Saturday 24 June 2023

'Telling' by Lu Han

I’m telling you none of us could have seen it going that way, when May first arrived it was almost fall, you could smell it in thickening air that had us buzzing, even Libby the queen of pretending to give no shits was laying out her outfits, we know this because when we went to her house (not nicest one but the one without cabinet doors going bangbangbang, which really messes with the ambience for Truth or Dare) we all saw the skirts fanned out on her bed like a poker hand, even though she tried to cover them up with her pilly comforter, like good friends we helped her pretend, though we each had our own reasons to look forward to school, back to the ratatat of sticks hitting chalkboards, back to the clackclackclack of Mrs. Greene’s patent leather loafers clicking across the floor of warped linoleum, the same kind lining the floors of our kitchens, chipped at the corners like our little brothers’ baby teeth, we all knew that each of us wanted out, so when May arrived with her wide eyes and half-braided brown hair that was both lush and frizzy, we were near-boil like those frogs everyone talks about, we were ready for an equation that didn’t add up, ready to rally for (or against) a cause, ready to take a bite out of something we wanted, or keep someone else from having it, ready to recognize the glint in someone’s eye when they weren’t just joking for chrissakes. I’m telling you, there’s no telling what would have happened to May if we weren’t so worked up, if apricot skins yielded less easily, if we could just exhale, if we listened for the fear lying under nonono, if we knew what to feed our hunger.

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