The Last Girl

As you probably already know, / I was the only one of my friends to survive / that night. / Sometimes I feel like surviving / was the easy part.

As you probably already know,
I was the only one of my friends to survive
that night.
Sometimes I feel like surviving
was the easy part.
In some ways I never left
that basement
with all the creepy, dead-eyed dolls.
They claw at me in my dreams.
I haven’t left my apartment
in a couple weeks, I think.
Honey, Dad says, you’ve been through a lot,
but you can’t hide in here forever.
Just give her time, my mom says.
The pizza delivery boxes and empty diet soda cans
pile up around the couch.
I don’t even answer the door when it gets delivered.
I’ve given them strict instructions to leave the pizza
on the doormat and to take the money in the mailbox.
After all, anyone at the door
could be wielding a machete.
Not to be gross, but
it’s been a while since I’ve taken a shower too.
Cause I’m still not convinced he’s really dead,
even though I shot him five times and beheaded him.
And every time I’m in the bathroom,
I imagine him ripping open the shower curtain
and my terrified screams
and the dark blood swirling slowly down the drain.
I did leave home to go to the doctor
to get something to help me sleep at night,
but I was late for my appointment.
I was going to drive, but I couldn’t get my eyes
off the rearview mirror,
expecting him to slowly rise up from the back seat.
I wound up taking the bus instead.
So, yeah.
It’s been difficult.
I wish I could talk to Brandy or Jess
because they’re the only ones who could possibly understand,
but Jess was the first one to die
while making out with her new boyfriend, Mike
(God rest their souls).
I really thought Brandy was going to make it,
as we escaped the basement together,
but he got her with the chainsaw,
and I had to flee to the woods alone.
There was a guy in my calculus class
who was interested in me,
and he always did my homework for me.
I thought he was pretty cute too,
but after that fateful camping trip?
I just can’t imagine being intimate with anyone.
As you can see,
I’ve been a real wreck.
But there’s one good thing, I guess.
I’ve been doing this aerobics tape
that I bought while staring at a
late-night infomercial.
It’s geared more for old folks, I think,
but I remember the aerobics instructor saying
that if you’re strong, you don’t have to be afraid.
So I’m going to be strong.
Like Linda Hamilton bad-ass strong.
It won’t happen overnight.
But geriatric aerobics
will turn to jogging
will turn to running
will turn to weight-lifting
will turn to martial arts
and target practice.
Then I will be ready for the sequel.

© 2020 by Karen Steiger

About the Author

By Karen Steiger

Karen Steiger is the founder and sole contributor to The Midlife Crisis Poet and has been published in The Pangolin Review, The Wells Street Journal, Leading Edge Magazine, and Black Bough Poetry. Her work will appear in a future edition of Kaleidotrope. She currently resides in Schaumburg with her husband, Matt, and two beloved retired racing greyhounds, Giza and Horus.