Something Better: A Triptych by Jason Jackson
I’d always known Karen fancied him.
“It’ll be fun,” she said.
Sometimes, she liked putting her fingers in my mouth. When she pushed them in, she’d push too far.
She kept saying, “I know he’ll do it.”
I wanted to say, what about me?
But she knew.
We got drunk in the kitchen. When I poured his whiskey, some spilled onto the tiles. I can still
see her, on all fours, lapping at it, turning her head, staring up at him.
And then he was naked. There were thick slabs of muscle in his back.
That’s when it felt real.
We knew each other at school. Jay used to tell me how in the changing rooms Terry’d make everyone stand in a circle. Then he’d spin around, holding his boot by the laces. It’d hit people in the face. I’d imagine it when I was with Jay.
Terry, bare-chested. Spinning.
I kissed him once. The youth club. I never told Jay.
After school, he disappeared for years. And then there he was, in The Ivy.
“Can’t believe you’re still together,” he said.
I knew it had to be Jay who asked him. Pretend he had some control.
Men are weak.
I was wearing a black t-shirt. When she tried to pull it off, it got stuck.
“Come on!” she said to him. “Help us out!”
I’d almost forgotten he was there. It didn’t matter. We all got what we wanted.
Last week, he came in for new tyres. He said she was in London now, that he’d got married. Elizabeth, or something.
“You could introduce me,” I said. He didn’t laugh. Before he drove off I held out my hand, but he couldn’t even touch me.
Jason Jackson’s prize-winning fiction has been published extensively online and in print. He recently won the Writers Bureau Short Story competition, placed second in the Exeter Short Story competition and third in the most recent TSS Flash Fiction competition. His stories have been nominated for The Pushcart Prize and Best of Small Fictions. Jason is also a photographer and his work has most recently featured in Issue Five of Barren Magazine. Jason tweets @jj_fiction