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Everything's Bad, Jesus

Ryan Warrick

My friend, his uncle, was the one who told me about how Our Boy got stuck in Sweet Girl, and about how Our Boy was going to be a dad because of it, but that nobody was allowed to know. Because everybody knew Our Boy’s mom would be pissed.

“Love,” my friend his uncle said, “is balls.”

He took a frustrated bite of his runny tuna on wheat and then rubbed his eyes. He said the mayo fucking stung.

“Jesus,” he said, “everything’s bad.”

Here’s everything that happened:

He said Our Boy was at home with the sitter when her friend came over with this really sweet girl. Quite a bit older than Our Boy, Sweet Girl, but when it comes to love who’s to say what’s right?

I only ever met Sweet Girl twice. The second time on the night of the birth, the first time about half way through her pregnancy. She was in fact a really sweet girl, with searing gray eyes that cut right through you in a way that feels exceedingly more human than those with green or old-fashioned brown, like she can really see you. It really is sweet, and I don’t blame Our Boy at all—the way she looks at you makes you feel.

That first time I met her, she’d said she loves the snow and goes to it every chance she gets. Then she said that, one day, she’ll bring her pups to the snow too. “Congrats,” I’d said.

“The conception was fucky though,” my friend his uncle explained.

“Like what?”

“They got stuck together.”

“Love is a magical thing,” I said.

“No,” he said, and shuddered.

My friend his uncle leaned in and started whispering.

“The sitter and her friend went out back for like ten minutes,” he said. “And when they came back inside, they heard cries for help coming from the bedroom.”

“Everything’s bad,” he said.

He said that the sitter and the friend kicked through the door’s bolt and witnessed full-on the fact of Our Boy stuck in Sweet Girl, but not penetration or anything like that. I mean lodged, or maybe hooked. My friend his uncle used the word clamped.

He said Our Boy was yanking hard to escape, the loving pair screaming like angels with their wings sawed-off the entire time.

I don’t know if you can imagine the level of horror and shame you experience when your sitter and her friend go through an entire jar of Vaseline to try and slide you out of some sweet girl you just met, but personally I respect Our Boy all the more for it. I just hope somebody talks to him about it before it manifests into something bad. Because a thing like that can breed a psychopath, you know? A real crazy guy.

“Did you talk to him about it?” I said. “Not yet,” his uncle said.

“You need to,” I said.

“I know, I know,” he said.

“He has no father figure in his life,” I said. “You should say something.”

“Jesus,” he said, “everything’s bad.”

The only people who knew about it at first were as follows: The sitter, the friend, my friend his uncle, and eventually Yours Truly. And for a while, everything seemed capital C Crisis Averted. Not much harm, not much foul. They got them unstuck and checked them for wounds. They applied antibiotic cream and gave them something to eat. The only thing that seemed really bad was how thick the awkward was, because the sitter told my friend his uncle that neither the loving pair would even look at each other after, and that she was able to tell this because the second they did, they’d look away.

Then, maybe a month or so later, the sitter’s friend, the one with Sweet Girl, called my friend his uncle and told the news that her sweet girl was pregnant, and not just a little bit pregnant but very pregnant. Twins. Weirdly enough, the sitter’s friend said she was overjoyed, but that she wanted to ask my friend his uncle for advice given she knew Our Boy’s mom would be pissed.

“We can not let Jessica know,” my friend his uncle told me, driving a skewer straight down the middle of cannot.

Because here was the problem:

Jessica, Our Boy’s mom, is adamantly against him having kids, and not just because he’s young. Jessica feels that Our Boy’s genes are just too awesome to be shared. She believes he contains within him a pedigree that should be worshiped, vitalized, and ultimately withheld from those with lesser genes, which according to her means everybody and everybody very much includes sweet girls with soul-shattering gray eyes that reflect their love of snow.

“He is not allowed,” my friend his uncle said with the skewer again.

“Ever?” I said.

“Everything’s bad,” he said.

My friend his uncle had it all worked out. The sitter’s friend would take the children without a word to Our Boy or his mother. She’d foot the responsibility of raising them and help Sweet Girl into motherhood best she could. Our Boy was going to be allowed to develop in unbridled fate without ever hearing a word of what getting stuck in a sweet girl one night has the capacity to do. But more importantly, his mother would be protected from this information, too.

Him telling me all this stuff about unwanted babies started making me upset. I have a brother whose children were both born grossly deformed and basically totally cognitively bereft. One has no arms and the other has a leg that isn’t so much a leg as like the twisty-tied end of a balloon. But my mother, their mayma, loves them all the same; she calls them her munchkins.

