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  • by Katrina Mitchell

Nick & Nene (A Short Story)

“Let me see your phone,” Nene demands. Her lips are pursed and her brow furrowed. I roll my eyes.

“No,” I say.

“Why? If you don’t got nothin to hide, then why can’t I?” she insists.

“You’re trippin’,” I say. “Chill out, I’ll catch up with you later.” I stand up and pick up my backpack.

“Where are you going?” Nene asks. “You’re gonna go see her, huh?”

“What? Who are you talking about?”

Nene hops up and throws her balled fists into my chest. “I know you’re cheating on me! I know you have other girls!”

“I don’t have any other girls!” I try to hold her back.

Nene, breathing heavily, sticks her hand out. “Gimme your phone or we’re done.”

I look at Nene long and hard. No doubt she was serious, her face scowling and hot with rage. I don’t want to be done. It’s my phone though, and she needs to trust me.

“No,” I say, calling her bluff. I want my face to look serious too, my eyes wide open and my arms crossed. “I’ll call you later.”

“Nick! Nick! NICK!” She yells from behind me. I walk until I can no longer hear her voice ringing in my ears.

Because of course, by then, my phone is ringing incessantly. Nene’s name, No Caller ID, other random 323 and 310 numbers that I know link to her. My inbox is filled with messages. I turn my phone on silent as I enter the house.

My older sister Lisa is sitting on the couch with the remote in her hand. I dropped my backpack on the floor and plopped onto the couch next to her.

“How was school?” Lisa asks.

“Nene on one.”

Lisa exhales. “What she do this time?”

“She said we was done if I ain’t let her see my phone.”

“Good, you need to let that one go,” Lisa says.

I shake my head. “I don’t want to though. I mean, she gets crazy jealous, but that’s kinda how I know she loves me, right?”

“Wrong!” She exclaims. “She is really controlling and that’s unhealthy. This behavior doesn’t get better. It gets worse.”

“Nah, I know her. She’s sweet,” I defend her. “She just has these moments.”

“Are you cheating on her?” Lisa asks.

“No! I would never!”

“Bruh,” she says, “you deserve better than this. And you know that if the tables were turned, you’d be telling me the same thing.”

The phone buzzes again in my pocket. Lisa looks at me.

“So what you wanna do?” Lisa asks.

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