These short stories are included in my zine, No Love Here But We Can Try, which was part of Cebu Zine Fest last August 2019, under Duma Alt.Press.
Excerpt from Alternate Endings
Maybe, ten years later, we’ll bump into each other at the supermarket while I’m choosing the right type of sanitary napkins, and he’s carrying a basket full of baby diapers. We catch up for a while, get our groceries together, and grab coffee afterwards. He tells me about his wife. She’s beautiful, short, cute, quirky and talkative. They listen to the same music and play a ton of video games together. He shows me a photo of his baby boy, Rehgar, exactly what he told me he’d name his son—exactly the name I disapproved of. When it’s my turn to update him, I talk about the next book I’m publishing, the places I’ve traveled to and the undeserving boy I’m dating. Then, in the middle of my talking his phone rings to the call of his wife telling him to come home.
The pillows smelled like weed. The mattress laid on a carpet. The latter might be cleaner.
His head was at the foot of the bed, and mine was next to his legs, making a wholesome 69. He said he’s been single for eight months. Me for six.
“When someone breaks you like that, it’s hard to get back in the game.”
Let him talk more.
“I swear,” he said with a passion, even closing his eyes. “I was so broken. Good thing my friends were there. Weren’t you broken?
“Devastated, sure. But not broken.”
“You get me, right? Where I’m coming from. Committing isn’t my thing. Not yet.”
“Me neither.” I run my fingers on his shin. “It’s a different game now.”
No clit was involved.
“Do you think that works?” he asks, and we both look at the lamp on his makeshift bedside table.
“What’s that?” I pretend not to know, like how I pretend this will all work out.
A Himalayan rock.
“It’s supposed to help with your sleep.” It was two in the morning.
Nothing ever works, I wanted to say. “Could be a placebo.”
He pursed his lips, probably thinking of how I scoffed at a docu-series about love half an hour ago.
He wasn’t thinking about love, for sure. This is not. Nothing close.
In three hours, it will crumble.
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