How to Skin a Sociopath: Keeping Company


The cigarette dangled from Peyton’s mouth as she was rummaging through her purse looking for a lighter. Frustrated, she started to cuss under her breath. When the strap on her purse snapped spilling its contents all over the parking lot, all she could do was lean against her car and begin to cry. Then she kneeled on the rough gravel struggling to reach for the belongings that went under her car.

“Peyton, stop.”

Yolanda jogged then knelt down beside her brandishing a lighter. Peyton chuckled slightly as she allowed Yolanda to light her cigarette. But then she started to reach around attempting to collect her belongings.

“I said stop.” Yolanda said now standing, “Sit there. Enjoy your cigarette. I got this.”

Peyton was confused, but she took a deep breath and watched Yolanda gather her belongings. She chuckled as she noticed all of the baby supplies in the bag.

“Well no wonder your bag broke. It’s a purse not a diaper bag. But I guess your husband don’t let you go anywhere without taken the babies huh?”

Peyton flicked her ashes, “Nope.”

“Sounds about right, that’s how they do. But they come and go as they please. Shit Peyton it got to the point in my marriage that I would have to ask him to bring me back something cold from the store just so he would bring his ass back to the house. Otherwise he would be gone for hours. Where are they now?”

“My neighbor kept an eye on them, so I could go to this meeting. But I have to hurry up because she has to go…”

They stood up, “If you ever need to get out Peyton or shit if you just want somebody to talk to over the age of ten. Call me.”

They exchanged numbers.

“But your husband…”

“Chile he had to go on tour this summer. But the tour ended a month ago. He’s telling me he’s on light duty. I know he’s with his bitch. So like I said, call me. I’ll just be lookin at the walls in my house anyway.”

“You’re not…”

“Mad? Nah, I’m past mad. I mean I started off depressed, even suicidal, but then I said fuck that and got angry. That anger fueled me. I was able to get all of the information I needed to get my life back. Now, I’m not angry at all. I’m methodically at peace.”

“Listen Yolanda, if you wouldn’t mind…”

“Say no more, do you have wine?”

Peyton laughed.

“Okay I’ll follow you.”

The next morning Lance Corporal Jackson was still in bed watching his girlfriend get ready for work.

“Babe, you’re beautiful already. You don’t need all of that make-up.”

“Yeah, okay. You say that, but I think you just want me to make you breakfast before you go home.”

Jackson threw up in his mouth a little bit at the thought of that woman cooking.  He looked out of the bedroom window and noticed the ice cream truck across the street and mouth watered at the thought of hot waffles.

“Nah, I’m run and get some ice cream, why don’t you just put some Eggos in the toaster?”

A half hour after the toaster popped and she nonchalantly tossed the waffles in the trash, Jackson still hadn’t returned. And as she left for work, the truck followed behind her.


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