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by Laura



It was love at first sight.

Eventually through the course of making your acquaintance, the mention of “dead” and “husband” in the same sentence causes said acquaintance to pity you, with it oozing from their eyeballs and buried in their sympathetic comments. So, again, you say it was love at first sight. To friends, lovers, almost strangers, and even a coworker or two. You’re still not sure whether it was love at first sight, or even lust at first sight, if you ever really saw him at all. At this point anything but that instant love of which you so adamantly speak would be an insult. It’d be an insult to him, with whom you’re closer now than when he was alive. It’d also be somewhat of an insult to you, with your good moral standing, permanent smile, and firm calf muscles.

Truth is, you met him at a frat party. He came up to you with a cracked plastic cup in his hand, knees buckling under the oppressive weight of his ego. You had to have him, and if he wanted to come along that was fine, too.

In his room two hours later and your mouth is sliding a condom (ribbed for her pleasure) over his erection. Teeth, you’re careful about your teeth. Sneezing once when you had a mouthful of cock is not one of your fondest memories. Flat on your back, his hands are sliding all over your body as if he’s trying to climb a rope and can’t quite get a grip. You don’t like waiting for things and now it’s his turn to lie on his back.

You’re straddling his lap, cold balls against the inside of your thigh, cock currently throbbing against your stomach. You run a hand over his chest, he flinches when the ring on your index finger catches on his chest hair. You smile and do it again. He flinches and seems a little more sober than he did a few minutes ago.

“Can’t you take that off?”

You try not to smirk. “Why? Does it hurt?”

“No.” It’s his first lie. “It’s cold.”

“You’ll forget soon enough.”

He starts to sit up, thinking it’s his cue to “fuck you”, since only men can fuck. You push him back down with one hand and with the other you grab his erection and ease yourself onto it. He’s not big, but it’s been a while and you’re tight. You inhale, like you’re trying on a pair of jeans that are too small, and slowly take him in completely. Straddling his thighs once again you lean forward and grab his shoulders. He leans forward at the same time, thinking you want to kiss him. You don’t and he seems embarrassed. After a few sloppy thrusts he doesn’t want to kiss you anymore. It’s the Kentucky Derby, the tightening of your stomach muscles reminding you how long it’s been, and you’re riding him like he’s the chosen favorite with the finish line just in sight. In the back of your mind you knew it wasn’t love, but you are many things and fallible will never be one of them.



“Does it hurt when you're with House? Little pain in the tummy, but it sort of feels good, too?”

Briefly you consider killing Foreman. As a result, you’d be stuck for an indeterminable amount of time with only Chase. You decide you can’t risk that.

House strolls, his version of a stroll, into the lab in the midst of Foreman’s teasing. He rattles off seemingly pointless information and as he walks by you keep your head down and eyes on the table like you’re passing the scene of an accident. You try paying attention but all you can think about is his mouth biting the insides of your thighs and his voice humming, raspy against your sex. Mind over matter, you repeat silently, while crossing your legs and ignoring the fabric of your slacks straining with the movement. Your ears pick up something akin to ‘smoker’ and you scramble through the paperwork in front of you to find anything resembling a response.

The hopefully relevant reply dies in your throat when House’s chest is pressed lightly against your back. His heartbeat torturous against your shoulder blade, he looks down at you expecting an answer.

“Two weeks,” you murmur, like a dirty secret between the both of you.

Having received his information, he walks out of the lab.

This had better be resolved soon; he can make you wet simply by reciting a litany of medical abnormalities, and there is nothing normal about your all to quickly dwindling resolve. He doesn’t have feelings for you, or so he claims, but having just shared his heartbeat you realize he’s the worst kind of liar because he lies only to himself.



A doctor enters the exam room. You haven’t seen him before; he’s clutching a clipboard tightly. Those must be the test results. They’ve come back quickly and you know right away the news can’t be good.

“Matthew? I’m Dr. Vincent.”

He shakes Matt’s hand and turns to you.

“And you are?”

“Allison. I’m,” hesitating, you don’t like being classified as anything, “ … I’m his girlfriend.”

“Ah.” He looks between the both of you, and then focuses his attention onto Matt.

Matt is still sitting on the exam table, wondering why he’s had to come to the doctor three times just because he’s had neck pain on and off for a few weeks and some hoarseness when he speaks. His feet are dangling over the edge of the table and he looks like a scared little kid.

“Tell me Matthew-”

“Matt’s fine.”

Dr. Vincent walks over to Matt and checks the lymph nodes on either side of his throat.

“Hmm. A little firmness. Does this hurt at all, Matt? Any tenderness when I apply pressure?”

“A little. I figured it was a sore throat.”

Dr. Vincent sits on the stool at the end of the exam table and flips open Matt’s chart.

“Here’s what we’re looking at. We’ve done a history, a complete physical, a few laboratory tests, an ultrasound, and a few thyroid scans. And,” he takes a breath, “I’m sorry, but most likely it’s thyroid cancer.”

