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Massachusetts

The rain has peanut shells in it, and coffee grounds. The grounds are getting in his hair. He tries to claw them out and the sky throws the ends of onions after them.

He can’t see very far. The trash gives way to water, then more water. He puts one hand out to follow the wall and the wall’s gone.

More rain than oxygen, now. He hunches down and tries to shield his mouth, breathes salt fog, chokes, stumbles. Kate’s there. She tilts her head up to his head tilted down and he sucks greedily at the air in her mouth.

Kate

Her hoodie will be damp forever, she knows, and it’ll smell. Her hair is tickling her freckled face, pale in limp strawberry ringlets.

Leaving. Of course. Kate can’t believe that she’s the only one with him at the station. Where are they? They must exist, nameless hordes of Prettier-Than-Kate, everyone who had him, kissed him, threw him away.

She’s always hated being too young.

The bus is coming. She knows she’ll remember this, suddenly. Pressing the hoodie to her face will bring it back: one moment of desperate clarity, her hand inches from his, the smell of cigarettes and warm rain.

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