Timothy Willis Sanders

They were lying in her bed, talking about a professor who had touched her breast. She made scoffing noises through her nose. Pat called the professor a piece of shit, then the conversation lulled. They listened to Brenton Wood's I’m The One Who Knows. They started whistling the song together, playfully knocking feet. On impulse, Pat ran his fingertips over the scars on her forearm and asked:

–Where did these come from?

Mary raised her arm slowly and wiped at the scars three times, hard and quick like she was trying to brush them away. She sat up and made a fart sound with her mouth. Pat, who took the fart sound personally, wondered if he was prying: they’d only been seeing each other for a week. She told him about Marco.

–My ex. He did it. I mean, I did it, but he did it.

She giggled nervously and made another fart sound.

–So why are you staying in New York with this guy?
–That was a while ago. We're still friends.

Pat looked down at a loose thread hanging from his pillow.

–Well, if you don't know they’re there, you can barely see them.
–You're a liar. It’s hideous. Dana told me last week that I had the arm of a mental person.
–Don't listen to Dana. It’s not that bad. Seriously.

Mary kissed him, bounced up from the bed, and asked if he wanted anything to drink. He said no and grinned at the thread.

Brenton Wood sang:

They fly away to a far off land
And live a life that's really grand