Foreign Excellent

By Michelle Herman

Featured Art: The Last Dance by Mackenzie Siler

It wasn’t that I didn’t like her. I liked her fine—that’s what I would have said if anyone had asked me. But I knew better than to get too attached to the women who dated my next-door neighbor, John. Women cycled through his life pretty quickly, and so far all the ones I’d met had been crazy, anyway—too crazy for me, if not for him. John pursued crazy; he thought crazy was charming. And while she didn’t necessarily seem crazy, I’d learned that you couldn’t always tell at first (that actually you could hardly ever tell at first).

Did she like me? It was impossible to judge. She was friendly enough, always polite if not warm. Certainly she was more guarded than I (but then just about everyone I have ever met is more guarded than I). I could not have read her even if I’d tried. But I didn’t try, because we weren’t friends.

And then she cracked her skull—she almost died—and suddenly we were.

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