16 Aug Wish You Were Here
Wish You Were Here – A Funny Short Story By Zack Powell
Bonjour from the city of love! I don’t have much space on this postcard, so I’ll keep things brief. I’m heading to the all-you-can-eat crêpe buffet soon anyway. My new lover, Jacques, doesn’t mind a woman with a few extra curves. More cushion for the pushin’, you know?
Oh, you should see him. Jacques is quite the looker, a total zaddy. Like George Clooney without the drug problem. I’m talking high cheekbones and a strong jawline. An accent that can turn cheddar into gouda. Washboard abs you could do two and a half loads of laundry on. I’m pretty sure the Paris Match magazine even called his body the eighth natural wonder of the world.
And he’s so creative with whipped cream!
Anyway, I just wanted to say that I hope you’re happy with your new girlfriend. Oh yes, I’ve seen the Instagram posts, the videos of the two of you doing the Electric Slide on rollerblades, the pictures of you donating plasma together. I saw the change in your relationship status on Facebook. I wasn’t stalking you or anything; someone sent me the links the other day. I think it was when Jacques was taking me to the Eiffel Tower. He’s thoughtful like that.
Well, just do me a favor, would you? Don’t bother calling me. I won’t be coming back to you. I’m too busy having the time of my life.
Wish you were here.
Ciao from the land of pasta and pizza! Forgive any misspellings or chicken scratch in this letter. I’m currently writing this from a gondola, because Lorenzo absolutely insisted. I swear he adores the water almost as much as he adores me.
Oh, that’s my new lover, by the way. Believe me, he’s very handsome, with abs and cheekbones too. The total ninth natural wonder. Tall and dark and mysterious, like the kind of guy you’d find on the cover of a pirate romance novel. Or like George Clooney with the drug problem.
Don’t worry, back in Paris I let Jacques down easy. Gave him the old “It’s not you, it’s me” line. Remember that one? I’m sure you do.
Irregardless, Jacques is so last month, and when in Rome, right?
We visited the big art museum here yesterday, the Accademia Gallery, Lorenzo and I. Trekked past marble sculptures and oil paintings and a weird urinal structure that I’m pretty sure is only there as an emergency toilet and isn’t actually art at all. It was really quite lovely.
When we came to the last room, the one with the Statue of David standing in the center like a nude superhero, it made me think of you. I’ll give you one guess why.
Anyway, that’s why I decided to write you now. Not because I watched that TikTok of you and your new girlfriend whipping and nae naeing in perfect rhythm, and certainly not because of your Snapchat story about reopening the cockles of your heart after all this time. After all, I’ve moved on and so should you.
But I suppose you can call me if you really want to. Just know I’ve got my hands full with the love of my life Lorenzo, so the chances of my responding are about as anemic as your new girlfriend. And what kind of name is Brittanee anyway? Whatever.
Wish you were here.
Hola from the sunny state of Jalisco, Mexico! Hey, you know how I’ve always wanted to go horseback riding? Well, I’m halfway to living the dream, baby, because I’m writing this from the back of a donkey. Santiago says it’s just like being on a horse, only a donkey is smaller and a little more slobbery and it has one extra letter in its name. He’s very intelligent, my new lover, my Santiago.
Trust me, the less we say about Lorenzo, the better. Some advice: Never trust a man who takes you to an art museum to see a urinal and a nude male statue.
Santiago isn’t that type of guy. And get this: He can cook. And not just spaghetti and minute rice and Lunchables. Real food. He loves making all our meals, and he never complains.
In fact, the funniest thing happened the other day. As I was scrolling through your Twitter, reading through all the old “I just want a girl who’s honest” comments you posted and retweeted, Santiago’s sweltering apartment filled with the scent of cinnamon. And when he waltzed into the living room and offered me the plate of churros behind his back, I took one look at them, all floppy and shriveled, and I thought of the Statue of David, and then I thought of you. And I laughed until I fell off the couch and hit my head against the coffee table and had to get eight stitches.
That’s why I’m writing you now. To tell you how painful true love can be. To tell you it’s worth it. No other reason.
How’s that for a girl who’s honest?
But just so you know—and maybe it’s the concussion talking—I’ll be back in the US next month. And I guess if you want to beg for my forgiveness and ask me to reconsider our relationship, I might be willing to hear you out. Say, over dinner at Olive Garden.
In the meantime, Santiago and I have some burros to ride and some churros to eat.
Wish you were here.
Hey from the Starbucks down the street from our home. Your home. Brittanee’s and your home. I have to admit that was a shock just now, pulling up to the curb and seeing the two of you through the picture window, nestled together on opposite ends of the loveseat with your legs tangled together like the infinity symbol.
You say you want someone who’s honest? Well, here goes.
They never existed. Jacques and Lorenzo and Santiago and Olaf, whom you never got to second guess because I didn’t make it to Russia. I think you know why I did it.
But maybe you saw the pictures I posted on Instagram, the ones of me skydiving and parasailing and saving those orphans from that burning building, and you wondered. Maybe you stared at them the way I stared at the pictures of you and Brittanee in the opera house, or your Tweets about finally finding “the one,” or the video of you getting down on one knee in our favorite restaurant.
I doubt your moments were photoshopped, though.
Irregardless, this message should be finding you soon. I’ve just paid some acne-crusted freshman a double blended venti white mocha with four shots and almond milk and fifteen Splenda packets in exchange for delivering this postcard to you.
Maybe we can still have that talk. I was honest about that.
I mean, I know this place isn’t exactly Olive Garden, but hey, it isn’t Chili’s either.
Until then, I’ll be here sitting at the corner table for a while, maybe ten minutes or an hour or until this place closes. I don’t mind the waiting. I’ve got nothing but time now. Time to think about you, and her, and the memories of a life I thought I knew, a house I may never inhabit again.
But I wish I were there.
Submitted into contest #157 in response to the prompt – Write about something deliberately trying to make someone else envious.
Nkem – A love story