Saturday 18 June 2022

'Perfect Stranger' by Brooke Randel

Remember the track meet where your best friend threw up in a garbage can and you put your hand on her back as if to say it was ok when you both knew Coach would be pissed? Remember the playground with the staticky blue slide you were too old for but couldn’t resist, even at sixteen so prone to nostalgia? Remember how you sat one behind the other, your legs sticking, her snorting laugh in your ear? Remember how easily she said friends forever after two months, when you were eleven and forever was as impossible a concept as becoming adults? Remember the notes? How you passed them back and forth till the paper grew thin and oily and strange? Remember when she got her driver’s license and accidentally drove into the city and how loud you screamed when she made a U-turn on State Street? How she laughed like this was it, this was the height of living? Remember how hard she hugged you before you left for college, the way her fingers pressed into your back? Remember the pinky promises to stay in touch? How funny you found this phrase, stay in touch, like one had to physically touch to know and be known? Remember the pencil case she gave you, orange and blue, your college colors and not hers? Remember the phone calls and emails and DMs and bus trips and train rides and new friends and blind dates and heartbreaks and first jobs and missed calls and late texts and ripped knees and cold drinks and how all this started when you asked her if she had an extra pencil in math class and she, a perfect stranger, placed one in the palm of your hand?

1 comment:

  1. Oh this is so lovely. Thank you for writing it.😊


Congratulations to our 2023 Best Small Fictions Nominees!

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