“pinky promise you’ll be there for my play?”
i don’t do pinky promises.
I don’t make promises that i can’t keep. because a broken promise is just about as bad as a broken tequila bottle shoved into the soft spot just below your ribs.
speaking of tequila, let me tell you why i don’t do pinky promises.
it was a few falls ago, three if you really want to get technical.
i’d come down to visit you on a weekend instead of staying home to study like i should’ve been.
it was eleven to eleven.
drunk. dear gods we were drunk. we’d just stumbled out of the greasiest mexican restaurant i’d ever eaten in.
but hey. the margaritas were cheap, and more importantly, they were the only place in the area that would serve to minors. They even included a free shot of tequila when you asked for your check, that went down with similar smoothness to the way my debit card slid through the reader and emptied my bank account a little more.
but yes. you and i were drunk. and as we strolled down fifth avenue i-
No, i mean her. not you.
“who is ‘her?’”
that’s not important. do you want me to tell the story or not?
anyways. as we strolled down sixth avenue i-
“i thought it was fifth avenue?”
Can you not?
as we strolled down whatever the **** avenue it was, i couldn’t tell my feet from the concrete because the street lamps tinged everything an odd warm shade of brownish orange.
to stop myself from falling i reached out and wrapped my arm around your shoulder.
I can still feel the fur from your coat brushing on my cheek.
you didn’t protest, and i sure as hell wasn’t going to stop.
we were drunk. and talking.
talking about nonsense, about school, about our grades, about boys…
it’s funny that if we talked for long enough, without a doubt, our conversation would drift to the subject of love.
You knew that I liked you. back then i thought you just liked to torture me.
we stopped at the burning open palm of the street light before us.
i stopped you mid-sentence.
‘i could love you better’.
after those five words left my lips i suddenly wasn’t very drunk anymore.
there was no turning back now, so i had to just roll with it.
‘you waste all of this time on these boys who do nothing but hurt you…. but i’ve loved you for years now. you and i both know that you deserve better. that i would be better. every single time you come up in conversation with my old friends or my parents they ask whether or not we’ve finally gotten together or not. what’s stopping us?’
You stared at me for a long time, saying nothing, but it didn’t take a psychic to see the indecisiveness and longing and anxiety and fear swirling inside of you like your unmentionables in your Maytag.
“I guess i don’t really have a good reason. it’s just…. awkward, you know?”
She paused. I tried not to betray any emotion with my face.
"I'll cut you a deal. if in two years, we aren't seeing anybody... we'll give 'us' a shot."
Not quite the answer I was looking for, but it was better than a flat out 'No'. little did I know at the time that they were essentially the same thing.
I stuck out my pinky finger.
"Pinky promise”, she replied.
We locked eyes, locked pinkies in an embrace, and seconds later the ghostly white of the pedestrian walk signal shone down on us.
We broke our gaze and walked off into the night.
That was three years ago, and it’s probably safe to say that we won’t be taking that shot.
I don’t hold it against her. But i learned through three years of waiting not to make promises that you can’t or don’t intend to keep.