Last Night

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My breath was like a dragon’s that clear January night, frosting the black air. I heard the click of a lighter, and turned to see her lipping a cigarette behind her straw hair, head tilted to the moon. Her fingers shed an ash cloud to the pavement.

“Nice out,” she mused, and I nodded. I wondered when the last time we talked had been. I wondered if she remembered my name, remembered that I’d been in her Trigonometry class last year. If she hadn’t remember us, we certainly remembered her.

“Caleb likes nights like these,” she said. She didn’t have to explain; I knew. We all knew Caleb, the hippie with curls down his back and loose clothes, Caleb who didn’t go to college, Caleb who didn’t wear sneakers. I’d seen the two of them embrace countless times on his stoop, melting into each other as one in the flickering yellow pool of midnight. I nodded, and then to make friendly conversation responded with,

“Can’t wait to graduate, huh?” Chelsea nodded distantly, drawing in breath from her cigarette. The night filled with smoke.

“I just want to get on the road. Get my own car, you know; me and Caleb are saving up. I want to get out of here.” I nodded.

“This town can get boring. I mean, what is there to do around here?”

“Oh, I find stuff to do...” Chelsea trailed cooly, a sly smile spreading across her face. “I want to get out of here. For other reasons.”

I thought of her in eighth grade as she got off the school bus, disappeared down a dusty road into a world behind a screen door that nobody knew but her. I wondered about her mother with the umber lipstick, and somehow had trouble picturing Betty Crocker. Caleb’s car swerved down the bend, the jaded volkswagen that coughed and showed its age through dents.
Chelsea tossed her cigarette into the bushes, yanked her knotted hair out of its ponytail. She clunked open the door, and the starlight caught a glint of a smile on her face that said one word; home.





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BellaLuna said...
Apr. 14, 2009 at 9:26 pm
i sorta like it but i dot get the whole point i think its an iteredting concept maybe you mean like home si different to everyone?
 
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