One Reply to “4.6.2014 Journal Prompt”

  1. I remember we thought she was different. We thought she was from a higher class and it showed in the clothes that she wore and the way her hair was cut and coloured and even the way she talked. She used words like she’d swallowed a dictionary or like she was a teacher talking. And though she was not tall, she seemed to look down on us.

    Her name was Miriam and no one ever thought of shortening it or giving her a different name like Toots or Milly. And she ate alone most days and only Carol ever spoke to her, and Carol spoke to doors and book cupboards. And that’s how it was for years.

    But then one day she was suddenly pretty and no one had any idea how that had happened. Right under our noses. Maybe the difference was in us and not in her, but she had a shape to her and when she walked she walked wavy and heads turned. And her name appeared in marker on the shut insides of toilet doors and boys said what they’d like to do to her now she was pretty.

    I sat beside her one day in class and she smelled of cucumber and green tea and I swear her leg was against mine, and under her breath she whispered some slight against the teacher and he was teaching. I looked at her, dared to, and she was smiling at me all soft and easy, and she was fingering the ends of her hair, and I could see down the front of her dress and seeing there took my breath away and all my words.

    I wrote her a note the next day and I said I thought she was neat and I said how I wanted to see her after school and maybe we could hang out. She wrote back and she said after school would be acceptable.

    At first we didn’t talk. She was waiting by the school gates and she smiled and we just set off walking, side by side and in step with each other. I looked for things to say in the people we passed or the colour of the sky or the streets that we crossed, but I found nothing. Then, without any warning, she slipped her hand in mine and I walked a little taller after that.

    Miriam took the lead on our first kiss, too, and she pressed herself against me and sighed. She was so clean and so breathlessly light that when I touched her I was gentle as holding thinnest glass and I touched her all over and that was new to me and I think it was new to her, too. I carried her smell on my fingers one day, carried it home and went straight to bed and slept with that smell under my nose.

    We never went all the way. That honour went to Tony Cerchiari. I read about it on the back of a toilet door, in great detail. They fucked in the school library and under the stage in the hall and there in the boys’ toilet with her ass pressed up against the door. At least that’s what it said.

    Then one day Miriam wrote me a note and she said she had to see me again. She was still pretty and I was not yet over her kisses or the touch of her under her dress. And besides, I thought maybe this time I could go all the way, like Tony did.

    She was pale when we met and again we just walked without talking and it was like starting over. And somewhere she took my hand same as before and I liked that she did. I stopped her and I kissed her, and that was different and I liked that it was. And she said my name and she called me sweet and I said how I’d missed her.

    We went back to her place and her folks were out and we did it like I thought we would. I think I tore a button on her dress with hurrying and maybe it was over too quickly, but she said it was fine. Then we were just lying there in her bed, and she was naked and so was I, and I didn’t want anything to change, not ever. And Miriam said in a voice as small as whisper that she was pregnant and at first I thought she meant me and what we’d just done and maybe she was messing around. But then she was crying and I understood then and I said I’d do what I could to help.

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