💯 STORY CHALLENGE

She Ain’t Never Had a Friend Like He

№ 38 of 💯 — What will your pleasure be?

Bob Merckel
3 min readApr 18, 2022

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Photo by Clement Percheron

Six years ago, Angie spent an entire weekend in the bath.

It began as a quick getaway from the kids. “Mommy’s gonna take a little bath,” she said, “you guys watch Barney.” It pained her, but that purple antichrist was a godsend.

“If you need anything, Daddy’s in the backyard working on the RV.”

Fucking Barney. Once upon a time she swore the “I love you” earworm would never crawl near her house. She sadly admitted defeat, and had let that bloody tune twist its way in deeper than Khan’s little creature into Chekov’s ear.

She did hold onto her promise to never feed them McDonald’s.

For a while.

She fished the Happy Meal toys out of the tub and slunk into the steaming water, plopping half a Lush Bath Bomb as well. The broken ones couldn’t be sold, so her sister Margie would drop off remnants on her way home from the mall.

“This one’s special,” Margie had promised. “I think you’re gonna love it.”

But then again, Margie was a Nickelback groupie, so Angie took her with a grain of salt.

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Bob Merckel

Editor: Age of Empathy, The Memoirist | English teacher/language consultant in Barcelona and Provincetown.