Matt’s feet stop swinging back and forth.

“Cancer?”

“We can’t be positive until we’ve performed a biopsy.” He holds up a hand. “The only test that can differentiate a malignant growth from a benign growth is a biopsy.”

The doctor’s words and Matt’s reaction fade into the background. You sit still in the hard plastic chair.

And all this is so stupid because you never wanted any of this in the first place, just a nice man to date, casually date, it’s only been two months and you can’t break up with him now and maybe now, you can love him now. Because two days ago you were lying in bed together and he was showing you how to play guitar, that’s what he does, he likes to teach people things. He took your hand and wrapped each finger around the neck of his old acoustic guitar.

“Grip it tight but not too tight.”

“Boy,” you said, and rolled your eyes, “this must be how Jimi Hendrix played.”

“Smartass.”

You shrug your shoulders.

He pressed each of your fingers tightly, but not too tightly, to the neck of the guitar.

“Each finger, every movement is something different and only when it all comes together you know you’re doing something right.”

When you tried to play it sounded like drunken rabid cats fighting in an alley.

In the tone of his voice and the way he rubs your shoulders while you’re sleeping, that’s when you knew. He loved you, was in love with you, and now you’re sitting in this hard plastic chair, that doesn’t even match the exam room. Dr. Vincent left the room a few minutes ago. Matt looks shocked. You’re crying; he loves you, you don’t love him but he’s got cancer, someone should love him, and you’re here now. It’s such a mess and you’re stuck with each other and stuck with yourself. You’re going to stay with him regardless of what happens.

This is love at first sight.



It’s a Christmas present from him, if you didn’t see it with your own eyes … and all that shit. There’s an ugly plastic bow on the top. You don’t want to open it.

He’s older than you, constantly insults people, and has a pain problem, though you suspect it’s more than one type of pain. You want to make him better, take away his pain, and “turn his frown upside down”. You want to help him and it’s not love at first sight. He’s smart, and for some reason he interests you. It’s his eyes, the way he gets in your face when he thinks you’re wrong, and his leg.

You put the present in your purse.

It’s at home on the desk in your living room. You look at it sometimes and wonder what it is, what it could mean. Then you realize it’s just a present and you’re probably reading way too much into things.

But he’s him and you’re you and you’d love to be in a place where that can work, to exist and let things unfold naturally, whatever happens. Although nature’s been a bitch to a lot of people, it does keep you in business. You don’t want to just exist, you want him, and the fact that you may take him any way you can get him is frightening.

You lie on your sofa sometimes and stare at the ceiling fan. It does the same thing, around around around; the speed varies. It’s repetitive and reminds you that you’ll never get away from yourself.



“Okay guys, that’s it for today.”

You’re twelve and too trusting for your own good. Nothing changes. Students rush past you, eager to leave for the day, while you carefully slip books into your backpack.

“Allison. I’d like to speak with you.”

Mr. Mollahan was as uninteresting as the subject he taught (geography) and you always had the feeling he’d rather be somewhere else.

The few students that had been lingering near the doorway leave the classroom. You walk to Mr. Mollahan’s desk, confident in the fact that you haven’t done anything wrong, but secretly regretting that you didn’t.

“Take a seat.”

You sit in the hard plastic chair next to his desk. He’s at your side, leaning on his desk with his arms crossed.

“Are you having problems at home?”

This is unexpected. “No, Mr. Mollahan.”

“I noticed your test scores have been slipping lately. Are you sure nothing is wrong?”

“I’m fine.”

A drop of sweat from behind your knee trickles down the back of your leg.

“If you ever need someone to talk to I’m always here.”

He leans down and brushes loose tendrils of hair away from your face. His touch burns and you’ll never forget it.

“Can I leave now?”

His forehead creases. “Sure you don’t want to talk?”

“Yes-”

“Because, as I’ve said,” he reaches down and puts a hand on your knee. You want to vomit, to leave, and to see your mom. The last two aren’t happening without some help.

“Don’t do that.” The tone in your voice scares you.

The chair tips over as you quickly stand up.

“Allison,” he says, stepping closer to you.

He takes two more steps. When he’s in mid-stride you kick him in the balls as hard as you can. You saw it in a movie and you’d never forget anything that causes so much pain. He yells loudly. You walk to your desk, get your backpack and leave the room.

You spit on his car on the way out of the parking lot.



“Maybe I should quit.”

No reaction at first. You’re tempted to press two fingers to his neck to make sure he’s alive. His eyebrows edge towards his hairline and there’s no way you’re coming back from this.

“Maybe you should.”

Everything fades away once again. There’s still death, no doubt close by is an uncomfortable plastic chair, and you’ll spin on like the fan, knowing where you’ve been and where you’re going. What occupies the space between those two finites is a different story. And you still don’t like to wait.

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