One Reply to “4.9.2015 Journal Prompt”

  1. I guess I’ve always loved Susie. She’s sorta goofy like me, if goofy can be pretty, too. She does her hair all puffball and lacquered and a ribbon showing in a little bow at the front. Like that it don’t look like hair at all, but like a hat or a piece. And she wears dresses that is like they was made out of tea-towels, and round her neck hangs a silver chain with a silver heart dropping off it.

    Mutton dressed as lamb, my mam says sometimes, cos Susie works on the line in the canning factory and she’s just ord’nary in her work clothes and just like every other girl then. And sometimes my mam says Susie is all done up like a Saturday night whore with her lips painted red and her nails red, too. I hate mam when she says those things and I slam doors and curse under my breath, and I hear mam through the wall, hear her asking my da what that was all about and what in blue heaven was wrong with me these days.

    Love her to the moon and back. And further than the moon, too. Love her all the way to the next galaxy. But Susie’s too pretty by half to be loving me. That’s what I think. Birds of a feather flock together, my mam’s always saying, and Susie’s feathers is way brighter than my own.

    Then one day or nearly night I saw her sitting on the pavement outside the Coffee Pot. The day still had breath in it but the night was creeping out from all corners. Susie looked down on her luck, if ever down on her luck could be pretty. She was just sitting with her legs out in front of her like she was inspecting the shine on her shoes.

    I just sat down beside her. Dared to. Not a word spoken, just quietly sitting, close enough we might be thought together. And like that we stayed for maybe ten minutes, the night growing more and more bold. Behind us there was music playing in the Coffee Pot and teaspoons rattling and a girl singing along to the music in a voice that was cracked but still beautiful.

    Then Susie said hi, like she’d only just noticed me there. And she said it was ok me sitting beside her and she said she sorta liked it. I edged a little nearer, close enough we was touching, hip to hip, shoulder to shoulder. She cocked her head on one side, looking at me and looking at me funny.

    ‘You ever dance with a girl under the stars, Corky? And music playing, and holding the girl so close it was like she was a part of you and you was a part of her. You ever do that?’

    I shrugged and I said maybe. I looked up at the sky and I looked for stars, but the streetlights was on and so the sky was blind.

    ‘Don’t have to see stars to know they is there,’ she said, like she could read my thoughts.

    ‘Course it’s easy now I am by myself and all my breath is my own and my head is clear. It’s easy to work out what Susie was meaning and easy to work out what I shoulda done, there and then, with the music spilling out from the Coffee Pot. But sitting beside her, so close I could smell her perfume, and so close I could feel the warmth of her reaching through her clothes and mine, well, all reason left me and I just went on sitting there, happy enough with that.

    Susie leaned in and kissed me eventually, just on the cheek, warm and wet and soft. And she called me a fuckwit and got to her feet and left. And in my head I play over and over her saying that about the stars and dancing and a boy and girl so close together they was like the one thing. And I scold myself, harder than my mam ever did, for being such a fool and for missing my chance to tell Susie that I love her and I always have and I always will.

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