Imperfect Truth(6)

By: Ava Harrison

They inspire me.

He tells me her self-importance is a ruse to mask her lack of self-esteem, and that her obvious disdain for me is caused by her jealousy about my importance to her son.

Ryder Matthews: Don't conform…be unique, speak truth. Don’t let them force the real you to hide. From what I’ve come to know in this short time, any change on your part would be an utter travesty. You are perfect Ava. He’s a fool if he doesn’t see what he has in front of him.

When I finally sign off…

I feel alive.

I LEFT HOME IN a hurry this morning to join my friend Jules in Soho. Alexandre was on the couch with the television clicker in hand when I left him. Typical.

Jules and I went to college together. She grew up in the city, and I was from Westchester. I sought her out in the small southern school we attended. A mutual friend gave me Jules’s name and phone number, telling me we would get along. I remember the day I called as if it was yesterday…

“Hi. Is Jules there?”


“Hi, umm…this is Ava. I got your phone number from Marci Sager. I know Marci from high school. Well, she told me there was a girl from the city that she knew from sleep away camp going to college with me…”


“She told me…”

“Yeah, I get what she told you…so you just called me?”

“Yes, well she gave me your number.”

“Wow, that’s just scary.”

“So does that mean, you don’t want to come out for drinks?”



“So you just call random strangers to meet for drinks?”

“Well, you’re from NY.”

“I could be a serial killer.”

“Well, are you?”


“Okay, so you want to come for drinks?” She didn’t speak for a second, so I peeked at the phone to make sure the call hadn’t dropped. “Hello?”

“Where are you going?”

“I met a few guys today on campus. They told me to meet them at Deuce’s.”

“Were they hot?”


“Sure, why the fuck not.” I knew that very second that we would be lifelong friends. Throughout the years in college I clung to her jaded New York personality. She made feel me closer to home.

With a shake of my head, I right myself from my memories and take in my surroundings. I notice a hot pink awning with a whimsical display of dresses and accessories in the window. Grabbing Jules arm lightly, I motion to the boutique. She enters the store, and as I’m about to follow I notice a group of women—my age, beautiful, thin, and looking as if they don’t have a care in the world. They speak to each other with animation, carefree and full of ease. Their happiness is almost my undoing. When did I become so jaded that the happiness of others could break me down?

I lift my chin toward the sky, my eyes fluttering from the sun. I need a moment. I wish I could be as carefree as them. I inhale a calming breath, and as I stand here, the soft breeze tickling my arm, I realize that this is exactly what I need: a me day. I deserve one.

I enter the store and see Jules standing by a clothing rack. She looks up at me with a smile…beaming brightly until she catches the look on my face. She furrows her brows, giving her face the appearance of a tiny frown line. Even with the wrinkle, Jules is beautiful. She has shoulder-length brown hair that cascades down the nape of her neck with luscious waves, and the brownest eyes I have ever seen, eyes that could never lie, and right now they are looking into my soul.

“Okay, spill,” she blurts out while searching the size on a pair of tiny sequin shorts. I shoot her a questioning look. “Av, you know what I’m talking about. What’s going on with you and Alexandre?”

I hate keeping things from Jules, but as much as I love her, she just doesn’t understand the dynamic of my relationship with Alexandre. She doesn’t understand why I stay with a man who won’t stand up for me, who would allow his family to treat me repugnantly.

“You know, the usual,” I say.

“So basically, you speak and he doesn’t listen?”

“Yup, same old, same old.”

“I mean seriously, dude. Aren’t you sick of it?” she asks, throwing her arms in the air dramatically.

I burst out laughing. “Yeah, of course, but what am I supposed to do?” Shrugging my shoulders, I turn my attention back to the rack in front of me.

“Ava …You know what? I got nothing.” She frowns. “Men are so stupid. Don’t they know that if they break you, there’s always someone there to pick up the pieces?”

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