Any time Carla willed it, the people disappeared.
First her mother who slapped her across the face when she was despondent. Then her father who visited her at night when he was careless.
Later on it was her boyfriend. He didn’t love her in the right way. Then it was her best friend because she spread a rumor about Carla that was only partly true.
When the slow man didn’t smile as he bagged her groceries, he disappeared. So did the seductive bank teller with the overbearing perfume, the little boy on the bus who threw a tantrum and his mother who didn’t stop it, her co-worker who borrowed a pen, the one-night stand who left the toilet seat up the next morning, and the neighbor whose car alarm always went off. The teen with a heart tattoo on her neck went, as did the dog with the studded collar and loose stools. The homeless man and his Dodgers hat were gone. So were the anorexic twins in her yoga class who always said too-kind things to her.
On and on it went until there was no one left to disappoint her, no one left to love.