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Luci Moody

Love is Denial

Frosted Trees by Jonas Lie

You and I lived in my car when you would always steal from me. You didn’t know I knew. I would bring it up sometimes and your denials vibrated through the dashboard and out the fogged windows. I would shrink in my seat, the passenger seat even though it was my car, and tell you I didn’t want to fight because I didn’t. I just didn’t want you to steal from me anymore.

I would let you drive when we had somewhere to go, I didn’t like the responsibility of a 1,000 pound hunk of metal, and you repaired them for a living in another lifetime. Now neither of us worked, except for the kind of work you do late at night when everyone else was asleep. That kind of work is the hardest. Long after the job is done, it sits on your shoulders and tenses them up and weighs you down.

We split everything right down the middle, the middle meaning you always got a little more than me, but I would never complain or protest. I knew what would happen if I did. I would just turn towards the passenger window and sigh, my breath melting some of the crystallized ice. When I would fall asleep, bones rattling under stacked blankets, you would go into my purse. I would wake up and whatever profit I kept was gone. You would deny it so loud I worried about people hearing. I didn’t want anyone to hear.

Sometimes I would try to end things with you, and your denials would grow louder than my panic could ever get. I would kick you out and lock the doors, just for you to come back after your walk. I didn’t like this, I didn’t like you, I liked seeing you so vulnerable. So I let you back just for you to steal from me again and leave again. The only way I knew you loved me was your begging. I always knew I would take you back, and I think you did too. The only way you knew I loved you was when I would take you back. It’ll be different this time, you said, I promise, I love you. I knew it wouldn’t be different, I didn’t want it to be I don’t think. The only way I would hear “I love you” was if things stayed the same.


About the writer:
Luci Moody writes and resides in Huntington Beach, California. She grew up in Seattle, Washington. Her interests include history, current events, and conspiracy theories, though she writes mostly from personal experience.

Image: Frosted Trees by Jonas Lie (1880-1940). Oil on canvas. 30 x 35.9 inches. 1930. Public domain.

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