Ice Cream Tango

Freshly off work, I thought I’d stop by the local ice cream parlor for a quick snack before heading home to the house of horrors. Greeted by the cream dealer like an old friend I ordered my usual. Sitting peacefully for a moment was a treasure. Why you ask? Remember when, three sentences ago, I mentioned something about a “house of horrors”? Well, rather than explain it to you, why don’t I just show you?

Not five minutes after I’d stepped through the door she entered. A chill scratched down my spine even before I heard her voice ring out. “Jason! There you are!” Let’s get formalities and introductions out of the way, yeah? The voice belongs to a girl. The girl is my live-in girlfriend, regrettably. Regrettably for reasons you are soon to be privy too. “Alright,” She stood with her hands on her hips as I slowly spun on my stool to face her. “Where is she?”

I looked left and right, my spoon hanging out of my mouth. “Who?”

“The slut your sleazing around with.”

I sputtered and nearly choked on plastic and dairy byproducts. “Who??”

“You heard me!” She yelled, successfully gathering every single person in the joint’s attention. 

“Wha-? Who-”

“And what’s with the ice cream? Huh?? You think I wouldn’t notice?!”

“Notice what??”

“The ice cream you idiot!”

I wore the strangest look that clearly conveyed to her that I was completely lost in this conversation. She slapped her forehead in exasperation. “You’re eating ice cream.” She spelled out.

“Yes.” I agreed only because it was the truth.


“Yes.” I said again, still confused as to what all the hub-bub was about.

“Alone?” She emphasized the questioned, staring at me intently.

“I’m sitting here alone ain’t I?” Normally my grammar is a bit more scholarly except when being accused of something that is clearly not true.

“I don’t like your attitude.” She confronted.

“Well I don’t like you attitude.” I threw back.

“You’re an ass!”

“So are you!”

“We’re through! I’ve had it!”

“Fine by me, I was gonna break up with you anyways!”

She gasped as if struck. “Really?” Her perfect doe eyes blinked at me in honest hurt. Instantly I deflated.

“Well, I mean… I just said it, you know?” Subconsciously my eyes shifted, uncomfortable with the gazes our argument had drawn. Great, now I just look like a jerk.

“But, after all we’d been through?” She whimpered. “You were just going to leave me? Just like that?”

Damn, what could I say? She had me cornered like a mouse.  “Ah Alish…” I was drawn. I could either end it with her now, really end it with her, and feel like the scum of the earth for the rest of my life; or I could consol her and still feel like the scum of the earth because she makes me feel that way.

Now I know a lot of people out there are yelling at me right now. Leave her! They shout. She’s psycho! Drop her ass now while you still can! But you must understand… I’m a nice guy. Like, genuinely, a nice guy. I don’t like to make girls cry anymore than I like to clean. Which is sayin’ something.

“Ah Alish… don’t cry.” I gave in. I did! I crumbled under the feminine pressure of the possibly of tears. It’s pathetic, I admit, but could you have done differently? Could you have shoved your girlfriend aside and walked out of an ice cream parlor with your cotton candy sundae like the boss-pimp you most obviously are and not feel the least bit remorseful?

I slid off my seat and gave Alish a hug. I smelled the wicked wafting off her even as she smiled up into my eyes. “Let’s try to work it out, okay?” Even as she said this she snatched the cup of blue and pink from my hand and started sucking it down like my soul.

Yeah, this is going to last.     



I opened my locker to find soap covered every inch. A glob rolled out and fell to my feet. My books, my papers, my personal belongings, all ruined. I sighed and closed the door with a click. I would have to explain why I didn’t have my supplies to my teacher.

Walking down the hallway of my school I felt eyes judge my every step. I kept my head down best I could but it did little to protect me.  

Oh God. Here he comes, walking down the hall towards me. Erik. Easily classified as the school bully. I prayed for the ground to turn into quick sand and, with each step, swallow me up whole. Anything would be better than what was sure to come next. Erik had that look in his eyes and that smile on his lips. I dipped my head lower, trying to hide. Nothing doing. Erik walked right up to me, uninhibited.

                “What’s up loser?” I heard before I felt the shove. I’d adapted by now to twisting my body just enough to catch myself before my head hit the ground. Where was a teacher when you needed one? I stayed down and averted my eyes. If you look them in the eyes it only conveys defiance and aggression, both of which Erik hated in everyone except himself.

Erik walked over to me and knelt close to my ear. “How are you doing today?” He asked, turning his head this way and that. He looked a bit like a parrot to me but I dared not laugh. “That mp3 I saw you with the other day was nice. I took the liberty of saving it before I have your locker a bath. It really needed it.” He held his nose in disgust and stood up.

There were others in the hall. But no one stooped so low as to help. I hoped it would be over soon. With Erik you never knew. Some days it could be as little as a point and snicker, other days an hour of physical torture.

Out of the corner of my eye I watched Erik’s shoes slowly pace back and forth, probably deciding whether or not he was done. Unexpectedly they turned to the side and stopped moving. The hall had been quite before, but now it was silent. No one seemed to move. Curiosity got the better of my fear. I looked up and my mouth dropped open.

I instantly recognized the boy who had a hold of Erik’s collar as Skyler. He was just another boy in the school, just like everyone else. So what was he doing?            

“What do you think you’re doing?” Erik mirrored my thoughts. He looked level headed enough, but his eyes had changed. They looked dangerous. As far back as I could remember no one had stood up to Erik. No one.

