Petunia cut a chicken on the cutting board, the blade sharp and fine; the violence with which Petunia used the knife frightened Samantha, her girlfriend.
Their relationship had grown strained since Petunia had reclaimed her Goddess name of River Moon Falls. Added to that, she was working on a difficult case at work and she was tired-they both were. It had been a difficult year.
Petunia knew that she was frightening Samantha, but she couldn’t stop. She had to let the anger out and do as her Goddess told her. “They didn’t give me that fucking promotion because I’m a fucking woman.” She hissed. “It went to Calvin’s, that fucking pill popping, booze it up fucktard.” She spat out the last word as if it were a curse, its consonants hard and sharp edged.
Samantha looked at her with something approaching fright. “I don’t understand why you’re so upset.” She said. “It was only a silly lateral promotion, it wouldn’t have mattered.”
“It would have mattered to me.”
Huffing out a cloud of smoke, Samantha moved away from her. “I don’t know why you’re acting like this.” There was impatience there, Petunia, or River Moon Falls as she called herself, could hear it under the comforting words that sat on top, like honey. “I worked my mother fucking ass off.” She said. “I did something good.”
“So you saved a bunch of fucking orphans in China by closing down a sweatshop.” Samantha said, her read hair tumbling as she shook her head at her, the curls bouncing. Her cheeks were flushed with anger. “Woo fucking hoo.” She put her keys in her bag and grabbed her book off the counter. “Give the woman a shitting Pulitizer.”
The words were like a slap to River Moon Falls. She was punched in the gut by the words. “I wrote journal articles, I saved children lives.”
“You’re not even a real doctor.” Samantha said. Her words were a hiss. “All you do is fucking write, you don’t do anything.”
A silence spread between them. It was thick with words unsaid, things left unspoken. Though they were silent, the air was thick with regret.
“I’ve met someone else.” Samantha whispered.
The gut punch from before paled compared to the stab in the heart that River experienced now. Her body was on fire, every nerve on edge. “What?” She whispered. Good come back, she thought. She was a doctor for fuck sakes. Surely her words hadn’t failed her now?
“I’m sorry. I’m moving in with her tonight.”
Though River didn’t think she could speak, the words tumbled out of her mouth unbidden: “When did this start?”
River could see this was hurting Samantha, too. A tear slid down her cheek. Samantha’s heart clenched-this was bad. Samantha hadn’t cried in three years. Though they didn’t live together, they might as well have, they spent all the time they could together. They were soul mates, no matter how hard things got, no matter how difficult things became. River had only ever had two other girlfriend, two others that she had let into her life.
Though she knew life was difficult and their relationship couldn’t be perfect, they would be there for each other, they would be together.
“It never stopped.” Samantha said, softly.
River lost her breath. It was taken from her, expelled from her lungs in one word. It was all she could get out: “Joanne?”
Samantha nodded. Turning, she went to the door of the apartment, opened the door and stepped through the doorway. She turned her head to look at River, her eyes welled over with tears. “I’m sorry, Petunia.” She closed the door behind her which clicked with a final snap.
With no more air to breathe with, River slipped into darkness. She was aware of falling, of her head hitting the floor-it came up so fast at her face. There was blood on her hands and she smelled like uncooked chicken.
She didn’t know if she ever wanted to wake up.