I have a friend–

I have a friend who desperately wants to get married. But you can tell just from looking at her that she is not the marrying type. I mean she is quite beautiful, but really it is the man she is with who is not the marrying type. I do not know why—considering her beauty. But her desire’s gotten quite strong, and she brings it up every time we are at the local bar. She starts  by pointing out all the married people in the bar. The man she is with makes clever jokes about each of them and makes all of us sitting at the booth laugh. Oh, no, we wouldn’t want to be them. But, as she drinks more, it gets worse. She starts pointing to anyone she sees like the bartender or a young person we all know and dislike and know is not married. She keeps pointing and pointing and her finger becomes like a cave that says: See, I am not married. See, I am filled with stalactites and stalagmites. Things get worse, and the man she is with gets quiet. Then she starts pointing at the ceiling up, up with her cave finger, and everyone tries to get her to stop, but she will not. Cave! her finger says. Not married!

At some point, however, they both end up under the table—which is not big enough for even one person—curled around each other and licking each other’s clothes. We try not to bump them with our feet and have to pull our knees in to give them more room. She makes gentle cooing sounds through all this that echo kindly around our legs.

This story appeared in NANO Fiction Issue 6.1. Pick up your copy today

Gabrielle Lucille Fuentes is an MFA candidate and graduate teacher at the University of Colorado, Boulder. Her work has appeared or is forthcoming in PANK, Echo Ink Review, Mary: A Journal of New Writing, Ghost Ocean Magazine, Titmouse, and elsewhere. She is the fiction editor of Timber.