"My life’s a movie, if movies make you want to jump off a bridge."
I think about change.
My mouth is too red; my lipstick looks like an open wound in the metro window. I see the homeless man staring and wipe it off with the back of my hand. What was I thinking? That I can change my clothes, change my hair, and somehow slip into a second skin? That somehow the things we’ve done become a different person, the past excusable by naivety and too many rum and cokes?
I remember that night on the couch, wine bottle on the coffee table and your girlfriend three states away. I remember the way I walked into bible study the next night and wondered if my accountability partner could smell you on the back of my neck when we gathered in a circle to pray. I hadn’t been honest with her, or very accountable, anyway. Usually, we talked about drinking, which meant she gently asked how my weekend went as I nursed coffee and a hangover. She knew nothing about me.
"How are you, Em?" she had asked me. "Any prayer requests?"
Father, forgive me, for I have sinned…
I was still going to bible study, but I’d left the Church a long time ago. Somewhere between the polished worship songs and girls wondering if they’d gone too far with their boyfriends, I answered the question myself. It was too much effort to skirt the line, so I drunkenly tripped my way over it. I was tired of waiting for a guy to be impressed with my modesty or Rolodex of memorized bible verses. I was tired of investing in relationships only to be told they were “dating Jesus.”
I went to a party and kissed a guy by the jungle juice tub. “Come here,” I told him. “It’s my birthday.” It took five minutes compared to five months. His hands slid up my shirt and I forgot about my saving myself for marriage because his mouth felt like a rescue.
It was Palm Sunday when you texted me again. Church let out onto a fresh blanket of snow and I stood on the concrete, clutching my phone and my palm branch. Each button was a rosary bead as I typed, No more. My morning confession floated up into the winter sky.
Somehow, it was April.