Rachel C. Peters




“We don’t owe each other anything,” might just be the most ridiculous thing you’ve ever said. Certainly more ridiculous than the time you asked if I wanted to know your least favorite part of my body, or the time you wanted an apology in three languages, or your continual, ever narrowing definition of lying. More ridiculous than every time you explain to me why cats are better than dogs.


How can we possibly not owe each other anything? “That’s how it should be,” you said. But somehow in the same breath you want me to support you through this. “I want you to support me because I love you and I think you still love me.” And maybe I do. But what is loving or being loved if it isn’t obligation? If it isn’t something earned and owed?


“It would mean a lot to me if you were there for me through this,” you said, “but I am going to get better – with or without you.” And that’s the second most ridiculous thing. That you’re going to get better.

Rachel C. Peters lives in Richmond, VA with her husband and their 90 pound dog, Lucius Vorenus. She teaches high school English and Latin, and manages a swimming pool in the summer. Her work has previously appeared in the Bristol Prize Anthology and the Boston Literary Magazine; and is forthcoming in Down in the Dirt and Fiction Southeast.

Flash Fiction