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Can You feel it? Clenching, cooling, burning, and then receding. Am I the only one who feels it? My skin contracting and prickling under Your fingertips…
In a room full of people? We’ve been so careful... No one was supposed to know… why now?
Bursts of random drunken laughter erupt in the small groups around the room. Could that be it? Could this be some alcohol induced haze? Could it be clouding Your judgment?
Our secret. You’re telling our secret.
Your hand slides around my waist (stomach clench) up my spine (goose bumps) our bodies are one (heating up) as we dance in the mass (going going going…) checking ourselves moments before a sly smile turns into lips touching (I’m gone, ladies and gentleman).
Your lips move inches from my face. The noise, however, doesn’t make it to my ear. Your breath does.
The breath of our classmates reeking of the Key Stone and other questionably legal forms of beverage.
Your breath smelling sweetly of the Extra Polar Ice gum that You forever chew.
No. these actions don’t belong to a Bud or a Miller. These actions belong to You.
But just like that, Your expression changes.
It’s the look of exasperation.
It’s the look You’ve been getting for the past six weeks at every secret rendezvous.
The empty Home Ec. room, first, where You… proposed a plan, the words never actually leaving Your lips before I agreed…
The park, the night of Your junior prom, nestled in the highest tower of the plastic castle jungle gym, like Repunzel and her brave knight…
That day after school at the field house when You took a “short cut” at track practice and we found a space between the wrestling mats and baskets of volleyballs…
All the secret kisses in the tree house in the woods behind my home.
The tree house where You and my brother would tease me with the rope ladder but I never gave up I always sat down, usually with a book, right under the tree, sometimes all night, until You both came down.
On my tenth birthday someone nailed boards to the trunk of the tree, fashioning a crooked ladder…
We would spend nights there, You and I, remembering times like those.
It was those moments when I felt beautiful, glowing. I felt… wanted.
But then You’d have to go. Go meet a “friend” as the bell for class rang. Go and leave Your Repunzel high in her lonely tower (don’t You know how the story ends?) go because the team captain blew her whistle. Go because the dust irritated Your sinuses and You were going to get a call soon anyway.
And I fade. My hair falls softly back to its dull shade of wall-flower brown. Mt eyes soften back to their no-more-than-a-little-sister green. My smile comparing now to every other junior girl in the year book. I’m back to me. The reason?
The reasons name is Riley.
Your friend before class. Your other damsel in distress. Your team captain. Your phone call.
The Nevershournever! Song peeling out from Your phone in Your pocket.
The look on Your face or surprise. Denial. Relief?
The girl You’re walking away from.
And You stop. You stop looking at the beautiful, perfect girl in the doorway and You look back at me. I know what You’re asking.
Is Your secret safe with me?
I’ve never done this before. But we are under different circumstances now.
You felt it. You had to. This was no slip of a red plastic cup. You knew what You were doing.
You always knew.
You knew every time You walked away, You left Your taste on my lips. Your scent ton my skin. You knew every time I offered You my heart and You pushed it aside.
“What we have, Kid, isn’t needing of a title.”
Do You know those words are ingrained into my memory and my bedside table?
You knew my heart was breaking, and that’s why You caught me as I stepped from the back door.
“Need a coat, Kid? It’s cold.”
“It’s the middle of June. It’s not cold. Stop calling me ‘Kid’. I’m not a kid.”
You chuckle. I’m cracking already…
“Do You really want to grow up? I don’t think You’d make a good grown-up.”
I try to hide my smirk at the fact You still them “grown-ups.” Failure.
“I can’t do this forever,” I whisper. I’ve whispered it so many times but You were never close enough to hear.
“I don’t expect You to, Kid.”
“Then why are You here?” I ask.
“Because I don’t believe in forever,” You answer bluntly.
“You don’t? Why?”
“Because forever means there’s a future. Future means growing-up. Growing-up means leaving this summer. Leaving this summer means…”
I quirk my eyebrow. You look down, shuffle Your feet, and then look back up. What is this? You don’t get nervous. Ever.
“Riley left,” You blurt out.
“She’s not the ‘cry-in-public’ type.”
“She’s crying because I don’t believe in forever.”
“Because forever means there’s a future. Future means there’s a Riley. Riley means growing-up. Riley means growing-up and leaving this summer. Leaving this summer means…”
“Means what!?” I finally explode.
“Leaving this summer means leaving You, Kid. And leaving You means a future without You. A future without You means a forever without You. A forever I don’t believe in.”
So we’ve come full circle.
Orchard Park, New York
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This article has 3 comments.
16 articles 0 photos 12 comments
You can't plow a field by turning it over in your mind.
2 articles 46 photos 31 comments
it's not peer pressure, it's just your turn!
live from the past live in the present live for the future
you never forget the face of the person who saved your life (not personal but GREAT book)
8 articles 0 photos 229 comments
"Come fairies take me out of this dull world, for I would ride with you upon the wind and dance upon the mountains like a flame.".... W.B. Yeats.
"Flying is learning how to throw yourself at the ground and miss." - Douglas Adams
Wow, is what I say to this. Just a resounding 'wow'. You did an amazing job of pulling the reader in. Might I say that the "?" was a little confusing and leaving it out might be beneficial, but over all. This was a great piece! Good job!(:
Could you read one of my pieces? It's under the title of 'Burnt Leaves' and I'd really appreciate it if you read it! Thanks!