We scaled the chain link fences and swam in the hotel pools in the middle of the night. We had sex on the deserted mini golf course and pretended it was post-apocalypse. Stole beers, swallowed little heaps of tiny white ephedrine, smoked Camel Wides laying on our backs in the sand. All the dumb kid stuff. I didn’t know that Kevin was going to die at the end of the summer, so I wasn’t trying to make it special. We weren’t in love.
We were, but not with each other. Kevin was in love with a girl named Ginnie who had a shaved head and worked days at the wax museum on the Strip. She had a big fat boyfriend, Marcus. I was in love with this guy Del. Del with the chain wallet and purple Mohawk and Fists of Fire! He juggled flaming bowling pins on the boardwalk. He was gay, and that broke my heart.
Kevin and I were losers together. He was really fun though. The first time we fucked, when we were done he slapped me on the ass and said Good game! He was not a sports guy or anything, it was just ironic and hilarious. We were on the end of the fishing pier and it was right before a thunderstorm. There was lightning and waves, this whole majestic thing, and it could have gotten all romantic and weird, but Kevin kept it real.
If I would’ve known though, maybe I would’ve done something like wrote him a poem or held hands with him. The kind of shit girls do, things that never happened for him. At least that summer. I mean, I don’t know what it was like for him with any girls before. I just know there weren’t any after.
There was this one time he called me baby by mistake. The word just cannonballed off his tongue like it was totally natural. It was in front of a bunch of our friends too, and there was this held breath, this moment of splash. He just kind of shrugged. Went on talking, there was nothing to explain. Not the droids they were looking for. He was pretty drunk, and I never mentioned it.
But there was something geological that happened to me when he said it. Some kind of fault line shifting, or mountains humping up against one another in my stomach. I’m not exactly sure how the Earth works, there was just something big and sudden that felt very holy. It was just that once. I guess I just liked the way it sounded, like I was a girl in a pop song.
Then Kevin got hit by a truck and his skull split open. It was a sunny afternoon, high of 90.
Not a cloud in the sky. No moral to the story.
I got this tattoo, of a lightning bolt. People always think it’s some kind of Harry Potter shit.
But it’s not.
Anna Lea Jancewicz lives in Norfolk, Virginia, where she homeschools her children and haunts the public libraries. She is an editor for Cease, Cows and her writing has appeared or is forthcoming at Lockjaw, Necessary Fiction, Split Lip, and many other venues. Her flash fiction "Marriage" was chosen for The Best Small Fictions 2015. Yes, you CAN say Jancewicz: Yahnt-SEV-ich. More at: http://annajancewicz.wordpress.com/