Generosity

By Lori Cramer

My roommate asked to borrow my Tigers cap. Not wanting to seem selfish, I said okay, then reminded her that my dad had bought it for me at my first baseball game. She nodded as if she understood the sentimental implications, but returned it that night encrusted with mud, offering no explanation or apology.

The next day, she asked if she could use my car. I wanted to tell her no—and I almost did—but she pleaded and begged until I acquiesced. She kept my Honda overnight, and when she brought it back late the next evening the interior smelled like week-old garbage and sour milk. I questioned her about the offensive odor, but all she said was “I didn’t smell anything.”

I’d had enough. This person had no respect for my belongings or for me. So I told her that from now on there’d be no more sharing. Somehow she got the wrong message, though. She didn’t ask permission to borrow my boyfriend; she simply stole him.


Lori Cramer’s short fiction has appeared in the 11th Annual Writer’s Digest Short Short Story Competition Collection, Boston Literary Magazine, Postcard Shorts, Pudding Magazine, and Seven by Twenty. She lives and writes in Central Pennsylvania.

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