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The last line is:

“It might be.”

By Lisa HerdmanPublished 2 months ago Updated about a month ago 3 min read
The last line is:
Photo by GR Stocks on Unsplash

Amanda won’t sit down now. I hate that about her. Her elbows are at an uncomfortable looking angle and she won’t stop leaning on the dusty brick burger house wall. Her line of sight leads to nothing. She’s not facing anybody or anything.

I want to convince her to come have a drink, but she won’t. I want to convince her to stay out of her own sad little head, but she won’t.

The food comes to the table and I try to thank the waiter properly. We are both still standing.

“I was hoping to sit down and eat, Amanda.”

Her eyes look dully over at me, her face smashed up with thought and stress.


We both sit but the act takes an eternity.

Her mouth starts smashing in fries and for a moment she’s chewing so fast I worry she’ll choke. I don’t say as much.

To be fair, when she can’t quit thinking I try not to think at all. I twerk my fry in some ketchup and feel like there is no correct amount that could be applied to feel right.

The ketchup tastes metallic.

At least we’re both eating, I guess.

“What have you been up to?” She barely looks at me. My stomach hurts. “I hate doing this with you.”

Her head jerks up at that.

“I hate when you try to make me feel better,” she groans. “Just let me mope around for a while.”

My head sparks a little at that. It’s been two years. “How much longer is a while?”

She rolls her eyes. “However long, dude.”

I put my seventh fry back down on my plate. I want to give up. I want to give up on force feeding myself, on making my sister talk to me, on mourning and mourning and mourning and acting like it will make any difference.

“Why did you bring me back here again?” She looks bored. “I don’t want to be here and I’m sure you don’t either.”

“You know, I don’t know.” Maybe I should be done. “I won’t again, I’m sorry. Maybe I’m just selfish. I feel like once you have a breakthrough and feel better I’ll start feeling better too.”

“She’s just dead, you know.”

The noise of the burger place is overwhelming suddenly. The people drinking and readjusting and touching each other’s shoulders.

“Just dead?” I can feel my throat closing up.

She wasn't just dead. She called and called and called and out of all of us, no one answered. Not the way she needed us to.

Mom was intentionally ignoring her. Sadie was with her boyfriend. Amanda picked up and told her she was an idiot and that she needed to go to bed. I was the only one she sent the picture to. I almost gag at the thought. I was too drunk to leave the greasy bar. I was trying to go home with someone. I was thinking "Why do you have to pull this now of all times?"

“She is. She didn’t give us any time to respond. You were drunk and she was ten miles away.”

I tried to find my voice. I kept choking a little. "That's not that far."

"It is when you can't drive."

Why is she so calm? Why am I not? Why is Amanda moping and moping but still so sure when it comes to knowing all the answers?

"It wasn't your fault."

My eyes are suddenly burning.

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About the Creator

Lisa Herdman

I'm learning to be wildly inappropriate, ridiculous, needy - and alive.

Thank you so much for all the support!

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Excellent work. Looking forward to reading more!

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  1. Heartfelt and relatable

    The story invoked strong personal emotions

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Comments (2)

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  • HandsomelouiiThePoet (Lonzo ward)2 months ago


  • F. Leonora Solomon2 months ago

    oh gosh, so sad! i love the details and the casualness of the setting--twerking french fries--when the mood is anything but...

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