“What does it look like I’m doing?” Skyler retorted. He wasn’t smiling either.

“You better watch it or you’re gonna get hurt,” Erik threatened. Skyler’s grip tightened.

“By who? You? Or one, two, or five of your friends?” Everyone else looked scared an actual fight would break out between the two. Me, I kinda wanted the two to fight. “Let me let you in on a little secret, k? Everyone’s sick of you and your attitude. Yeah, you’re such a grand guy. All that you’ve accomplished, I’d like to see you brag about that. Only, what’s this? It looks like your running out of friends willing to put up with you.”

Erik peeked to the side. No one looked like they wanted in on the conversation. In fact I could have sworn I saw a few shrink back at the very suggestion. Then Erik looked at me. Actually looked down on me still on the ground where he’d shoved me. I looked back, hardly believing what was happening.

“You’re so busy looking down on everyone that you haven’t noticed there is no one below you. Everyone’s already moved on and is looking down on you.” Skyler let go of Erik with a jerk. He stumbled backward against a locker causing a loud crash. In response the bell rang for the next class to start. Like clockwork everyone awoke from their trance and went on their way as if nothing had happened.

Erik straightened his shirt with as much dignity as possible and walked away with the others. Only Skyler and I remained in the deserted hallway. I looked at him but he only stared ahead. Without a word he turned to walk away. I felt I should say something but could think of nothing. Not even a simple “thank you” was exchanged.

I continued to see both Skyler and Erik almost every day for the next few years. An interaction between any of us happened never again. Honestly I preferred it that way. Not having Erik stealing my things anymore was nice, but I didn’t see Skyler as my knight in shining armor. I didn’t feel anymore attached or attracted to him than any other student. To this day I don’t believe what he did he did for me. I believe he was doing it out of sheer selfishness. Everyone was sick of Erik and the way he treated those around him. But the difference between Skyler and everyone, the difference between Skyler and me, was simply that he had a shorter temper.


When we broke up I told you it was over and I meant it. You said that was a lie. I did not believe you. But when you proved to me that you could not let it go I grew wise quickly. The calls never stopped but only grew. It grew so sever I could not look at my phone for nervousness. Lisa grew so sick by it she answered and told you to stop. Just to stop. There was no answer. It did not matter. You kept calling. Only by then you had grown wise as well, only calling when you knew I was alone. “A cute game of cat and mouse”, you’d whisper over the phone late at night when I was too blind with sleep and tears to see who called. Your hot breath I felt through the phone against my skin. All those times you stood outside my window. All those times I knew you were there. I wished for that street light to burn out so that maybe you should leave. But then I feared not being able to keep track of you in the night, to be sure you weren’t sneaking up on me in the dark. You say this is love. Cut that out. This is not love. When did you change to thinking that way? It’s disturbing to know I was once with a person like you. This has to stop… your eyes that are constantly watching me even when I am certain I am alone.


No, I do not want you. I am not sure I ever did. 

It drives me crazy that you have gone crazy. Leave me alone.


Now, “deary”, it’s time for you to feel. Time for you to feel fear. To feel eyes against your skin. Always followed. You will feel my torture. The pain you have caused me I will pay back tenfold. I will make you regret ever choosing me as your obsession. All your promises, lies, every command you gave me I will throw back into your face until you break. But even that will not be enough. After I have dumped your body I will forget all about you. Quite quickly to be honest. You see, this love you always spoke of never really existed between the two of us. I can’t imagine where you even got that idea. I will be able to walk down the streets and not hear your footsteps matching mine oh so carefully. Begging will not save you now. Don’t even try. The wisest will survived this game. I will be separated from you. This bullet represents every woman who has ever lost sleep for fear of who would be standing over her when she awoke. For every woman who has ever been abused by the man who forced himself into her life. For every woman who has been unable to stand up for herself until now and forever more. May this be a warning to you and yours. Goodbye.


A commotion from across the room awakened me from my musings. I glanced to the left to see a man and a woman locked together by force. The look on the woman’s face, as well as the man’s chilling sneer told me it was not by choice. Sheesh… didn’t that guy know that the way to a woman’s heart is quite a different path? Just no class… Almost lazily, but with purpose mind you, I stood from my chair, straightened my jacket, and began my approach. He didn’t notice me at first, being too preoccupied with holding onto the woman. Suddenly he looked up (up at quite the angle I am truthfully thrilled to say) and met my eyes. He smiled more. “Something I can help you with?” I sized him and his friends then looked at the girl and smirked. “I believe I will be the one helping tonight.” A rather cheesy line, but it had the effect I wanted. Instantly the man let go of the girl’s wrist and turned to face me. “You think your something special guy? You actually thinkin’ of being a hero to this girl? Look at her! She’s dressed for the part!” Little to my cause the young woman wasn’t dressed to the highest T. But that hardly is enough excuse. And like I was going to back down now. “Honestly,” I scoffed. “I’m just looking for a good fight. But by the looks of it I should keep searching.” And that was all it took. Amidst a flurry of fists and bottles I couldn’t have been happier. Truth be told I didn’t do it for the girl. Sure it was a nice thing to do, and I’m assuming at this moment she is not longer in the building. I’ll probably never see her again. But as I just said, I did it not for her. I did it for myself. And perhaps a bit for the punks. To teach them some hard earned manners. But you see, at the very core of the matter, I just love a good fight.