About Last Night by Habiba Warren

About Last Night

You tell me my eyes are crooked at dinner and I would have laughed but this time I just look down. You ask me why I’m quiet and I shake my head, I’m not quiet, but I want to say why, I want to tell you. I’m picking at a cannoli when you come back from the bathroom, knocking over a tall chair at the bar with a bang, I jump and then especially I want to tell you but I don’t I smile instead and say yes let’s get the check. We’re going up the stairs now to our apartment, I have to do a work thing so I open my computer and I forget about it for a minute, I’m typing fast and I call to you in the bedroom are you asleep because now I want to talk. Mm you say rolling over as I nudge you mm curling into yourself nestled in the grey sheets.

I want to tell you that on my way to the wine store before dinner tonight, I walked past a man sitting on a stoop who said into his phone, now I have a gun you won’t be saying that anymore. When I heard the word gun my heart raced for a second and my pace quickened, just ever so slightly because I didn’t want the man to know that I heard, that I was listening.
I finally got to the wine store and I drank whatever they were offering for tasting too fast, wishing I had the blurry fuzz of alcohol to soften the hardness of what I just heard.

I remember waiting in line with friends to checkout at a gas station. We were still in high school. A woman behind us stared, she said over and over again, we were so lucky, so so lucky. She was swaying slightly, small liquor singles in her hands.

Now, I try nudging you awake babe come on I really want to tell you but your breathing is thick against the pillow your eyes crinkled tightly shut. I look at a whiskey bottle on the shelf in the next room, almost empty and small, though not as small as the bottles she held tightly but tenderly between her fingers. I think about drinking it but I don’t, I lie back and stare at the white ceiling fan orbiting in the near distance, wondering what she was trying to forget.

About the Author:

Habiba Warren was born in southwestern New Mexico. After completing her BA in Nonfiction Writing and French at Sarah Lawrence College, she moved to Brooklyn, where she currently resides. She works in creative marketing for TV/film and has previously published work in Pond Magazine.