Affinity Excerpts – Sexting is Such a Bad Habit and The Next Exit

Jul 29, 2015 by

Today we are highlighting two stories, one by the poet Nikita Hernandez and the other by long time contributor Emily Auman.  We think you’ll enjoy them both!

Nikita Hernandez was born and raised as a military brat, or “professional gypsy” as her mom likes to say, Nikita Hernandez grew up in the Deep South drinking sweet tea and plucking pecans from her next door neighbor’s tree. She spends her time daydreaming, doing arts & crafts/DIY projects, and drinking tea. This is her first fiction publication. Nikita dabbles mostly in poetry and has been nominated for the 2016 Pushcart Prize. Read more of her stuff at http://nikitahernandezpoet.tumblr.com/.

Emily Auman is in her early twenties, her greatest pastimes almost exclusively involve alcohol and poorly-written television shows from the early 90s. She resides in the foothills of North Carolina and firmly believes the term “foothills” is a weird one. Follow her musings at emilywrites.net.

Sexting is Such a Bad Habit

Nikita Hernandez

My phone vibrated in my pocket for the eighteenth time that Friday night. Emerson’s name flashed across the screen. He was really intent on trying to hook up with me. He had been since the end of English Comp I last fall, after we both admitted a mutual interest in each other. I flicked my phone open and read the text message.

Hey you, it read. He never used my name. Not once had he ever said my name. It was only two syllables, Le-ah. Not a mouthful like Katarzyna or Sigourney. Emerson only texted me when he wanted to get off, so I knew this would be no friendly catch-up conversation. I pretended to be friendly and asked what was up. He quickly texted back.

Nothing really, I’d expected you to text me sometime, just haven’t heard from you, kind of worried.

I last texted him earlier in the week, but I admit I had been slacking. Ever since he told me he’d had a girlfriend since last summer, I decided it was for the best if I backed off. It’d be too messy. We used to make out in the library sometimes when I had a few hours’ break during classes. Sexting slipped into our routine between withdraws from feeling each other up since I was still a virgin and wouldn’t give in to him yet. Then he brought up the tiny fact that he was seeing someone else and I hit the brakes.

I still pined for him. I knew it was bad but I couldn’t help it. I participated in these conversations with him because I secretly liked dangling what he wanted from me in front of him without ever surrendering. I liked this control over him. I replied:

You don’t have any Friday nite plans? I didn’t want to be annoying by texting you all the time. But I’m okay. Nothing to worry bout. =P

His response was delayed.

I always worry it’s my hobby. And no, no plans. I don’t really do the party thing much, my girlfriend went home for the summer, and all of my friends are busy.

Of course he had to mention his goddamned girlfriend. I told him he should try to find some new friends or something.

Not too interested. Plus I have you. 🙂

How sweet. But don’t you want guys you can hang out with and stuff? =P

Not really, guys don’t look nearly as cute. 😛

I hate to admit this made me blush. I knew Emerson was an asshole and was just trying to sweet talk me so I’d do whatever dirty deed he had in mind. Guys hardly ever commented on my physical attraction and any compliment sucked me in.

I settled deeper into the couch cushions in my empty apartment and continued to type back. Haha. They do if you swing that way. 😀 Besides, guys can’t handle so much estrogen all the time. They need their testosterone fix. =P

Fine if you don’t want me to talk to you. :/

Emerson always did that too. He would get mopey and threaten some sort of ultimatum to which I’d have to quickly assure him I wanted him around. He had confidence issues, too. He once admitted he just liked knowing I still wanted him since apparently no one ever wanted him.

Emerson please. I’m kidding. Of course I want you to talk to me.

I knew you wanted it. 🙂

As always.

If that’s true we should hang out soon. ;D

“Hanging out” was his code for getting together to make out. When I agreed, he told me I’d have to be really comfortable with the idea of “doing stuff” with him. I knew what this “stuff” was. I might have been a virgin, but I knew exactly what he was referring to. Most of his desires revolved around me being topless and on my knees. I asked him what he wanted to do.

 

The Next Exit

Emily Auman

With a darkened road before them, the couple sat silently with only the low sound of talk-radio hosts distorted from speakers long ago ruined from the heavy bass played over happier times. Fingers lazily entwined over a dusty gear shift, until the thin brunette in the passenger’s seat pulls her hand away deliberately. She crosses her arms as if she’s cold, but that doesn’t seem feasible in August. Not cold, just distant. She can feel thumping against her chest as she considers the words the keep buzzing around her head. She feels so alone despite the breathing body so close to her. The hum of crossing a long bridge seems to invade their faux-quiet, the silence is heavy with intent. His long, blonde eyelashes blink, slow and measured, as he can feel the tension rise from her muteness. She wants to say something; she might explode if she doesn’t. He rubs his right eye, trying to rid himself from emotional and physical exhaustion. He can’t tell if it’s coming from all the driving or all the rejection he’s been facing, but he is tired.

“After this last bridge,” she thinks to herself. She sees the end approaching, too fast, too sudden, and her heart throbs harder, vibrating through her ears and into her head. The sign, welcoming them into the next county, sits on the land’s end as the water ends. “The water ends and so do we.”

The end of the bridge comes; they take the slight bump back onto land the car keeps surging forward. She breathes easy, everything is still okay and nothing is over. Her heart rate slows just enough that she can think a little and her saline-tainted vision clears. He seems oblivious to her. That’s the problem. He can tell that her mind aches and her eyes weep, but he doesn’t care. How could he? She’s been so cruel and withdrawn. She feels guilt hit her chest lightly at first, like a paperweight. Then it spreads, it gets heavier with each thought, as she feels the end come closer again and her heartbeat becomes audible once more. His eyes, a crystallized caramel, have always been so kind. She closes her eyes, thinking of the blank stares she’s been using to purposefully alienate him.

She sees a sign marking an exit a mile ahead.

 

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