After the Movie


It was the stupid commercial that finally pushed her over the edge. The hot office broad, up on her desk like a pole dancer, and those goofy executive types leering at her. Be more attractive to your employers, it said, and I laughed.
        Rachel jumped up off the couch and took a few jerky steps toward the kitchen. I thought at first she was going for more snacks. Then she turned on me, hair flying around her head in a pale yellow storm.
        “You goddamned men. You’re all the same.”
        I didn’t stand a chance. “Rach…it was just a commercial. What’s the big deal?” Is this another one of your rape things? I almost said.
        “If you’d been with me that night, instead of out drinking with your fucking football buddies, it never would have happened.”
        I could only stare up at her, my mouth stopped up tight, my hands making these little butterfly motions. Was she broken for good?
        Seeing that yet another apology wasn’t forthcoming, she stomped off to the bedroom, her slight form refusing to lend an ounce of floor-pounding credence to her anger. I heard the bath water, and then the snick of the lock. Looked like I was sleeping on the couch again.
        Ever since the rape, she’s bathed constantly, sometimes four or five times a day. It’s like she’s trying to remove a stain. And sex? Forget it. She’s wanted nothing to do with men unless they work for the criminal justice system. She hates all of us. Especially me.
        We had a big fight the day it happened. One of the guys at work offered me his seat for the Redskins game, and I forgot it was date night. So she went to see The Wedding Planner by herself. I didn’t want to go anyway, but I would have, even though I can’t stand that smarmy Matthew McConaughey.
        She told the cops she went out for a drink after the movie. Alone. Because she was still pissed off. And when she left the bar, this guy grabbed her, right there in the parking lot. She called me from the police station around midnight. I was still wrecked from the football game, but I risked the DUI. She needed me.
        Her car was in the impound lot. They had to dust it for prints. And they kept her panties, as evidence. They were the same ones I bought her for Valentine’s Day. I wanted to ask her why she was wearing a thong with lace and pink hearts for a Matthew McConaughey movie. But I couldn’t do it. Just like I couldn’t ask why she went to a bar by herself. She doesn’t even drink.
        The cops never found the guy. It’s been four months and she’s getting worse. I’ve tried to talk to her. “Just relax,” I say. “Let it go.” She looks at me like I’m the criminal, then starts to bawl. I know it was rough, but Christ. She’s always been a crybaby.
        Tonight I tagged along to one of her group therapy sessions. We sat around in a circle of folding chairs at the high school gymnasium, a bunch of bleeding hearts baring our souls to each other. She looked so pretty next to the other girls there. Towards the end, I mentioned to the guy next to me that my wife was raped.
        Rachel went off into another one of her blonde storms. “Don’t you say that! I’m a sexual assault victim. That means I was sexually assaulted, you fucking retard.”
        Just this once, I shouted back. It felt good. “Yeah, I know. I was the one who picked you up at the police station, remember? I’m the one who had to bring you a new blouse, and explain to the cops why I let my wife go out alone. Remember that, you whining bitch?”
        I couldn’t take it back. I can still hear the echoing sound of her footsteps as she stomped out of the room.
        I took a long walk after that. She’d already left with the car. It was cold, and I only had a light jacket. I’m thinking now that maybe I need to go away for a while. Or maybe forever. I shouldn’t have left her alone that night, I know that now. But why was she wearing those panties?


Kip Hanson

Kip lives in Arizona with five demanding females. He’s madly in love with one of them; the rest are either tolerated or ignored. He was a crime fighter in another life, and once saved the world from raygun-toting aliens, but misplaced his cape one night after one too many beers. He must now content himself by telling lies, something his wife will tell you he excels at. Just Google him and see, or save yourself a few keystrokes and go to

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