Wrong Number, Right Guy

By: Elle Casey

CHAPTER ONE

My sister is at her wit’s end, but that’s nothing new. Her three kids are always making her crazy. I pick up my phone to take a look at her latest text.

Sis: I need a frign break. Taking the butt strings to the arcade.

I frown. Since when are we calling her kids butt strings? I mean, they are up her butt all the time, but still . . .

Me: Butt strings?

A few seconds later her response comes in.

Sis: I meant to say breast sling. Effing autocorrect.

Then two seconds later this comes in:

Sis: Argh! Not breast sling! I’m going to kill the dick who shit on my ass because it’s going all jello.

I’m laughing too hard to stop at this point.

Sis (again): Shit storm! Epic shit storm of autocorrect madness! I’m taking the butt HEADS to the arcade and I’m going to kill the dog who shit on my grass because it’s going all yellow. Please just shit me cow.

Sis (once more): SHOOT ME NOW, NOT SHIT ME COW. WHAT IS WRONG WITH YOU AUTOCORRECT??? WHY ARE YOU SO FILTHY???

I can barely press the right keys, I’m laughing so hard.

Me: Call their daddy and take a pill. I’ll be over later.

Sis: I need a new phone. I’m going to the slut to buy one.

Me: That should be an interesting transaction. Does she take credit cards?

Sis: STORE NOT SLUT. And I’m going to go ride off the autocorrect too.

Me: lol. Ride that mother, big sis. Ride it hard.

Sis: Shut up. I’m going to get rid of it, not ride it. Frigging automobiles.

She must have given up, because that’s the last I hear from her or her out-of-control automobile . . . errr, autocorrect.

I chuckle my way back to my home screen, clicking away from the text messages as I lie down on my couch, reveling in my single, childless adulthood.

My sister Jenny started early in life; like me she was in a rush to leave home, anxious to leave the unhappy mess our father had created with his lies and unfaithfulness to our mother. Jenny had her first kid at twenty-two and finished with the third one by the time she was twenty-eight. Now, at thirty-two, she’s divorced and mostly insane, trying to play the role of both parents while holding down a full-time job, all while her ex pretends to be eighteen again with women way too young to be doing anything but going to college. It’s pitiful.

No way in a million years am I going down that path. I’ve seen the mess it leaves behind. Whoo-hoo, no thank you. Commitment’s great when it’s with the right guy; I’ve seen that with friends. Some people get lucky. But so far I’m not even sure there’s a guy out there for me. When I get a hint of a lie or even just a shaded truth, I’m outta there. Good-bye, so long, don’t let the door hit you on the butt on the way out. Liar, liar, I will set your pants on fire.

I’m single and loving it, twenty-nine, working as a freelance wedding and portrait photographer, and absolutely not in the market for a relationship. I just ended a long-term affair that should have been a short-term one and have sworn off dating for a while. As far as I’m concerned, it’s better to have not loved at all than to have loved and been lied to. I need a little me-time, and since my schedule is pretty much empty, it’s going to work out perfectly. My plan consists of being in the studio or on location whenever I can book some work, napping, gardening, going to the river in the evenings for glorious, relaxing walks, and drinking copious amounts of wine in between all those things. Nothing is going to get in the way of me enjoying the last year of my twenties. Nothing, not even the little butt strings and their crazy momma.

I’ve been planning this self-imposed get-back-to-the-real-May-Wexler program for a while. Ever since I graduated from NYU with a major in photography, I’ve been focusing on getting past the things that drove me away from my family and across the country to get my degree. But even though it’s been over five years, I’m still really no closer to reaching that elusive goal.

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