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A Memory

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‘So, what if I kissed him? I just kissed him like that and hoped for the best. What would he do? Would he kiss me back? Or maybe he does love her and then he’d pull away and everything would tumble down from the top of there.’
I knew I could always think that and never do it. I’d be too scared of what he’d do,
what would happen to us after.

And sometimes I wished I could hate her as much as I liked him.
But she was so nice and sweet and beautiful and thin, it made sense that he would like her too.

And still
I couldn’t forget
Leaning against the brick wall
After the football game ended
Looking up at him and laughing at something we were talking about.

Smiling and wanting to brush his soft hair out of his face
Wistfully thinking
The idea of another hug from him, warm, comforting, soft and firm and safe feeling.
Breathing in that sweet person smell. Musky, airy, and unexplainable, with the whiff of cigarette and clove entwined with it.

He hadn’t really lied to me. He said he didn’t smoke pot. I guess when you don’t smoke you think there’s no difference between them they’re all the same expensive way of killing yourself, but there’s always a difference to the person doing it.
Cigarettes, cloves, pot, smack, whatever. They smell different
Look different
Make you feel different.
In a way you can’t explain unless you’ve done it.
In the memory I didn’t know yet.
In about half an hour I would.
The informer was my friend; dark hair that brushed right around his eyes, chocolaty and Italian, which he hated.
He watched the kid with the tight jeans and the blonde girlfriend that smoked it all and was an A student, effortlessly cool and who I thought, had sticky warm hands.
And my friend was so obviously envious of him in a way that he tried not to show.
He would tell me what he’d seen; that boy who’s hair I wanted to brush out of his face, pulling out a pack and handing a cigarette to the kid with the tight jeans
And I would believe my friend because he wasn’t lying.
And I would give a little smile and say jokingly serious; “I thought he wouldn’t. I think I’m going to cry.”

Back in the memory.
The stadium lights shut off with a faint boom, like hearing sound penetrating through water
And it got dark
I pulled my sleeves tighter.
His friends were all gone
So were mine.
His girlfriend must have left awhile ago, I thought, a puff of breath showing in the cold air
But we were friends, so
It was okay
Socially acceptable for us to wait in the dark here.
A teacher from school came over and talked to us for a second
He was a teacher no one liked and secretly thought was a rapist.
I scrunched up my cold hands in my sleeves, wishing he’d go away
But keeping the automatic, tight smile on my face that came whenever someone I didn’t want to talk started a conversation with me.
When the teacher finally left, he looked over at me and a funny smile broke over his face which I loved.
“Come on” he whispered and laughed, grabbing me around the waist with his firm hand and quickly steering me away from the wall, towards the picnic tables under the trees, on the other side of the parking lot.
We laughed and whispered as we half ran and half stumbled over.
It was ecstasy for me, a whoosh and whump of my heart against my chest as it pulled itself free of the tight chain that kept me from falling, and it dropped into my stomach.
I wanted his hand to stay there
It was warm and full of good intentions, firm but soft and kind like he knew me almost better than I did
It felt good.
When he let go I felt crestfallen, I wanted that warm and comfort
But I pushed the thought away.
Later
I would realize how much I wanted it
I wanted someone to take care of me and hold me
And to be warm and kind to me.
It was something warm
That I had never known before
And everyone always assumed I was stronger then any of them and I could hold myself up
That I didn’t need that
And that I could take care of anything
But I couldn’t
And I needed it more then they understood.

When he left, we hugged
I loved his hugs
He pressed me against him and I fit there so nicely.
I was so stupid then
I couldn’t feel the outline of the Camel’s in his pocket.
“The cheapest s*** you could buy.” My friend had laughed scornfully.





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