by Chance Kelly
Wear that blue skirt with the polka dots that I like so much. Wear that red lingerie for me, baby, and take it off real slow like they do in the videos. Don’t tell your friends about the fight we had last night— no point in bringing up the past, right? Don’t talk to that guy ever again— I don’t like the way he looked at you, acting like he doesn’t know you’re mine. Don’t look so sad all the time— do you know how hard it is for me to explain to people why my girl looks so depressed? Don’t whimper like that— can’t you just smile? Smile when you see me walking down the school hallway after that “argument” last night. Smile when the police ask you if you have any idea where I could be. Smile when you say “No, I have no clue.” Smile when you cry for me at night. Forgive me the next morning. Forgive me for those harsh words, baby— you know I never mean those. Forgive me for her— you know she could never replace you. Forgive me for that one night— I only did it cause I love you, and you love me too, right? Come on, baby, lay down for me— I have to go home— but what could be more important than me?
This flash fiction was inspired by our units on gender and sexuality: Jamaica Kincaid‘s “Girl,” which regurgitates commands a girl has heard for being a proper young lady, and Junot Díaz‘s “How to Date a Brown Girl (Black Girl, White Girl, or Halfie),” a pseudo self help manual for young men who want to become casanovas.