Life as a cymbal pad

She heard his car outside and knew he was finally gone. She emerged from the bathroom and retrieved a large pink night shirt from her crowded closet. Went downstairs and made sure the doors were locked, the house alarm was armed, her parents had not come home. She looked at the answering machine, nothing indicating anything had gone wrong and been communicated while her phone was muted.

She went back upstairs and picked up the phone, entering her passcode then her password to regain access out of sync with her usual schedule.

She texted Cinda, I need you.

She lay in bed for a minute and thought through what just happened staring at the popcorn ceiling and glow in the dark stars there.

She texted Nova, hey girl are you up

Her pillows had been shifted around haphazard so she got out of bed and began to straighten up. The room was silent and she could hear cars in the neighborhood, normal traffic.

Her phone pinged and she looked, need you too.

Gonna take a shower then we chat

In an hour yeah

She rushed into the bathroom and shut the door.

Something wrong with his dick?

Looked that way


No do not say that

Something in the air

You don't think it was me


Why you say that then

Had an encounter, vc now?

Popcorn first

She put the phone in her pajama pants pocket and padded down the long hallway, linen closet open and towel missing, she descended the stairs into the open living room, vaulted ceiling above the fireplace, massive black television on the wall instead of a portrait, sectional couch curling around a wide coffee table, glass with architecture books.

She went into the kitchen and threw a bag in the microwave then began scrolling social media.

Popcorn done

She poked the wireless earbuds in and reclined on a pile of pillows, knees up, ready to answer the voice chat call when it came in.

Okay so you know that guy

Hello to you too

She laughed and sounded nervous

Are you alone

Yeah, parents are out, thus the banging

Unfulfilling banging

Electric drum kit not plugged in

Just one of those dumb pads like your brother has

Drumming away unheard

I think you heard it

I didn't feel it

You nut?

There was a pause.

So this guy


Mina sat there with her lips pursed, brows drawn together, staring at her phone and thinking about the story Cinda told.

Well that was


Good word

I've had some time to process

Emotional damage

Seek therapy?

For sure

It was so good

She let out a long sigh that sounded like regret and mourning and longing.

That's it girl, just let it out

Why did I let him in

He seemed what

He could keep a conversation moving

Cinda laughed then, oww

I'm sorry girl. He also likes Amber Heard.

More laughing then groans of pain.

I should let you go


What do you think happens when we die

Who fucking cares

Do you think there is an afterlife

There is an afterlife for your stuff

They looked around the room at the big television, the terrible wounded animal shape couch, the gaming console, controllers on the coffee table, ashtrays for joints, small boxes for cards or games, a bookshelf in the corner, the blinds several sagging and broken letting in the morning light.

Point taken

Why do you care you won't be here

But what if I'm trapped and watching

Like some kind of hell on earth

They take my things and throw them away

All the stuff you thought was important when you were alive

Yeah and nobody comes to collect it so the trash guys take it

What if it goes to a thrift store or something

Yeah then someone else has my things and they live on

But they don't know who you were so you are just hiding there waiting to be discovered

My name written on the bottom of my favorite cup so it isn't stolen at work

How does that stop someone from stealing your things

It worked in school

Yeah, in kindergarten

He wanted to punch him so he picked up the bong and took another hit, capping it off at different intervals to trap the smoke in or snuff the flame.

That bong will be the first to go

They laughed, smoke filling the air, leaned and handed off the bong.