She was hitting me. She was hitting me, slapping me as hard as she could with sobs escaping her chest and then her lips crashed onto mine like the impact of one football player slamming into another. We fell onto the bed, a mess of limbs and roaming hands, desperate for reassurance. We were fighting, fighting because she thought I didn't love her, when in reality, I'd never loved anyone like I'd loved her.

I couldn't imagine my life without her, couldn't imagine a future without her by my side but yet she believed I wanted someone else. I growled into her ear as I ground my hips against hers, "It's always fucking been you that I've wanted."

She let out a cross between a moan and a whimper, and she blurted out, "You're a liar, Jack."

Her hands clawed at my back, hard enough to draw blood and I threw my head back, relishing in the stinging pleasure. When I brought my head back down, I bit down on her neck and said, "Fuck you, I fucking love you so much and you fucking treat me like shit."

"You're a fucking bitch," she spat at me, taking the opportunity of me shifting my straddling position to bite at my small chest. Sex was always so goddamn exciting with her.

"I'm not a bitch. I'm not a liar, and I'm not a fucking cheater, I'm the only one who's ever fucking loved you more than myself, and I'd fucking kill for you. I'd fucking do anything for you, I'd stop getting HIGH for you."

I had stopped touching her now, but I was breathing hard, staring down at her with steely eyes. Her blue eyes were shocked as she stared up at me and suddenly I didn't want to have sex with her. I rolled off of her and fixed my sports bra, then buttoned my shirt up.

Angie was quiet, but I could feel her watching me get dressed. I usually stayed, even if I was going to get high, even if we didn't have sex, but this time my pain was raw and surfacing too close for comfort. I pulled her laundry bag to the side and grabbed my baseball cap. As I yanked it onto my head, I glanced at Angie and was surprised to find that she had tears streaking her light skinned face.

"Why are you leaving?" She asked quietly, looking up at me with watery eyes.

"Because I'm tired of this, Angela. We're 25 years old, we've dated on and off since high school and you always think I'm doing you dirty. You think it's impossible for me to love you when, in reality, I'm so in love with you that sometimes, I hate myself. I'm tired of trying to prove this to you. Call me when you realize that I want to spend the rest of my life with you."

I grabbed my bag, leaving my sweater at the edge of the bed for her, left her key on the desk and went on my way to my apartment, too numb to cry.

I spent my days mindlessly droning through school and work, struggling to even want to wake up. I knew I wasn't wrong in telling Angie how I felt, but then, why did I feel like I was? Like maybe I had kept my mouth shut and we would have had our erratic, irrational and mindboggling relationship - if you could call it that.

Close to my 26th birthday, I had begun to drink as well as get high, and as I rolled a joint with a co-worker by my side, she pointed out a picture. It was of Angie and me in a nearby park, playing in snow.

"You know some hot people," she commented simply.

"I date hot people. That's my most recent ex. We broke up several months ago."

Amanda offered me a sad smile and said, "Sorry to hear that. Breakups are hard and you guys look pretty happy in that picture."

"We were young and I was clean," I said with a heavy heart as I lit the joint and inhaled.

Amanda looked more and more similar to Angie the more we smoke and drank, and by the end of the night I had her in my bed, experiencing a totally different kind of sex. It was simple, not filled with rage, but it wasn't so passionate or angry. Amanda liked to cuddle, despite her intoxication, and we fell asleep with her head on my chest and my arm around her shoulder.

When I woke up the next day, it was to the loudest, sharpest noise I could have ever imagined: my phone. I desperately grabbed at it, pressing any button I could have to shut it up. Unfortunately, I hit a combination of the speaker button immediately after the answer button.

"What?" I said shortly, head spinning.

Amanda groaned and buried her face into my neck. I winced; it was a bit tender.

"Jack? It... do you have a woman over?"

My stomach dropped as I heard Angie's voice go from hopeful to torn. Why was she calling me? What time was it? What DAY was it?

"My co-worker's over. What do you want, Angela?"

I tried to sound uncaring, cold but it came off as desperate and I sighed, switching it off of speakerphone and putting it to my ear.

"Are you guys getting back together? I think you should, Jackie. I can tell you love her," Amanda mumbled.

