Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Prequel to Adulthood

306 words – Dress

Sarah Van Name

I never told you this, Eleanor, but I liked the way you wore your dress that day. Even though the girls made fun of you for being so pale, I thought the blue complemented your skin perfectly. It hugged your waist and flared out at your knees. You looked so…classy, I guess, and it fit the way you sat in the lawn chair and sipped lemonade.

I was surprised you came at all, given the drama. Ryan and Will had been tense at school, making stupid comments at each other between classes, something about Sam and our prom after-party. It was her house we were at, and she sat with those two on either side of her like the queen you were. She was tanned already, dark and supple and smiling. It had been such a hot spring, and we were all tired of each other. We just wanted to get to graduation and out of the South.

I was watching Sam’s little sister do a cartwheel in the grass when I heard the voices escalate, and then a shriek from Sam. When I turned around, Ryan and Will were throwing punches at each other, fighting with the awkward rage of two strong guys who have never fought anyone before. Sam was shouting at them to stop, and you sat there in your infinite calm, looking just past them with squinted eyes at an invisible horizon.

I heard a punch connect. A grunt, a curse. But I was looking at you, Eleanor.

A tooth splashed from a mouth and landed at your feet. With the serenity of an empty swimming pool, you rose and opened the gate just enough to let your thin hips slip through, leaving me with the beautiful ghost of your white body, blue dress, and the chaos in the hot May sun.

Faster Side of Normal - Ben Lee (Daytrotter Session)

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