Eggos fresh from a concealed toaster, warm and soft in your palms. A delicacy. Curled up in soft, oversized sweatpants and a ratty green t-shirt under the stairs. You lay awake, staring past the ceiling and into the future. Uncertain.
Bubble gum pop on the transistor; you bob along, twirl, shake your hips, but aim to balance on those hot pink roller skates. Hold on tight to the boy racing through the afternoon glow on his bicycle, lean in and place your head on his back, musk mingling with Old Spice. Your hair twists around your head in the wind, sans helmet. You’ve never felt more alive.
You bloom that summer, let the girl with fiery red hair make you over, discover another facet of your beauty. But it’s hard to trust, and the boy on the bike disappoints. Only time can change the hurt in your heart, baby girl, so you make him wait. He stays up many nights listening to the silence of his radio, wordlessly begging you to crackle through and say something.
Summer ends; one last look, a final kiss, and you know you’ll forgive him.
Houston, Texas native Tori Hicks (they/she) is a writer, cat parent, educator, and musician. Tori's previous publications include The Piney Dark, HUMID, and the Boundless Anthology 2021. You can find them on Twitter at @cat_lady_writer.