Breathing off the effects of Benedril and airline wine, Geneva slumbered her virgin steps in Japan. ‘This is the end my friend,’ she chided at the diamonds sitting plainly on her left hand. She had put on the ring halfway through the flight, testing it as a cure for the doldrums of confinement.

It was not.

She did however, get distracted by the meal and the digital image of the plane moving toward Japan.

This airport vaguely echoed the last. She could still visualize the place in LAX where she called family members from a payphone, spending her remaining American currency. She told them she was leaving. She had to finally make a choice. A lasting choice.

The decision to get married had been some sort of cruel joke that started a year ago. The family recklessly aligned at the table for Thanksgiving, she and Steven sitting side-by-side. Aunt Sandy started it. With a dropped napkin and cranberry besmirched mouth, she erupted, “Eva, now you’ve graduated, have you decided what to do with this young man? We would like to see some babies.”

Each year, her family’s narrative had been the same. Everyone ate cranberry sauce on Thanksgiving, she dried every rose given to her, and blushed submissively at the suggestion of future children.

Without time to feel appalled, he had placed a ring on her finger. His excuse—this was as good a time as any. No ceremony. No romance. Just a shining manacle. The table exploded in cheers, and scoffing, “about time a decision was made.”

She hadn’t made it though. She didn’t even know if she wanted children. A decision. It was his decision to spend his college years grooming her to be his home-schooling housewife. She chose to earn a double major in psychology and sociology. Now she needed to think.

That’s what she had told him, Steven, before she ran out of quarters. He thought she was joking. As they spoke for the last time, he had searched her aunt’s house, expecting to find her calling him from the front room couch.

This wasn’t like the girl he’d fallen in love with. He said so, once reality had kicked in. ‘This isn’t a decision Eva, it’s running from a bigger problem. Come back, we’ll talk this all out.’

Maybe it was running. But for once in her life, Geneva understood she hated roses, cranberry sauce and the idea of having children. Now she felt free to express as much.

The sound of her suitcase dragging on the sidewalk of this new land ripped open the wounding knowledge that her family was right. She was alone. She had just thrown it all away. Her five-year relationship was gone. Her sister was probably throwing away the dried bouquets around her apartment.

Geneva couldn’t speak this tongue, read or even identify the written characters; for once, her external matched the feeling that had lain dormant in her gut her whole life.



Joined November 2007

  • Artist


geneva japan

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