11.1.2013 Journal Prompt

Photo by William Gedney
Photo by William Gedney

November 1, 2013: It started like this.

3 Replies to “11.1.2013 Journal Prompt”

  1. At first there were names she threw at me. Heavier and sharper than stones, and the girls that were with her laughing at what she said, and I shrugged and went about my business like my Pa said I should. The teachers were told, but there was nothing they could do, not really. Oh they spoke to her and they wagged their crooked fingers and they said it had to stop or else. But it didn’t.

    Then one day, on the way home from school and up by Brewster’s Farm, she jumped out in front of me. We were on our own and it was strangely quiet. Not even birdsong or grass-whispers. Like it can be before a storm, except the clouded sky was not dark or low. And she just threw herself at me, her fists flailing and she was screaming and making noises like a frighted animal, and we went at it.

    She was strong and it was like fighting a whole bag of devils. Hair pulling and kicking and once a bite that was sharp but did not break the skin. And I gave as good as I got and our breaths were hot and quick and snatching. And then she had me pinned to the ground and she was sitting heavy on me and it was harder to breathe then. And she was crying, her salt tears falling on my face so they might have been my tears, and she dipped her head and kissed me, her lips pressed to my lips, and that kiss was long and slow and soft.

    ‘It is enough now,’ she said. And she let me go and without another word she left.

    Things were different after that. There were no more hard flung names at school and no more laughing. Sometimes I caught her looking at me and she was smiling and when I caught her she blushed and turned away. I didn’t know what was what, except that I felt a little funny inside when I saw how she was. And I remembered that kiss then and it was longer and slower and softer in memory.

    It was years later, and we were all dressed up for leaving school. The prom it was and she looked real pretty and her hair was all kiss curls and pearl pins and she gave me a present when no one was looking. It was a small notebook and she’d wrapped it in purple tissue paper with sequin stars stuck all over and a purple ribbon to keep it all together. And she held my hand, briefly and I think I might have kissed her then, if we had not been in the school hall.

    I opened it later, when I was home and the dancing was over and Michael Bing had tried putting his hand under my dress and I’d told him no. The notebook was filled with poetry she’d written. Not sugar and spice and all things nice, but real blood and tooth and claw words, and she was trying to understand what it was she felt, and it all came back to that moment by Brewster’s Farm and those tears and that kiss. And I touched my lips, with the tips of my fingers and I closed my eyes and I heard her say again, ‘It is enough now’ and I knew that it wasn’t, not for her or for me.

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