Latest Flash


Redemption, second chances, new leases on life. . .

This week, Geoffrey Philp reminds us there is danger in hope.

My BFF by Geoffrey Philp

Marlene was my “ride or die” partner. From the moment we met in middle school, I felt if Marlene needed a kidney, I would have given her one of mine. We were inseparable until I met Greg in college. He was the love of my life and we’d planned to get married when we graduated. But not before we received my mother’s blessing.

A lapsed Pentecostal—I was born out of wedlock—my mother’s life revolved around paying for her sins by taking care of hospice patients. When I told her about our plans and that Marlene was my bridesmaid, she grasped me by the hand. “Be careful,” she said. “Envy can poison the most innocent heart.”

I ignored her, of course. She was always so exaggerated about things and I wasn’t surprised when she left the ceremony after we said our vows. But Greg and I didn’t let that ruin our intimate reception. Marlene was by my side. “Friends for life,” she said.

Even when I got pregnant and confined to bed rest, Marlene and my mother took turns taking care of me until my mother said it was either her or Marlene.

Marlene didn’t fuss, but stopped seeing me. That’s when the fights started with Greg. I understood what he was going through. He was paying all the expenses and the baby was unexpected. But sometimes, Greg was brutal. He called me “fat” and “lazy.”

When I told Marlene, she said I shouldn’t worry because Greg was a good guy. But I suspected that Greg was having an affair. He smelled of a perfume I never wore.

Then, tragedy struck. I had a miscarriage. Greg blamed me and my mother. I thought my marriage was over, but I wasn’t giving up without a fight. Determined to get back in shape, I went back to the gym with Marlene. After our workouts, we reminisced about old times.

“We should do this more often,” I said and held her hand.

“We should,” she said and placed her hand on mine.

Marlene’s phone rang and she reached inside her purse. When Marlene pulled out her phone, she giggled so much the phone dropped out of her hand.

When I reached down to pick it up, Marlene squealed. “Nooooooo!”

I looked at the screen. I recognized Greg’s penis. It had a mole on the tip.

“You can have him.”

I threw the phone on the floor, smashing the screen. 

I went back to live with my mother. When she greeted me at the door, I felt her fingers tightening around my chest. She would be my only friend.

Geoffrey Philp, an award winning author from Jamaica, has written two novels, two collections of short stories, and three children’s books. His work is represented in nearly every anthology of Caribbean literature, and he is one of the few writers whose work has been published in the Oxford Book of Caribbean Short Stories and Oxford Book of Caribbean Verse. He lives in Miami, Florida.