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‘This Is All We Need’ by Jennifer Todhunter

— Joyce Chong

counted your vertebrae as we lay on our bed, from the first at the base of your neck all the way down to the seventh. That’s the one I broke, you said. That’s the one I broke when I fell.

This week I have a short story by Jennifer Todhunter published in Atticus Review called ‘This Is All We Need’, on the ties we form in our lives, how trauma and wounds can come to define us as misnomers in a way. Titles we adopt and shed with passing time. How the things that we think matter don’t necessarily determine how we are perceived by others. Most of all, this story is about the unexpected depth of the connections we make. How broken is sometimes the only way we know each other, blank mirrors seeking a semblance of familiarity in the unknown. How that feeling of being known can be enough. How it shrinks our world into only the necessities.

We spent the night throwing our belongings in the green dumpster out back, lay on the floor of our empty apartment, and talked about the feel of the carpet. This is all we need, we said. This is all we need.

Atticus Review