That Jessica didn’t want any munchkins made me want to lock her in a closet and leave.

“Those kids are going to be beautiful,” I told my friend his uncle.

“You don’t understand,” he said.

“People are going to love them,” I said.

“I know,” he said, “but she can’t know.”


“One time,” he said, “Jessica told me that the only reason she could ever accept her son having kids is if they were sent here to cure cancer.”

“Give me one,” I said.

“Otherwise,” he said, “she said it’s the worst thing he could do.”

“Let me have one,” I said.


“I’ll do it. I’ll raise it on my own. Give me one.”

“Jesus,” he said.

My friend his uncle stared into his coffee, which he’d hardly sipped the whole time and which he suddenly appeared to be searching as if looking through a kind of tiny, black mirror. He brought the mug to his lips, sipped, and let my answer dribble out of his mouth. “Fine,” he said.

“Everything’s bad.”

I think I always knew I was going to blab. Deep down, I really wanted Jessica to find out. But instead of saying it straight to her face, for some reason I decided to tell literally everybody else. And for the remainder of Sweet Girl’s pregnancy, that’s exactly what I did.

“His mom hates babies,” I told my senior manager, informing him I’d soon be a dad. “It’s a bad situation.”

“We can never let Our Boy know,” I said to a dollar store cashier. “But especially the soon-to-be grandmother.”

“It’s so romantic,” answered a coworker. “Like Romeo and Juliet, but the problem is babies.”

One night over beers, a neighbor told me that the most irreversible thing in the world is getting stuck in a sweet girl and getting caught.

“Love is balls,” I told him.

Everybody said I was doing the right thing. They said they were proud of me. I’d look them hard in the eye, the whole time trying not to let my voice crack when I said it, and I’d say, “the only reason she’ll accept grandchildren is if they’re born to cure her when she gets cancer.”

They’d nod and reassure me that while they didn’t like cancer, they agreed that that is an awful thing to say about your unborn grandchildren for sure.

“Let us know if we can do anything for Our Boy and Sweet Girl,” they’d say. “That’s a bad situation.”

“Thank you,” I’d say.

“You’re doing the right thing,” they’d say.

Sweet Girl went into a hard and prolonged labor late one night after an unexpected additional three weeks of pregnancy. What seemed like your average twin-ripening had taken an odd turn when her belly ballooned into a misshapen dome that stayed big and hard and dormant for longer than anybody could believe. My friend his uncle called me up drunk and told me it had begun, so I went and picked him up and that’s when he decided to tell me we weren’t going to the hospital. “Home birth,” he kept saying. “Home birth, to keep the buzz down.”

I’d never been to a home birth or any other kind of birth for that matter, but it smelled sort of sour and Sweet Girl was on the floor screaming like an angel with sawed-off wings. Her mom, the sitter’s friend, was eerily quiet standing off in the corner, and there was some kind of midwife or doula there who I’d never met, who kept saying “push” and who never missed a beat in reminding Sweet Girl to breathe.

“One of these is for me,” I told the midwife.

“I’m not a midwife,” she said.

“Oh,” I said.

Then, pretty much just that fast—one after the other, seven. The midwife didn’t even have to say it.

They had snouts and golden hair and puppy feet. They had wings and snaggleteeth and skin made of stone. Some had two heads, others webbed toes. All the boys and all the girls were all ice-cold.

“Luke,” Sweet Girl said. “Leia.”

“Thank God,” my friend his uncle said.

When I saw them, it was so weird. It was like I wanted to cry, but like I wanted to cry because of pride, and the only thing I could think of to say about it as they slid out one by one was, “balls.”

I don’t know why, but before the midwife could call time of anything, I grabbed the strongest looking of them. I rolled it into a blanket and ran to the car. I drove to the nearest hospital, where they have one of those baby boxes for babies who people don’t want, babies who people just can’t support. I think I just wanted to tell somebody one more time, to do the right thing and know I was. So I left mine in the baby box with a note that said, “everything’s bad, Jesus. Needs a good home,” and I drove back and picked up my friend his uncle and we never spoke about it again.

And I don’t really like to think about it, and I’m not exactly bragging, but all I know is about two years after Our Boy got stuck in Sweet Girl, somebody out there cured cancer.

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Ryan Warrick likes to hide notes for strangers in unexpected places and wonders why nature has pretty much decided against blonde raccoons. When he’s not out there trying to spot a blonde raccoon, he is either writing web copy for the tech company he works for or writing fiction for friends, family, and strangers.