“Zp, Signed with Love”

I was hurt even though he said I didn’t have to be. He told me I knew. I knew all along. That she was even sleeping in bed with us some nights. That he loved me, nothing had changed about the way he felt about me. I would have his babies, we would get married but that she was around. Still.

I asked if they still had sex, and I felt sick.

Before I had discovered her note, we kissed, and I touched him, and then we had sex with my pajama bottoms still on, just pulled down a little bit.

But we had to be quiet because she was around.

Who? I ask.

She’s acting weird, he says absent-mindedly. His white torso propped up by pillows, his eyes looking out.

Who?

You know!

And somehow I did, and I looked up and saw the writing on the wall. Zp, signed with love.

I had suggested before that maybe she was sleeping with someone else too. That she was acting out because she had found someone else to love.

Maybe he said, his finger pushing his lip back into his mouth. His white torso propped up by pillows, his eyes looking out.

Does that bother you? I ask, feeling a pressure in my throat.

He shook his head but unconvincingly so, his finger on his left canine, trying to push it back up into his gum.

I was the one he wanted to marry. To have children with. She was just his first, and I suppose some feelings existed, but then I came along.

That’s the story, right?

We heard a knock on the door and her voice behind it. Not a word, but a syllable, like a cough or a sound, a vowel.

Then her in the doorway. Meek little thing. Like a child trying to be brave. There was a forced fierceness in her eyes, but even that appeared fragile. A petite, dark-skinned thing standing in the doorway, demanding something when she wasn’t the demanding type.

I was overnice. Leapt from the bed, and squeezed her tight. Smiled genuinely. She detested me. She let me touch her, but I knew that it took everything she had to keep her atoms from combusting when I did. She looked at him.

Oh, she loved him. She wanted him. So sad he didn’t choose her. It wasn’t right.

I slept with someone else, she says. And he finally turns his big blue eyes on her. Big blue circles, filled to the brim with water.

Do you mind that I slept with someone else?

He shakes his head, but unconvincingly so, his white torso propped up by pillows.

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About Serena Ferrari

Serena Ferrari was born and raised in upstate New York. She graduated from NYU Tisch in 2016, receiving a bachelor's degree in Film and Television. "ZP, Signed with Love" is her first publication.