Mind Games by Michael Webb

I looked at him, watching him look around the room. He was relatively cute, all things considered- lanky, bearded, and generally out of sorts, he had an awkward charm that some girls found irresistible. I had pulled him out of bed, early on a Sunday- mooning for his absent fiancee, in Bordeaux doing research until the spring, he had taken to sleeping late and going to bed early, willing the months away. I begged him to join me, his fiancee’s best friend, for coffee and commiseration about her absence. I whined and complained until he showered and set himself at a sunsplashed table, tired blue eyes measuring the room.

He wasn’t reading or writing, just kind of staring. He watched the baristas share a private joke, giggling into the foaming milk. He watched a girl in the corner in cat’s eye glasses make notes from a Bolano novel. John Lennon music, enjoying another hipster rebirth, was playing in the background as I sipped, watching him observe the life that swirled around us.

I had decided he was going to sleep with me tonight- nothing permanent, just a bedpost notch, a way to prove I could, something to silently hold over her, something I would always know. A way to be someone’s secret, someone’s unconfessed betrayal, someone’s moment of guilty panic. He didn’t know that it was going to happen, as I smiled to myself, bringing my coffee to my lips. But I did.


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Filed under Michael Webb

8 responses to “Mind Games by Michael Webb

  1. Ganymeder

    Ouch! “friend” indeed. Feel sorry for the fiance.

  2. The way you set the scene in the cafe is outstanding.

  3. Complete brutality, as only a woman can do, with malice aforethought.

  4. Michael, Michael… how well you write the inner workings of a woman’s convoluted mind. This is freakin’ brilliant.

    Women are evil. Malbec is good. Your writing is exceptional.

  5. Al McDermid

    “A way to be someone’s secret . . .” Damn, I wish I’d written that. Not that my praise is limited to that one line.

  6. Matt DeVirgiliis


    Great story. I feel bad for the couple and really dislike the friend. Any time you get me to actually hate someone, you’ve done your job.

  7. You do duplicitous woman sooooooo well. you set the scene — and the trap — perfectly. Peace…

  8. Pingback: Week #22 – The brutality of friends « 52|250 A Year of Flash

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