"Amanda, you're still drunk, we're not getting back together. I'm sure that's not what she called me for."

Angie was painfully silent and I knew I was right. After a long pause, she said, "Can I see you?"

"No," I said automatically, months of frustration built up, then sighed and said, "When are you free?"

"Right now. I... still have your key. And your sweater. You left it here."

"I know. Just in case you changed your mind, but it's been five months and it doesn't sound like you have. So maybe I should take my things back."

Now she was crying and I could tell. Her voice was higher and wavering.

"Fine, Jack, I'll give your things back. Since we're trading things, I'll just take my ring back, assuming you didn't fling it out the window."

Ouch. That was a low blow. I guess I deserved it though.

"I still have it," I said softly, playing with the ring hanging off the chain on my neck. I never took it off, actually, but I refrained from telling her that. There was a long pause, and Amanda slowly got up to go to the bathroom. Finally, Angie sniffled and said,

"I miss you, Jack."

I opened my mouth to say something cold, something to hurt her, but instead, I said,

"I miss you, too, Angie. I miss you like crazy."

My head throbbed with the pains of hangover, or the pains of longing for her, maybe both, and I shut my eyes.

"Did you sleep with her?"

"What?" I asked, taken aback. Way to kill the reunion.

"Your co-worker. Did you sleep with her?"

I sat up abruptly, fighting a wave of nausea from the sudden movement and wondered how much she needed to know. The hickey on my throat answered it all for me and I sighed.



Okay, now I was just confused.

"Well, what?"

"Well, are you over me, or what?"

I couldn't help but laugh a little, but it was full of bitterness.

"God, Angela, you still don't get it. You don't just get over someone you want to spend the rest of your life with. I'm not over you and I never fucking will be. What the hell is it going to take for you to understand that?"

"Marry me."

I was hallucinating, I was sure.


"Marry me. Let's get married."

"Angela, you're insane. You didn't even want to be with me, how the hell are you going to marry me?"

Amanda came back with a damp but cheerful face. Did she NOT have a hangover? Did she even drink? What the hell happened last night?

"Jack, I am insane. Being without you makes me insane. It doesn't matter that we have angry sex or make each other bleed when we sleep together. It doesn't matter that you piss me the hell off and I make you want to throw things. You excite me, and I'm so in love with you."

I was in shock. Amanda's face was concerned.

"You can wear the tux," Angie added, trying to coax me into answering.

This elicited a laugh from me, but something was wrong. Angie was against marriage. She always said she didn't need a piece of paper to confirm that she loved someone, so something else was going on.

"You hate marriage. What, are you pregnant or something?"

Angie's chuckles stopped immediately and there was silence. It filled me with dread because I knew she wasn't against having sex with men.

"Angela, are you pregnant?"

"Answer my question and I'll answer yours."

"The hell I will!" I said in a near-shout.

"Please don't be mad," Angie said, and then she was crying, really crying like I'd never heard her cry before, and then I had tears in my eyes and I needed a drink.

Amanda had figured it all out too easily and was getting dressed as I fought tears. She sat awkwardly on the edge of my bed and offered me a hug. I shook my head, too angry for contact, but she understood. She'd worked with me for 3 years.

"Who's the father?"

There was silence.

"Who's the father, Angela?" I asked again, rage filling my voice, coating the raw pain.

"Kevin," she choked out in between sobs.

Kevin... Kevin was her brother's roommate. She must have gone over to their place to vent about our breakup and he must have taken advantage of her.

"Warn Kevin that I'm going to kill him."

"Jackie, don't, please..."

"Why? The only plausible reason I can think of is that you were upset about me leaving. You went to Andy for comfort but he wasn't there and Kevin just swooped in, ready to heal with his magical penis. What'd you do, trip naked and fall onto it?"

"No, Jackie, you don't understand. He doesn't even know. I won't answer any of his calls. It's not his fault. You don't know what it was like the night you left."

