Maybe Someone Like You

By: Stacy Wise

For all the girls with big dreams and hungry hearts.





Chapter One

The blades of my kitchen shears are sharp and shiny, and I give them a trial snip to the air. I suppose I could decapitate him. He stares from the glossy photograph with a smug look in his eyes as if daring me to do it. Tilting the photo to get a good angle, I decide decapitating is probably unnecessarily cruel. My shears slice the picture easily, and I begin to clip Brad out. He looks like a scrawny version of a paper Ken Doll. We were dressed in red, white, and blue, our smiles big (though mine certainly not smug) as we stood on his friend’s deck on the Fourth of July.

When I’m finished cutting, his shoulder is concave—I didn’t want to chop off my own hand and a good chunk of my long hair. But overall, I feel good about my work. Lighter somehow, now that this colossal ass is no longer weighing me down. I start to toss him into the trash, but at the last second, think better of it.

Brad saw me lose my job, and he can watch me as I find a new one. Propping him against the pencil holder on my desk, I flip open my laptop. I can almost hear him saying in his ridiculously deep voice, “Technically speaking, Katie, you didn’t lose your job. The offer was retracted because of a merger.”

“I know that!” I want to shout. God, it was like he was embarrassed that I lost my first job before it even started. Whatever. His smirk remains, and anger slithers into my bones again. “Oh, no you don’t.” I should burn the stupid photo. It could be symbolic, like a phoenix rising from the ashes.

Tapping my laptop to life, I type “how to start an indoor trash can fire” into the search bar. Results appear—Smoke inhalation! Third-degree burns! House fires!—and I cringe.

Clearing my search, I stare at the computer screen, my mind whirring with alternate possibilities. I could run him through the paper shredder. Less showy, but it’ll get the job done. And God knows I don’t want my apartment to go up in flames.

“Hey, Katie!” I jump. My roommate, Lauren, smiles in greeting, her ever-present canvas tote slung over her shoulder, chock-full of leafy greens. It’s Wednesday, so that means her greens are fresh from the farmers market. “Sorry to interrupt, but my yoga studio is having a one-year anniversary celebration tonight. They’re doing a free vinyasa class at five. Want to join me?”

I take in her shiny blue eyes and rosy complexion. She positively glows, and I’m one step past starting a trash can fire. Yoga might be peaceful. Healing. “Sure. I’ll go.”

Her face breaks into a smile. “You won’t regret it. I promise. We’ll leave in twenty!”

Flicking a glare at the photo of Brad, I flip him facedown. He doesn’t get to see me change my clothes. “I’ll deal with you later.”



Our small downtown area bustles with the sandy foot-traffic that marks the end of a lazy summer day at the beach. Lauren and I stroll past cafés, boutiques, and souvenir shops on our way to the yoga studio. There’s a happy bounce in her step, and her yoga mat bops along behind her in the special pouch she has for it, like a baby in a backpack. Gathering her mass of wavy brown hair into a ponytail—the kind I aspire to have but never will achieve with my stick-straight locks—she gushes about the guest teacher from Seattle who will teach the vinyasa class. I’m not sure what vinyasa is, but I hope it’s not too hippy dippy. Or hot. I’ve heard about the hot yoga studios that smell like sweaty socks. Maybe I should’ve googled it, or at the very least thought to ask, before agreeing to join her.

“It’ll be so much fun.” Her eyes shine with a vibrancy I wish I felt. “And don’t worry if you can’t do some of the moves. He’ll suggest modifications for the advanced poses.”

Oh God. This is going to be a disaster. One more thing to make me feel like a failure. Nonetheless, I take a breath and reach for the door.

“Whoa. Not there,” she says. “That’s a kickboxing gym. The yoga studio is next door.”

I peer in the window of the gym. Sweat-soaked men and women pummel bags with kicks and punches. A woman wearing pink boxing gloves catches my attention. She’s beating the hell out of a bag.

Determined.

Strong.

Fearless.

I step closer, fingers to the glass, wishing I could channel a fragment of her power.

Lauren taps my shoulder. “We should go. They’re expecting a big turnout.”

Without taking my eyes from the window, I say, “I want to check this place out.”

“Really? They’re all intense and grunty.”

Which is why I love it. I turn to face her, my confidence flickering to life for the first time in weeks. “Go on ahead. I’ll be there soon.”

“Just…don’t get in anyone’s way. They look violent.” She holds out a hand. “Give me your mat. I’ll save you a spot.” Technically, it’s her mat. I’m just borrowing it.

After passing it to her, I resume my window gazing, imagining how it’d feel to punch like the girl with the pink gloves.

“Are you going in or just window shopping?” a male voice rasps.