Underhanded Toss

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Written by Tiffani B.

He tricked me too. They always seem to find a way to make me hesitant, one foot hovering over ground. Neck cocked to the left/right. Scared so scared to place the tip of the toes. The arch of the foot. The heel. To the dirt. Fearful something’s going to reach up beneath said dirt and pull me down down down till I can’t breathe. Till the dirt has swallowed not only my skin but the space in the lungs where the oxygen should be. And the tip of my middle finger’s nail is all that’s seen aboveground next to that sign. The one with the arrow. That huge one from some old cartoon, pointing out the obvious.That huge wooden sign with the arrow pointing out the obvious at said finger in said dirt. In capital letters. Misspelled. Saying “stoopid girl. Stupid stoopid stupid girl. Fell for it again.”

I guess there’s no one to be mad at about it. I gave it to him. Tossed it underhanded. Saw it float float fall in his palms. Saw the way his eyes slanted just a second as he slipped it in his right back pocket. Just like that I’d given it away. Couldn’t see it anymore. Didn’t hear from it. No letters in the inbox. No packages. I gots nothing. And all because I gave it to him. I’ll admit I should’ve seen it coming. Noticed how it got real blue-gray outside. How all the winged ones went quiet. Ominous. They knew too.


So now I’m sans heartbeat. Just laying here. Waiting on my breathing to slow. On my hands to feel cold. On all the things that happen to heartless people to happen to me. I kinda miss the thumpthump. Wonder if he listens to it the way I did. Wonder if it got smushed in his pocket all that time. Wonder if it misses me. He could’ve said something. I know I wouldn’t have begged him for it back. But. He could’ve said something. Relented. Taken a breath. Looked at me. He could’ve looked at me. And said I play for keeps. Said no take backs. Said you sure. Said baby you sure. And I probably would’ve laughed and chuckled giggled and smiled. I probably – no – I know i would’ve still taken it out of its fine wooden box.  Cuz that wouldn’t fit in his fine linen slacks. Taken it out and wrapped it hurriedly in some plastic bags. Letting the ribbons it came with fall to the wayside. Totally disregarding the pieces of silk that came folded alongside it. Moving so quickly to just get it perfectly positioned so that he. He. He. Could have it. Because all I wanted was for him to have it.

Underhanded toss.

And now I’m breathless. Paralyzed and tired. Immobile and afraid. With no voice. Because no one tells you that your speech, your ability to put together words in protest disappear when you give over where the words come from. I tossed so much away. I shake my head. I want to cry. Heave those tears that hurt the back of your throat, clench your side. The ones that require support from objects stronger than you at that moment in time. Like plastic furniture. Or countertops. Floors. Always the floors. And I realized he took that too. The ability to pity oneself in a watery-way is standard equipment in what I gave away. Who knew. No one tells you it’s a package deal. That when you hand it or…throw it…away so eagerly, it glides through the air with invisible strings tied to the tear ducts, the larynx, the lungs, the brain. My mind. The pieces of my mind that kept the pieces of my mind together unraveled as those strings flew in the air. And I didn’t even know it. Like yarn. I’m underhandedly tossing away the best part of me thinking I’ll be alright without it. And here I am unraveling me. Brightly colored invisible string followed by equally brightly colored invisible string slipping from my flesh into the air between he and I and tearing apart. Like hair strands in the wind. If I looked to find the different pieces I could never find that version of me again. Took all of two seconds.

He’d said something in all of two seconds that made my heart leap. My heart leapt. My heart dived from within its ribbed security into my makeshift packaging and then…well. And then. It took all of two seconds and a flick of the tongue. A vowel followed by the flick of the tongue. An oh. A vee. Another vowel.

He tells me he loves me. In two seconds every rib becomes gel and my heart pushes through. My brain shuts down. My soul quiets. He tells me this lie and I believe it so much I give him my heart. For this lie. I knew it was a lie when he whispered it to me. When he stood there, across from me with that left hand behind his back. That one finger crossed over that other finger. I knew that it was a lie. And not in my brain cuz it was unraveling. Not in my soul cuz it was anesthetized. Not in my heart cuz its so damn foolish. But me. In me I felt that lie curl from his lips and into my veins. I felt it make the hair on my arm rise. And I. I, she spoke to Me. And I told Me to believe the lie. Again. To believe this lie yet again. And one second after one second passed and I gave my heart away. Tossed it underhanded. Saw it float float fall in his palms. Saw the way his eyes slanted just a second as he slipped it in his right pocket. Just like that I’d given it away. I guess there’s no one to be mad at it. I mean. I did. I did. give it to him.




  1. Some of us are just fighting our natural urges to not believe in the best of what we see in situations. It is a hard thing for a lot fo people not to do.

  2. thanks tiffany. 🙂 glad you can relate!

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