Illustration by Sydney Zoehrer

Give and Take

In the city, even the sunsets are gray. Through the window of the apartment, the sun sinks into the sea. Its light ripples across the water, tinting the murky water golden before drowning under the waves. All the light in the apartment dies with it, leaving Michael alone in the shadows. The door opens, and Sarah walks in, startling to see him. She drops her purse, spilling its contents all over the floor. The stream of light from the door casts light on the Star Trek mug in his hand. Spock gazes back at her, disapproving and cold.

Michael, what the hell do you think you’re doing? 

I’m leaving. 

Yeah, no.

What? You said I could have the Star Trek mug.

I don’t care about the mug. You can’t have him.

Are you shitting me, Sarah? We already talked about this.

Yeah, and I said no.

You told me to come pick up my stuff. That’s what I’m doing. 

He’s not yours.

That’s bull, and you know it. 

He’s staying right here. 

You don’t even have a fucking backyard in this shitty apartment. 

Tom walks him to the park. 

Christ. You can’t be serious. Tom? 

He fucks my wife, and now he’s going to steal my dog? 

Jesus, Michael.

You know what? He can have you. I don’t give a shit. 

But that asshole can’t have my dog. 

He’s not your dog. He’s never been your dog.  

What? Just ‘cause he’s been staying here means he’s not my dog? 

I’m the one that took him in. 

We took him in. And I’m the one who actually watched him 
while you were off doing God knows what. 

I was working, Mike. You know, when you were lying on the couch all day. 

I’m a writer. I was at home writing. 

Yeah, whatever you say. 

Well, at least, I wasn’t off sleeping with the entire office. 

You know that’s not fair. 

Oh, sorry. At least I wasn’t off screwing my husband’s best friend. 

Fuck you. 

You know, I think I’ve already been fucked over enough. 

How many times do I have to apologize? 

Like, I’m sorry for falling in love with someone who isn’t a complete asshole. 

Thanks for that. I could really feel the sincerity. 

You complete and utter ass.

Honey, you’re making me blush. 

You always pull this shit. 

What? 

Knock it off. You know exactly what you’re doing. 

This whole screwed-up comedy routine. 

Didn’t know you felt that way about it.

Yeah, you don’t know a lot about me. 

Well, I know you’re not keeping the damn dog. 

I’m keeping the dog. 

The kids miss him, you know. 

You’re going to keep him from the kids? 

You’re really going to hold them over me?  

Yep. 

When are you going to stop punishing me? 

Whenever it stops making me feel better. 

I hate you. 

I know. 

Do you hate me? 

I should hate you. Fuck. I don’t know. 

When did we get so fucked up? 

Who knows? 

Do the kids miss me? 

They miss the dog. 

Asshole. 

We all miss you. 

Huh. 

That’s all you’re going to say? ‘Huh’? 

Uh-huh. 

How did I ever love such a cold bitch? 

You tell me. 

Guess I thought you looked sad. Thought I could make you laugh. 

Hm.

Are you? 

Am I what?

Sad? 

Sometimes. You know, I guess, it doesn’t matter. 

What doesn’t matter? 

You can take the dog. 

Seriously? 

Yeah. 

You’re just going to let me take the dog, the house, the kids, everything? 

Yeah. Screw it. You’ll never get what you really want anyway.

Yeah, and what’s that? 

Me. You can’t have me. And you’ll never get me back.

— Alexandra Galloway is a sophomore in Davenport College and an Associate Editor.

More Stories
Deliverance