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M. E. De Neve: Love Hurts

Art by KJ Hannah Greenberg © 2022


          LOVE HURTS


             by M.A. De Neve




          We were always best friends.

          Homecoming king and queen.

          You captain of the football team and me, the head cheerleader.

          Romeo and Juliet, in the school play.

          Remember Becky Austin. You took her to the prom. Too bad what happened to her. She disappeared walking home from school a few weeks later. Her body was never found.

          After high school you went to New York. You were going to be a star. And you made it.

          You never came back, not even for the reunions.

          The others asked about you. I’d show them the pictures. You and me on the set of this or that movie. You and me at a famous restaurant. You and me shopping. The paparazzi caught a few shots of us. I was always “an unidentified female friend.”

          Was someone killing your fans? There was that tourist in Hollywood, the one who tried to break into your home. Her body was found in an abandoned car at some park.

          And then there was the girl who claimed she was your fiancé. The paparazzi had pictures of her pressed close to you. You said you were just good friends.


          There were a few other girls. They got too close to you and ended up dead. There were even some headlines about some crazy jealous fan stalking girls like me who got too close to you.

          Don’t worry about me, I told you. I’ll be okay.

           Often, we’d get together. Maybe it was just for laughs and to share some memories. You called me your special best friend.

          Of course, with you there are lots of other girls, lots of best friends. You were the biggest star of them all. The women all loved you.

          Some of them came to such tragic ends.

          Then came your arrest. The papers said you’d murdered a girl. It was the one who broke into your home, and then there was that girl the paparazzi said you lived with for a while and that actress with the big boobs from that spy movie.

          She was found with her throat slit.

          Seems you’re some kind of a serial killer.

          The evidence piled up, so neatly that some journalist suggested it might have been planted.

          Some people continued to believe in you. But your fall was fast and hard.


          I suppose many of your fans grieved. But lots of people were glad when you got lethal injection. Even some of the kids from school, the ones like me who used to love you so much, hated you when news of your crimes hit the papers.

          You always proclaimed your innocence. You said you were framed.

          Before you died, you asked for me.


          “You aren’t going, are you?” Some friends asked. 

          I didn’t answer the question. The local newspaper wrote about how I’d been your best friend back in high school. You wanted me there at your execution.

          How could I go through that? How could I watch them kill you?

          I declined. I read about your execution. I cried when the hour came, and I knew you were dying.

          How I miss you, darling. I know we were just friends. We’d always been just friends. I couldn’t let those other women have you.

          You were so beautiful. You were meant to be mine.

          And now no one will have you.




M.A. DeNeve is a retired college instructor, and crazy cat lady.  Her short stories appeared in Over My Dead Body, Yellow Mama, Everyday Fiction, Cafe Lit, Freedom Fiction  and Mysterical -E. Her novels and chapbooks are available on Amazon.



KJ Hannah Greenberg has been playing with words and images for an awfully long time. Check out her poetry and art book, One-Handed Pianist (Hekate Publishing, 2021).

In Association with Black Petals & Fossil Publications © 2022