by Nandini Godara

Angie wakes up at 2 pm, often.

Angie is unemployed.

Angie is worried she will never find the love of her life. And if she does, she will 100% fuck it up. Angie is scared of fucking up. She fucked up once and didn’t like it so now she doesn’t take any chances.

Angie is worried her younger brother will die someday. It is irrational but also inevitable.

Angie is feeling hungry but can’t decide what for.

Angie read a story about a man and a woman and thought about how difficult it would be if they were both women or both men instead, because the pronouns would be the same and the writer would have to bend over backwards to make it less confusing to read. Angie promised herself she wouldn’t do that if she ever wrote a story about two women. She would just replace the “he” with another “she” and continue. And if a reader came across two sentences like “She loved her. And she loved her.” they would infer from the context that it was two women in love.

Angie fears she is not loveable.

Angie lost her virginity to a man she’d never met before and when it hurt and she told him to stop, he did, immediately, and they snuggled all night instead. She thinks about it often and wishes she had married him.

Angie is not me.

Angie had to quit her job because they didn’t want to fire her.

Angie dated a boy who wrote her tacky poems that she absolutely loved because she absolutely loved him. They were kids and infatuated and when they stopped being either of those things it hurt but only a little. Angie reads those letters now and all she sees are grammatical errors and sugary hyperbole. She is thankful she didn’t marry him.

Angie played football for university and has spent her whole life not calling it soccer.

Angie found a scribbled note in the bathroom stall of a London Weatherspoons and it read, “I wish there was a version of me that walked back in there, kissed you and has not yet stopped”. Angie wished it was for her.

Angie fears she is too boring.

Angie stumbled into her dorm room after a long night out and in the morning she remembered the fight she had had and the friend she had lost. She spent a few years getting over this. It is longer than she spent on any of her ex-boyfriends.

Angie sometimes feels the walls are closing in.

Angie cries at movies but never in real life and if she did feel like crying in real life she would lock herself in her room and cry under the bedcovers. But she didn’t shed a single tear at her mother’s funeral or afterwards at home or ever, really. She thinks this makes her strong but fears it makes her weak.

Angie writes veiled stories about herself but uses a different name so she can call it fiction. This is not that.

Angie went to a party and felt too anxious to stay, and even more anxious to leave because she thought everyone’s eyes were on her, so she stood in the corner next to the alcohol on the kitchen slab and pretended to make drinks to avoid conversation with anyone who came in. After they left to scan the rest of the party she didn’t know what to do with the drinks so she downed them and felt better. After a while she felt TOO better and she didn’t remember it the next day but was told she threw up in someone’s bed. Angie stopped going to parties.

Angie fears she is not adventurous.

Angie messed around with a girl and didn’t like it. She messed around with another girl and liked it. She now knows that she likes some people and she doesn’t like some people and she told her mother that. Her mother said okay and nothing changed. Except her mother isn’t there anymore and now she has to come out to her father so at least one living parent knows who their daughter is.

Angie went on a date with a man she met on Tinder, a few nights ago. She told him she didn’t like Rick and Morty and spent the rest of the night parrying his questions, incredulity, and suggestions. She went home, exhausted, hating herself for bringing up TV Shows but realised she didn’t do much else with her time. She agreed to another date with him yesterday and it didn’t go well. She didn’t want to hate herself but she did, she couldn’t help it.

To reiterate, Angie is not me.

Angie is not me. But she told me everything last night because she didn’t think she was going to make it. Angie’s going to be okay though and she’s going to feel really stupid about unloading on a stranger in the patient bed next to hers.

But Angie doesn’t need to worry. She’s not stupid. And I won’t tell anyone.

Nandini is a freelance writer from Bombay, India. Her work has appeared or is forthcoming in The Bombay Literary Magazine and Pank Magazine. She has done nothing of note except try to write and get better at it.

Artwork by: Rosa Tarlarini

Rosa Tarlarini is an Italian collage artist.

Instagram: @rosartworks
Twitter: @Rosatarlarini