By Brittany Ackerman

I used to take Congress to Lake Ida to go pick up whatever he had. But then I'd stay. I’d have stayed forever if I could, hidden away at his place right off I95. I was always hoping for a hurricane to cancel work, the waters could wash me of my misfortune. The sun tucked behind a cloud that hovered over Linton Boulevard. The hurricane never came, but one time the power went out everywhere except Boynton and we watched TV. The channel flickered, wavering in and out between here and nonexistence.

He always wanted me to stop for fast food, bring him rolling papers, to get cut early so I’d come over straight from work in my apron and black button-down. He never let me borrow any of his shirts. We were friends because I told him I was upset and called him from the Publix parking lot telling him I was going to go in and buy a bottle for myself even though I never did. He’d just say, “come over” and then I would and the next day it’d be the same thing.

He used to bring me Monster energy drinks and let me choose the flavor. I always wanted the Rehab one, the tea and lemonade that tasted like water and drugs. It barely woke me up but I liked that he brought it. It felt like he cared about me, like he wanted me to be happy.

By the time Palm Beach had a flood warning I had already met someone else and we weren’t speaking anymore. He said I wish you hadn’t lied so we could be friends. The window in my bedroom broke, rainwater and leaves and storm debris leaked all over the floor, like the whole city made a mess