What This Is

I broke up with you and you came round anyway because we’re a well-wrought pattern. On an etch-a-sketch, we’re the over-scratched squares, the TV pixels damaged beyond repair. You may as well just hire a skip.

Your mother sat us down and said, “I don’t approve. Don’t know what this is. But I want it from your mouths – like a politician’s confession. You know they didn’t write it but you need the confirmation anyway. Even if it’s lies.”

“So you want us to lie?” I asked and she said, “No,” her disapproval thick like gravy mixed wrong or right depending on what you like. We’re different. We like different things.

“I don’t want her running away with you, and if you moving is enough to do that, manipulate it, we need to talk.”

And her word choice – manipulate – was no accident, no slip. But we momentarily analysed it like that would help us second guess what came next. The talk we gunned for, your mother sitting down, hearing out, mulling, came fractions late, but people say there’s always time for repair.