The Bigger Fish:
It was Wednesday. Joni came home late from painting class. She had tried and tried again to make a perfect painting. Oil paint was the medium she felt most comfortable with, yet her best efforts were no better than mediocre. Deep in thought about her inability to create a great work of art, she entered the apartment. She called out for Liza, but the place was deafeningly quiet.
In the kitchen was a glass upside down in the drying rack. A banana peel lay on the counter next to the fruit basket. Joni picked it up and dropped it in the trashcan. Without any specific reason, she went to Liza’s room. From time to time, Liza sorted out her stuff vigorously, tidying up to perfection, just to let it slip little by little until the room was in a mess again. Right then it was about in the middle of the cycle. A few items were lying around, but it was only moderately untidy. Joni’s eyes wandered through the room until a little pale-green booklet caught her attention. It was lying half-buried under a bundled up tee-shirt on the bed.
Knowing it was Liza’s diary, she felt a bit uneasy about opening it, even touching it. Curiosity got the better of her. She listened for footsteps, but all was still quiet. One quick step and she was by the bed, the booklet within reach. She grabbed it and, listening again, she opened the diary. Paging randomly through, there was nothing of significance. An inscription on Saturday’s page drew her attention.
‘The looks they gave each other. Tommy is the small fish. Suitable for me. Or I for him. Let her have the big fish. She deserves him. Oh, but those eyes. How can I let the big fish go? Easy, coz I never had him’.
A bookmark was holding its place at the page of the previous day, Tuesday.
Enough. Tired of trying to do better. Tired of trying to quit the junk. Tired of being inferior. On the other side it will be better, must be better. If I can’t get enough stuff from Penny tomorrow, I’ll just jump.
Joni went cold. She knew it. It was in her eyes. Had been for days. She was going to do something to herself. Where is she? Where might she go? Suppose Penny didn’t give her enough heroin to overdose? She might be standing on a bridge somewhere. Or looking down from a rooftop. “Oh, God,” she cried out loud.