Agnes & BB is a bi-weekly fiction series that I’m writing in conjunction with Amanda. We’ll be telling the same story from the perspective of two different characters. You can read BB’s story here and Agnes’ story via Amanda’s blog.
It doesn’t matter what Agnes tells you. None of it is true.
I had this guy in California, sure, but I never mentioned him. I never would have mentioned him. He was something secret, something separate. My husband and him—the two were never connected.
And it was Agnes’ idea to go to California. Don’t let her tell you anything else. Don’t let her tell you something different. It was always her. She painted this picture of California I couldn’t argue with. The sun and the heat and the brightness. It was the opposite of where we were. It was as far as you could get away from where my baby choked to death on poison and from where she shot and killed her Henry in her bed. All blood and guts and intestines splattered across the wall.
And afterwards she wouldn’t let us leave. She made us sit in her kitchen and she boiled a pot of tea and the whole time I kept hearing sirens in my ears and I kept begging her Agnes please, can we leave, can we leave, we have to leave, but she wouldn’t leave. She turned on the burner. She filled the kettle full of water. We waited for it to whistle and then she poured herself a cup of tea and she didn’t even ask me if I wanted one. She knew I wouldn’t want one. I sat across from her at that kitchen table and I watched her drink that entire cup of tea and then I watched her stand up and I watcher her dump the tea leaves in the sink and rinse the cup out like she still lived there. But she didn’t. She had stopped living there when she stole the gun. I didn’t know she was gonna steal the gun. That was not something we had talked about. That wasn’t something we’d discussed.
California, Agnes said.
And the first time she said it, that was when I remembered him.
It wasn’t a state. It wasn’t a place. It was a man. All muscle and brawn and promise and light.
We jumped on a train heading west.
It was Agnes’ idea.
But I thought of him, and I sent him a message just as soon as I could.
Coming your way stop will contact you when I can stop hope all is well with you stop been thinkin’ about you a lot stop.
At the train station we hovered for a minute outside the timetables. Agnes pretended to look up and down the possibilities and I pretended to look up and down the possibilities but really there was just the one place. There was just the one place, just the one destination.
I knew before any of it happened. I knew before we left. I knew before they were dead.
We were going to California.
Where else was there?
This week’s post marks the end of Part One of Agnes and BB. We’ll continue with Part Two in the new year- thanks for reading!