had logo

January 24, 2023

The Bad Friend

Joshua Hebburn

The last time I saw Rebecca we went to Denny’s. I was across from her in a booth. I was appearing to be listening to her, being a friend to her. “Oh,” I said, that kind of thing.

I looked at her nose, her excited eyes, and her eyebrows, at Rebecca’s hair. There was her fist unclenching into three fingers and a thumb over the laminate table top. This had been our friendship, one sitting across from the other, one talking, one appearing to be listening. It’d been our way since college. 

I looked at the window. I wasn't looking out of it. It was one forty five a.m. black out, and the inside of the Denny's was bright. There was a reflection, the next table over, laid on the window like a photograph that had been shaved down with a razor. I could see a girl in a gold velvet cocktail dress. She had Mia Farrow bangs and very nice legs.

Rebecca squirted a wavy line of Heinz onto her fries and picked up a fork. She always did that. I’d say Rebecca was what I best learned from that time in my life when I learned everything poorly right before the biggest most important whatever was due. “Unfucking unbelievable," Rebecca said, "I was a friend for two years. He couldn't have asked for more.” I listened.