Leave a comment

i might just ... p3 clockwork_hart1 February 20 2017, 23:09:00 UTC

She rides up to the bar again that night, books in a bag on her back, a little later, perhaps, but still close to bright in the evening. She is not looking for Laura, she's not looking for anything, really, but a taste of remembrance.

She sits on the bench across the street, watching the neon get brighter and the daylight fade in time to the stuttered breaths of Sappho’s fragments, because it felt like the thing to read.

She glances up whenever the door shunts open and loud music sighs through for a moment, her heart speeding like an impulse. That's how she sees it.

Her brother stumbles out, not drunk but something else, a bright-eyed boy tumbling after him, skin a touch darker than Bart's where his hands wrap around her brother's waist.

She has to look away when the first kiss touches his throat because it shocks the breath from her. She wants to hide from herself more than him.

Bart looks at her, straight at her, and she swallows.

She is the first to blink, knowing she has to be reflected in his eyes. He and whoever is wrapped around him stumble away, leaving her alone with the night. She wonders if her cheek is still stained.


He climbs in her window that night, when she's curled around her journal not able to spill a single word from her head.

“You knew,” she says, not looking up.

“I assumed you did too, I mean I'm not the genius here.” He jumps down heavily on her bed, rolling on top of her journal just to piss her off.

“Quit it,” she says

“Make me,” he retorts, rolling around the sheets.

“Mom! Bart's -”

“A homo?” He smiles up at her.

“Will you shut up?” She pushes him so there's enough room for them both to lie back, and stares up at the ceiling still sporadically decorated with glow in the dark stars. “Are we okay?”

She isn't really sure what the question means. Whether she means the two of them and their insular little world, or the much wider and dangerous one around them.

“Lise, when are we less than fine?”

“Once a week and twice on a Sunday?” She feels her skin start to react to the cold air flooding in from her open window, gooseflesh peppering her arms and legs where they spread on the bed. She sighs. “And Donna?”

He looks at her and laughs brightly. “A puppy dog. Definitely not going to eat you alive.”

“Oh shut up.” She swats him with a pillow then curls up against the cold. “I'm fucked, aren't I?”

“Oh, totally.” He sits up and musses her hair, feeling so much warmer than she does. “You're gonna love it.”


On the last day of school she leaves her flannel in her locker, not caring if it's there next fall. It wasn’t her, really. Maybe another colour, another material, something linen that covers her skin softly, not abrasive and worn.

Janey catches her by the arm when they move in opposite slipstreams through the hall, says have a great summer into her ear whilst they hug, a trading of perfume. She thinks I’m glad it’s not you, because she’s afraid of these small intimacies being snatched away. It has always been tiring to be alone.

She goes to the bathroom when all her perfunctory gestures are done with and no one cares about her goodbyes anymore. Donna is still there, hiding from the stampede. Her hair is red like a flare, a shock of heat in a neutral room. She snuffs out the dregs of a cigarette when Lisa comes in.

“Those things will -”

“Don’t start. I’m too young to admit I’m an addict.” Donna flutters her eyelashes at her, picking at a black-painted hangnail. “So, here you are again. I’m starting to think I should start charging.”

Lisa’s hands find her hips like belonging. “Will you just shut up and kiss me already?”

Donna laughs and walks forward, backing Lisa against the bathroom tiles. She likes how solid the wall feels behind her, a concrete feeling she can pin down when Donna’s hands slip into her hair and make her feel on the edge of dizzy.

Donna says, “no turning back now, kid.”

Lisa bridges the gap and parts her mouth, sighing.


Leave a comment