Writer’s note: As I have sent this to a few friends for review, it has come to my attention that the inspiration for this story, this absolute masterpiece of a song (also embedded to the right), may not be as widely recognized as I had hoped in writing this. I feared that an introduction might sap some of the drama of the story itself, but then I thought, who gives a shit? Everyone should listen to this song every day. In fact, how do you NOT know this song? Blu Cantrell is a genius and a treasure. I burned this song on three consecutive mix CD’s in high school because it’s a banger, and because I don’t know a lot of other music. And the story is utter nonsense without context, so just do me a favor and give it a listen. You probably already know it, you just don’t know you know it. I bet you grinded on some sweaty guy in a puka shell necklace at your freshman turnabout to this song, clammy palms hoverhanding over your rainbow spaghetti straps, your platform clogs putting you a solid three inches above his sticky middle part. You remember. Either way, this is a story of betrayal, unabashed misdeeds, and the most gratifying vengeance. This is thrilling stuff. This could be Shakespeare. But it’s not, it’s a one hit wonder from 2001 (but one that I truly adore.) And with that, I’ll leave you to it…
Some years ago, a young woman found herself in a predicament, like so many had before her. It had come to her attention, no doubt through nefarious means, that her beloved partner had taken a lover. Heartbroken, she threw herself on the bed they had once shared, wiping her tear-stained face with the sleeve of last season’s velour jogging suit, unsure what to do next. Her furious tears marred the velvety fabric, which was wearing thin where her nails had dug into the hem in frustration. She picked idly at a stray thread, noting that she had purchased this suit for her birthday last year, as he had, once again, failed to remember. It was almost her birthday again. There go the dreams they used to say.
Tormented, she paced about the bedroom, opening and closing drawers and running her fingers across the Jnco jeans swaying in the closet. This pair is new, she murmured. I thought he said he was broke. What happened to the days when we used to trust each other?
A wave of fury overtook her, and she banged her fists against the dresser. To her surprise, an object fell to the floor. His wallet. She paused, then picked it up. An idea rang through her mind. She called Soley and Mia.
An hour later, the three women-- one spurned, the others gripping her hands in a show of support-- sidled through the doors of Neiman Marcus. Emboldened by the encouraging smiles of her friends, she dashed through the store, emptying rack after rack-- babydoll dresses, low-rise jeans, incomprehensible items of denim-- stacked higher and higher on the cashier’s small, neat counter. “All of this?” the cashier asked. “All of it,” she said, a slight smile drifting across her lips for the first time that day. “If they mess up, you gotta hit em up.”
Upon returning home, she found that her philandering partner was still out. “With his mistress, no doubt,” she grumbled. She tore about the house, grabbing armfuls of clothing, cassette tapes, Sega games-- all his-- and threw them out on the lawn. She then erected a sign reading, “Garage Sale: Best Offer”-- the point clear and the penmanship impeccable. She slid her newly purchased von Dutch hat onto her head and, martini in hand, dragged a lawn chair into the yard. “Cheating bastard,” she thought, smirking as the first car pulled up. A young man, handsome in a rugged, unpolished sort of way, emerged from the driver’s seat. “I’ll take all of it,” he said with a wink. She grinned. He handed her a stack of bills, shoveled the tarnished goods into his trunk, and he was gone. “Good riddance,” she thought, sipping her martini. “There goes the house we made a home.”
She walked inside, pleased with the day’s acquisitions but not entirely satisfied. As if on cue, a stack of mail slid through the slot in the front door. Idly, she wandered over to pick it up, sifting through bill after bill. She paused, and then, looking over her shoulder, tucked the bills into her purse. She would pay these bills about a month too late. It was a shame she had to play these games, but the love they had just faded away.
Months went by in a relative quiet. They hardly spoke, and his evenings out grew later and later, but to her friends’ surprise, she seemed unperturbed. They questioned why she didn’t just leave, why she would prolong this doomed relationship to some unknowable end. She maintained that she had a plan, that she knew what she was doing-- always with that slight smile that never left her lips.
A year passed. Her former partner, certain that his fooling around had gone entirely unnoticed, went to Circuit City to apply for a credit card, as he frequented the store most weekends. He made his request and smiled confidently at the cashier. Declined. Baffled, he called the bank. The blood drained from his face as the agent spoke. Credit card debt. Ten of thousands. Credit score irredeemable. Fuming, he rushed home, knuckles white on the steering wheel. Storming into the kitchen, he shouted her name. No response. “Blu?” he called again. Silence. He slammed his fists on the counter and a note fluttered slightly from the motion. Curious, he picked it up. It read simply, in perfect penmanship, "Oops.”