Story: Brandi

Brandi. Spelled like that, I’m pretty sure. I remember talking to her on MySpace. She was into the same bands as me, and she was skinny, and she thought I was smart. That was my type when I was 20.

She told me she was sick, so I told her I could come over if she wanted to cuddle or something. She lived in Chilliwack—a couple hours away by Greyhound—but I had nothing better to do. This was our first conversation, by the way.

I showed up at the Greyhound station out in Chilliwack without much of a backup plan. I wasn’t even sure that she was serious when she said I could come see her. I just assumed that she would feel some obligation to let me in, since we technically had discussed it. I assumed I would spend the night there. I had no money and no place else to go.

She lived with her mother, which was news to me. Their place was kind of trashy. I had to pass an interrogation with mom about who I was and why the fuck I was there. Brandi made like we had known each other a while, which is when I knew we were allies and I had nothing to worry about.

I spent the night in Brandi’s bed. Her bum nestled into my crotch, my arm snug between her tits. I didn’t sleep. I looked at her shoulder, or her hair, or the wall. Everything purple and blue and dark and strange. I was happy just to lie like that, as advertised, and felt like I was taking care of her. It was nice.

We spent the next day together. I cooked for her when her mom left for work, and cleaned up the living room a bit. We smoked inside. She wore an oversized t-shirt and boring, white panties. It felt very comfortable and girlfriendy. She hugged me and I held her tiny body like she was mine.

We walked to the drug store for a few things. It was grey and damp out from the day before. I felt like I was a younger versions of myself, a kid, walking around with this girl after not fucking her in her mom’s house. It was a great feeling.

She kissed me on the way back home. Like an announcement. She stopped walking, looked up at me, and told me everything I wanted to know with a sudden, warm and boring kiss.

That night we went to the bar where her mom worked. I think it was a veteran’s bar, full of old men, Scottish crap, military garbage. Everything made of wood, bathed in yellow incandescent light through orange and green lamp shades. Brandi and I sat at a table with a bunch of old guys she knew and they talked for hours. I just sat there feeling strange. There was live music, so I focused on the drums. Brandi was in her element and I suddenly felt like an alien visitor.

Leaving the bar, she told her mom she was heading home to sleep. Mom said, “He’s not coming with you right?” And Brandi said no, he lives in Vancouver. I realized I had to go home. If I could think of a good argument I would have preferred to move in.

I listened to Heartless Romantic by The Dears on my walk back to the Greyhound station, on repeat. I like the drums in that song, and that night they reminded me of the music at the bar. I remember looking out the window on the bus ride home, making dumb music videos dance across the highway to more Dears songs.

I was probably in love with Brandi for a literal minute. I don’t think we ever spoke again. But I found a couple photos on an old hard drive.

Irreversible Mistakes