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TWO STORIES

ONE

So obviously the chemistry homework was never gonna get done, and I certainly knew that from the get-go, and I think Sarah probably did too because all she brought over with her was a pencil and paper, no textbook or notes or anything, and no one could do one of Mr. Hanford’s problem sets without the textbook. Before we’d even sat down she said “Why don’t you put on some music?” and I knew she meant this as a test to see if I liked good music, so I put on Rumours, which I hoped was my coolest record. “OooooOOooh,” she cooed as “Second Hand News” started, but I sat down at my bedroom desk beside her without saying anything – with cool people like Sarah, you can’t let them know you care about their approval. We had gotten nowhere on the homework by the time “Go Your Own Way” came on, and when it did Sarah totally came alive, she started kinda squirming in her seat, like half-dancing, and then I knew she also knew why she was here, and that it was ok, better than ok, it was great. She got more into it as the song went on, even doing the part where Lindsey Buckingham echoes “Go Your Ooooooown Waaaaaay” by himself, and then we were both dancing around my room. I looked at her and she looked back at me, but I looked for too long, so I picked up my camera from my dresser and took a picture of her dancing, but then she took the camera out of my hands and put it on the desk and looked right at me and put her hands on my cheeks and kissed me, and wow was she a good kisser, way better than any of the boys I’d kissed. We kissed until the record needed to be flipped over; she needed to go, she had to pick her brother up from baseball practice. We kind of smiled at each other and kissed once more, just a quick peck, and then she opened the bedroom door and left.

Story by Charles Davis

TWO

There’s something to be said about the day before.

The day before, you never would have thought, I didn’t think my life would be this way.

No – you would pull on a sweater, your favorite pair of jeans, and head out the door to buy parmesan cheese, basil, garlic, from the supermarket. When you look at the recipe and halfway to the car you realize oh – you forgot eggs – you throw your hands up in the air to signal, “woops, forgot something.” Even though there’s no one watching. You don’t want to look like an idiot.

But as you drive your Volkswagen down the highway, a smile dances on the corners of your mouth. And you realize it’s too late – only fools fall in love.

The recipe calls for two sticks of butter and you reluctantly add them to the pot of cheese. That’s a lot of butter, your mother would say.

From the view of the kitchen window, framed by white checkered drapes, two little girls are making daisy chains on the lawn. The one with the red painted fingernails laughs and puts a daisy crown on her head. The laugh sounds like snapdragons shaking in the wind. You laugh too.

7:00 and the dish is on the table. You’ve cleared off the sticky vinyl tablecloth as best you can, and you can see the heat rising from the creamy green pesto in the folds of the pasta.

Hours later, the heat has stopped rising.

You don’t pick up the bowls and the dinner stays out all night, the cheese hardened into stiff curds by morning.

There was happiness in your eyes. The day before you found out he was gone.

Story by LilyAnne Rice

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