John: Security or Bust
Candi lives in a bubble. She lives to get attention. She just can’t help herself.
This is an excerpt from Sujeiry’s novelette, Candi, which will be released on December 2021. To catch up with Candi’s love saga, read her stories here. Don’t forget to subscribe for free to support the Latinx Chronicles, as we continue to amplify Latinx storytellers.
She can’t help herself. Candi bulldozes every damn conversation. I can’t get a word in edgewise. Not like I’m much of a talker, especially not here.
“So, John, what do you need to feel loved?”
I come to. Have to look alive. Like I want to divulge my deep-seated needs and secrets. To save our relationship. For my baby girl, Ava.
“Ahum…” I clear my throat, “I would say that I need security.”
“Security?!” Candi blurts out. From the corner of my eye, I can see her lip tremble. She cries over every fucking thing. I should be more empathetic, I know. You must think I’m a monster. She does. The way I see it, it’s all theatrics.
“Candida - “ the therapist calls to her.
“It’s Candi,” she turns to her tensely. Her eyes well up with tears.
“Sorry. Candi. The word ‘security’...how does it make you feel?” she asks.
I stifle a chuckle. Security means she has to work. Security means she’ll finally give up her lofty dreams of being a singer. She has a beautiful voice, but beautiful voices are a dime a dozen and she’s not 21 years old anymore. We have a daughter. We are adults. We have bills. Candi doesn’t have the work ethic or a tough enough skin to make it as a performer. I know that; she just lives in La La Land.
“Security isn’t about romance or love, it’s about money. It’s always about money,” Candi responds. She’s crying now. I should feel bad. Why don’t I ever feel bad?
“It’s what I need, that’s what she asked. So, yea, it’s not romantic, but it’s reality. I need to feel like I have a partner that I can count on and build with financially. I don’t want to have to do it alone for the rest of our lives.” There. I finally said it. It feels good. Freeing even. To tell her exactly why we are here in therapy. Maybe she’ll finally take some accountability for getting too comfortable.
“He met me like this, you know,” Candi says to the therapist. Here we go. She loves this story. It makes me look like a manipulative asshole.
“I sang for a living. A background singer, but still. He knew what he got himself into, I never ever said I’d give it up!” She turns to me now. “You have to love me for me.”
Candi’s voice cracks because she knows the truth. That I can’t. That I’m fed up. That I’m resentful. That I want to feel like I can depend on her and I probably never will. She lives in a bubble. She lives to get attention. She lives for her, she’s so selfish. She just can’t help herself.