Hell on Horrsman Road
by Honest Chunk

"I was heartbroken and angry. I hadn’t had a friend like him in such a long time. Damn, did I just lose my best friend?"

The narrator is looking for a friend when she meets Erron online. They connect, he ghosts her, she pursues him, and they reconnect. Their friendship deepens so that, despite warning signs about Erron’s stability, the narrator uproots herself and her child and moves to another state to share with him not just a house but the care of his elderly mother, whose health and home are in a precarious state. What ensues is a painstakingly detailed account of all the ways Erron disappoints his friend through what she perceives as his dishonest, immoral, and unforgivable actions and character traits.

Anyone who ever had a friend knows about hope, expectations, disappointment, and the crossroads that can come when a relationship fails to meet needs or causes more harm than good. The author’s heartfelt first-person narrative gives life to the mixture of hurt and rage that come with the feeling of having been played, especially by someone who claimed to be a friend. Equally resonant, though perhaps not intended, is the truth that in any ongoing conflict, while one party may launch the trouble, it takes two to keep it going. Here, the discomfort is palpable as the narrator remains fixed by choice in the very situation she abhors, anger deepening, all the while justifying why she is both a hero and a victim.

The tragedy of a situation gone bad, and the loss of love and connection for all the characters, make this a painful and sadly true-to-life portrait of the ways people can hurt those they love. What can read as a literary act of revenge, a wounded soul seeking closure, or even a legal defense is, in the end, a relatable chronicle of loss and missteps that most readers may recognize, with regret, from their own life experiences.

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