Jen and Jen

Jennifer Worgan

The fibro wall between our bedrooms was soundproofed enough to muffle her whimpers, but not his boots scuffing the tiles as he paced. I could hear him walk a few steps, pivot in the small room, then walk in the opposite direction.

‘You can’t text him,’ he said. ‘Jen? Never again.’

I tried to figure out the right level of pressure to put on the wall with my ear to get the best clarity, but still only caught a hint of huskiness. When I first met her, he had said ‘Jen and Jen!’, laughed loudly, and stared expectantly, waiting for us to acknowledge the unbreakable and eternal bond of both being Jen. We exchanged a half-smile.

‘Don’t lie to me,’ he shouted. ‘I fucking knew it from the start.’

Apart from my bedroom, the rest of the house was dark and it didn’t seem like anyone else was home. 

Jen might have been sobbing softly, it was hard to tell.

I’d never heard them fight before. Maybe they did that at her house. The only aspects of their relationship I knew were the sounds they made when they fucked. I’d only spoken to Jen in the kitchen a couple of times while I was cooking and she used our microwave to heat the spaghetti bolognese she brought over in Tupperware containers.

‘You’re so fucking –’ he trailed off.

A pause. A dull thump.

She murmured something, her voice even more choked up. He murmured something in return. Two minutes later she left and drove away and the house was silent again.

Afterwards I stayed sitting up in bed, moisturising my pale and flaky legs. I had lit a spiced-chai-latte-flavoured candle, which my sister bought me for a birthday present last year, which I pretended to be too cool for in front of a friend once. My room reeked of cinnamon. I kept thinking he can smell it, but didn’t get up to blow it out.