Authors Note: The story below is an updated version of an untitled story I wrote 18 years ago. I was quite pissed off with the world at the time and wrote it in response to request on a forum I used to frequent. I have considered posting the original a number of times in response to the daily prompts but each time have backed away from it.
When it was first written it was a complete role reversal, the story was about two males and the key character was a female. (did I tell you I was pissed off with the world?) I posted the story on said forum after a request for short dark stories with a sad ending.
The attacks and vitriol I received was unbelievable not because of the poor writing (which it probably was) but because I chose to make the key character female.
So instead of offering up the original and giving every female reader a chance to tell me it’s unfair to make the woman the key character, today I offer up the role reversal revision to see how many males cry about a male key character.
“It’s urgent, you need to talk to Gary.” Called Jess as she walked through the front door of her friend’s house without being invited.
“What are you talking about?” Replied Lisa wondering why her husband’s best friend was walking into the house uninvited yet again.
Lisa and Jess had never really seen eye to eye, they’d tolerated each other for Gary’s sake but despite Jess never being romantically attached to Gary Lisa had always been jealous of the connection they had. Lisa knew Gary only had eyes for her, he’d never strayed in ten years of marriage and he’d always been therefore her. The problem was he was also there for Jess.
“Do you even know where Gary is?”
“He’s in the shed, the question is why the fuck do you know where he is AGAIN!” Lisa hit back angrily.
“That’s right he’s in the shed sitting at his work bench with a razor blade in one hand and an exposed wrist.He says if you wont talk to him he’s going to end it.”
“So yet again he’s being a drama queen and you’re there to fall for his act? I feel so happy for you.”
“What the hell is wrong with you? Gary’s threatening to kill himself and you’re treating it as a joke.”
“Well you’re his best friend why don’t you save him? He doesn’t listen to a word I’ve got to say anyway.”
“What? He dotes on you, he loves you and you know it.”
“Well you’d fucking know, he talks to you more than he talks to me.” Lisa was getting angrier by the minute. Her resentment of Jess the driving force.
“He tries to talk you and you always palm him off. You ignore him. Even when you do answer him it’s two word abrupt and often rude answers. And don’t even try to defend it, I’ve seen it constantly.”
“You don’t know what you’ve seen you fucking cow, you’ve always wanted to fuck him, you’re just jealous I got to him first.”
“Jealous? I’m the one that convinced him you were the one. I’m the one that convinced him that marriage was the right option for two people so in love. And I’m also gay, something you conveniently forget when this topic comes up.”
“Love? Yeah right, the only time he tells me he loves me is when he either wants sex or has just got it.”
“And how often have you told him you love him?” Jess hit back quickly.
Lisa remained silent for a full thirty seconds, the longest she’d been quite since Jess stormed in the door.
“He doesn’t need to hear me say I love him, he’s not that sort of needy person. Isn’t it enough I’m here for him every day he comes home from work? Isn’t it enough I let him have sex with me?”
Not letting up but still not loosing her cool Jess hit back. “You let him have sex? That’s really nice! He’s scared to even get close to you half the time. He’s scared to touch you because every time he does you turn your back on him or shove him away. He’s desperate for your touch.”
“Typical it’s always about sex and now he’s using you like some cheap arse hooker go between to get me to lay on my back and pretend I enjoy it.”
Finally loosing her cool Jess bit back and bit back hard.
“It’s not about sex you ignorant bitch. He wants to hold you. He wants to cuddle you. He wants to feel fucking close to you. God knows why when you’re such a fucking bitch. He’s always been an affectionate person and you bloody know it, the only reason it stopped was because you stopped being affectionate to him. It’s a two way fucking street woman but you only want to go one way!”
Jess could see Lisa fuming and knew another outburst wasn’t far away so she waited for it.
“Oh so now you’ve shown me that it’s all my fault,”
”Not you’re fault you idiot, it’s both of you. You pushed him away and he got too scared to come back in case it upset you.”
“So I’m just suppose to accept that his best friend, the girl he supposedly doesn’t want to fuck, the girl who doesn’t want to take him from me has told me I’m a bitch and rush out there and stop him from something he’s only pretending to do for attention?”
“If I wanted to take him from you why the hell would I be in here telling you your husband is about to take his own life because he thinks his wife wants to leave him? Why wouldn’t I be out there taking him away from you and your bitchy fucking attitude?”
Silence fell over the two women.
“That’s right, because he loves you. Loves you so bloody much he hates the thought of you leaving him.”
“It’s an act, a plea for attention.”
“Then go and give him the attention. Bloody hell it’s the same fucking attention you’ve been craving from him, you just keep claiming he doesn’t need it.”
“I hate you!” Lisa screamed as she stormed out the door
‘Don’t know why it’s me that has to make the effort,’ Lisa thought as she stomped her way to Gary’s workshop. ‘I’m the one that should be getting the attention, I’m the one that should be hearing the words I Love You, not him.’
Grabbing the door to the workshop and swinging it as hard as she could Lisa was prepared to give Gary both barrels, blast him for not treating her the way she wanted to be treated. But most of all she wanted to remind him that it wasn’t her job to say she loved him, but two steps into the workshop she was stopped by the sight of her husband laying on the concrete floor in a pool of blood.
Lisa screamed, not because of the sight before her, she was a trauma nurse she’d seen dead and bloody bodies before. No she screamed because she finally realised that relationships are a two way street. It might be a street filled with pot holes and speed humps but it’s always a two way street, a street where both parties are equally responsible for the amount of love shown.