"THE HELL I DON'T!" I roared, and Amanda jumped. "Every single day without you has been torture for me! Every single day I wake up wishing I had died in my sleep, because every day without you by my side is a day that I don't want to live. You're never going to fucking get it, Angela! You had one bad night? I've had 5 and a half bad months, months that I've struggled to stay alive, months that people have asked me if I was going to be okay on my own! Do you know what it's like to wake up every morning and curse yourself because you didn't try hard enough to die the night before?!"

Angie was crying even harder than before, but I kept going.

"You never called me, Angela! Not once! I kept my phone on! I avoided dead zones! I skipped work sometimes just in case you decided to call me on special days! But you didn't, Angela, you were out sucking and fucking and I was trapped within myself, trying to figure out quicker ways to die! I waited for you, I waited for way too long!"

"I'm trying to redeem myself even a little, Jacqueline, but you're not letting me breathe! Just let me see you! God, you always do this shit when we fight!"

"Bullshit, because you never get pregnant. This time it's different. Come pick your shit up." I pressed the call end button and threw my phone onto the bed somewhere. It skidded off, onto the floor and the battery popped out. Amanda knelt down to pick it up and said, "Do you want me to leave, Jackie?"

"Nothing personal," I muttered, "I just need to be alone."

Amanda put my phone back together and gathered her things.

"I'll call you later to check up on you," Amanda promised, then went on her way.

I cried as she left, and cried as I showered. I cried as I got dressed and only stopped when I heard the intercom buzz.

"Yeah," I said roughly into the speaker.

"It's me," Angie's wavering voice answered.

I buzzed her in without saying anything else, unlocked the front door and gathered her things. I hoped she didn't have a tummy, or I might feel bad about denying her another chance.

I heard her soft footsteps, slower than usual and I went out to meet her. I could tell her jeans had an elastic waistband now, because she was showing; she had a pronounced belly bump and I had a bump in my throat. She was wearing my sweater and her eyes were tired, red and swollen. I wanted to console her. Instead, I gestured to her things. She brushed past me but I couldn't help myself.

I grabbed Angela by the wrist and pressed her against the living room wall. She gasped, looking up at me but I was careful to be gentle, unlike so many other times. I didn't know what I was feeling. I just knew I wanted to be feeling her.

"Prove to me that you fucking want this, prove to me you want me to stay because if you don't, I'm not going to stick around."

My voice was barely higher than a guttural growl, but Angie's hands tangled themselves in my still-damp, curly black hair.

"We can get married today."

I pulled away, frustrated.

"Again with the marriage! You don't want to be married, Angela!"

"I want to be with you for the rest of my life, Jack! Why don't you get that? I'd do whatever you asked me to, just like you would. I want you as this baby's father."

Angela sighed and sank into the couch slowly.

"Remember in high school when we used to have sex? We'd talk about having a family and how we wish we could have babies together. It didn't happen under the greatest of circumstances but it could still happen."

She was delusional. No one in their right mind would go along with this. Thing was, I wasn't even sure I had a mind at all anymore. She stood up again and waddled over to where I was standing. Her hand reached out to hesitantly touch my face, and her fingers trailed down to the mark on my throat. Suddenly she bitterly spoke.

"Looks like she was a good lay."

"Not better than you," I admitted, rubbing my neck. I brought my hand up to cover hers and said, "Have you thought of names?"

"I'm having a girl, so I was thinking of Morgana."

"Morgana? You're not letting our daughter go to school and get made fun of for sounding like a cowgirl or a vampire or something."

Angie's head snapped up and she stared at me.


I sighed and said, "We're getting married, and we're not naming her Morgana. And I'm getting you a ring for the time being. Don't need anyone hitting on you."

I had never seen any one pregnant woman move so fast, but in a second, Angie was against me, her arms flung around my neck and she was crying. I rubbed her back and said as an afterthought, "I graduate in three weeks."

"Can I go?" Angie sniffled.

"If you want to. I have to see if I can get another ticket."

And then, I don't know who kissed who, but we were kissing frantically and we had ended up in my room, on my bed, scrambling to take each article of clothing off. Then she stopped and shut her eyes, got up and said, "Smells like vodka." She went to the bathroom to throw up and I clumsily followed to hold her hair back, completely content with the fact that this would be my life for a while, at least until she gave birth. Then, things would be a whole lot different…