One Story At a Time: Wherever You Go, There You Are

31 Dec

I love stories about women who are embroiled in complex relationships with ex-lovers because sometimes a relationship is never over no matter who you move on to or why you are moving on in the first place. In “Wherever You Go, There You Are,” the narrator, who’s staying with family in Delaware while escaping a failed relationship, takes her cousin Chrissie, a teenager, to see her ex-boyfriend Brian play a gig in North Carolina. Brian and the narrator are one of those couples who will never be over and the intensity of their connection is palpable throughout the story. As with all of Danielle Evans’s stories, there’s a lot going on in “Wherever You Go, There You Are,” including a tangled family history, a dying grandfather, Chrissie’s rebellious nature as is the wont of girls who are fourteen, and the narrator trying to make sense of her relationship with Brian while dealing with his relationship with his new fiancée.

This story has some of my favorite lines. When the narrator describes Chrissie, she says, “She’s the wrong kind of pretty, the kind that’s soft but not fragile, the kind that inspires the impulse to touch.”  She describes Vegas as a city she has, “always loved for its ability to be at once shameless about its fantasy self and honest about its real one, which is the only reason I’ve ever loved anything.”

Even with all the subplots in this story, the one story that matters most is the story of the relationship between Brian and the narrator, the story of the gravity holding them to one another despite the people and the history in their way. There is so much subtext to everything this couple shares. There are conversations within their conversations as they exchange words on a frequency only the two of them can hear. When the story ends, nothing has been resolved between these two and what interests me most of all is how they are still not over. We don’t know where they are going but we do know where they are.

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One Response to “One Story At a Time: Wherever You Go, There You Are”

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