You were on your back with your legs up, tabletop, ankles crossed. You were already
high. The heavy wheels of your roller skates seemed light on your feet though. You had pair
of boxer shorts on under your school skirt, but your yellow panties were still showing. To
the beat of the music, you nodded your head and shook the almost empty can of Dust-Off
that was gripped in your hand. I watched you from the other side of the small rink, your
face speckled by the lights of the pink disco ball, the ring of skaters circling in front of you
staggering my view. When you brought the can to your mouth, put the dispenser between
your teeth and took a fast deep huff, I watched as the muscles in your body loosened their
pull. Your knees fell sideways. It was Gina took the can from you, covered your bare thigh
with your upturned skirt, and shifted your head for you. It was still early and she was just
buzzed from the beer. Your eyes opened, but even if you saw me then, nothing registered.
You didn’t blink for a long time. I knew your lips were paralyzed, your tongue heavy. You
didn’t pass out. Instead, you were laughing, low-pitched and nasally. The music was loud,
but I could hear you. Gina put the can in her knapsack before anyone could notice that you
were more than just drunk. She stroked your hair and laughed with you, teasing you by
sticking her finger in your ear.
I went to order a Coca-Cola and when I turned around, you weren’t on the floor
anymore. Gina’s brother’s friends had come without me noticing and that tall one had
pulled you up and was spinning you around, skating across the rink, and I thought I would
die. Not for me, not because I wanted you so bad – but for you, because I knew that you had
to be just miserable to go with him..
Rebecca Kumar is a fiction writer based in Lodi, New Jersey. She is a PhD candidate in English Literature at Emory University and currently pursuing an MFA in Fiction at Brooklyn College. Her work has appeared in Nylon Magazine, Venus Zine, The Bergen Record, Loose Change Magazine, and 30 Years After: New Essays on Vietnam War, Literature and Film. She is also co-editor of Brown Town Magazine