Saying Goodbye This work is considered exceptional by our editorial staff.

February 12, 2018

The hottest, shortest summer of my adolescence kicked off at the will of my next door dream,
who yanked me away from our snore-worthy suburban street and hoisted me into the sweltering summer night, sky black and air thick as ink; my cautious hand trembling in her tight grasp.

She lugged my dumbfounded, fumbling frame through brush and bog water, mumbling
something about an anniversary, whispering between breaths-- all the while
I labored to catch mine. Right as I thought I’d wrapped my head around her vibe, she stiffened up, halted in front of mossy stump propping a tackle box and a vet’s hat. Staggered gasps and whimpers leaked from her quivering lips, interrupting a chorus of chirps and croaks on all sides.

She knelt, curled her fingers around the cap, kissed the navy cotton, stuttered I’m not alone.
I laid a lumbering hand on her shoulder, and silently wished I could be anywhere else.

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