago she and I broke up. What happened according to me, according to the people who were there, and everyone else with any sense is that I caught Sheila sleeping with Dominic and so when I was at a party a week later, I made out with Sheila’s sister. This is the sequence in which the events happened. But not in Sheila’s head.
Ask her and she’ll say that I was sleeping with her sister so she dumped me and went out with Dominic, but it’s not what happened. First off, I didn’t even sleep with her and second, there was no dumping before the Dominic thing. She’s got it all mixed up.
Eventually I understood that she said this to make herself feel better about her actions. Fine. Whatever. But we travel in the same social circles. So when I see her posting something on Facebook about what did and didn’t happen, I can’t help but shake my head.
Then I started thinking about it a bit more. I realized that while I’ve certainly done some terrible things in my time, I’ve managed to always find a good reason for my questionable actions. Maybe Sheila’s not the only one who alters the narrative to make things better than they were. I decided to retrace what I remember and verify it by looking at old journal entries and emails and whatnot.
And then it hits me. She wasn’t talking about her little sister, Jen at the party. She was talking about her big sister, Hally. I didn’t even know she knew I slept with Hally. I guess I’m the asshole after all.
Words by Jack Cameron
Illustration by Ossaín Ávila Cárdenas
About 15 Minute Stories
It’s good for writers to write every day, but it’s easy for life to get in the way of that. One solution I read about recently was to write a 15 minute piece of short fiction every single day for a month. You may not have time to do NaNoWriMo every month, but if you like writing, you can always find 15 minutes.
So for the month of January, I’ll be writing and posting pieces of very short fiction that I took 15 minutes to write. I’ve asked that my friend, Ossaín Ávila Cárdenas join me by taking 15 minutes to draw an accompanying image for each story. Ossaín is one of the owners of a local zine shop in Tacoma called The Nearsighted Narwhal.