San Diego State University’s Independent Student Newspaper Since 1913

The Daily Aztec

San Diego State University’s Independent Student Newspaper Since 1913

The Daily Aztec

San Diego State University’s Independent Student Newspaper Since 1913

The Daily Aztec

Letting go of holding on

They drank the last bottle of wine on the roof of her parents’ house when she said, “My sister and Eric are done. Over.”

She took a drink and returned the bottle to him.

She looked older to him now, in the evening’s dying light, her tired eyelids dark enough to belong to someone else. Mosquitoes gathered in the shadows of rain gutters and waited for them to forget their skin.

“How long ago was that? Her and Eric’s wedding, I mean?”

She stole the bottle from him. “You walked Kate down the aisle. My father was so sick he couldn’t stand, so you had to do it. You don’t remember that?”

“I do. But not how long ago it was. What I remember is Eric kissed you. I remember that.”

“He was drunk, Jerry. My sister and me, we look alike. You know how easy it is to confuse us.”

“I never got drunk enough to confuse you two. Maybe I should get drunk enough.”

She handed him the bottle. “You drink more often than he does. You hold your liquor better. He had more than he could handle. I mean, come on, it was his wedding night. You’re allowed to get drunk on your wedding night.”

“And kiss the maid of honor? I never said anything, like you asked. When people asked about the wedding I told them there wasn’t enough wine.”

“That was true. There’s never enough wine.”

“Which begs the question: How did Eric get so —”

“Just let it go. You never have to see him again, if that helps. That kiss was just … It wasn’t like when you kiss me. Anyway, he’s not a threat.”

“Everyone’s a threat,” he swatted at a mosquito.

“Put that to rest. That’ll just drag you along until you’re sore all over.”

He tipped the bottle to his lips again.

“Give me that,” she said and secured the bottle in her lap. “That’s the night you told everyone you hated my father.”

“I never said that. I said I didn’t believe his stories.”

“You said you hated him.”

“No, I — Are you going to take a drink of that or just let it get warm?”

She didn’t reply. She sank the bottle further between her thighs.

“OK, maybe I did say I hated him. Forgive me, I was drunk.” He pried the wine away and took a long drink.

“Learn to let things go,” she said. She moved in on him. Her lips brushed his neck. When she backed away again, she threw the bottle off the roof. It smashed wetly against the street.

“Hey! There was still some of that left. And that’s dangerous. When I was a kid I fell off my bike once. Into glass. I never bled so much in my life.”

“You never told me that. Tell me something else.”

“What else do you want to know?”

“Something you’ve never told anyone ever before.”

“OK. I don’t like jazz.”

“Not something like that. I want to know a secret.”

“A secret?” he said. “Well … Kate and I, when I walked her down the aisle, she said —”

“Tell me. What’d she say?”

“I don’t know. She said, ‘I feel like what we had is gone.’ She said, ‘Do you think it will ever return?’”

“What? What’d you tell her?”

He moved to speak. The night flooded from the rain gutters and spilled onto the driveway below. He held her hand. He said nothing.

“Let it go,” she said. “Please,” she said, “Just let it go.” But he held on to her as long as he could.

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San Diego State University’s Independent Student Newspaper Since 1913
Letting go of holding on