Are You Ready?

“Where are you?”


“It’s a full moon, a harvest moon at that, and I’m waiting for you.”

“I’m leaving.”

I was putting the final touches on my outfit. It was chilly so I wore a tight sweater and my skirt was a little longer than last time. Some towns have the wrong side of the tracks. We had the wrong side of the river. So for few months she’d decided when there’s a full moon that’s where we’d go. Dress provocatively, and walk up one side and down the other of the stretch of Third Street where all the kids from the town’s “bad high-school” hung out.

She thought it was good fun, to “sashay” as she called it, savoring the gibes sent our way. We were both newly eighteen but we told ourselves we wouldn’t slum with any of these guys. Well, we said we wouldn’t. I didn’t tell her that I’d crossed the bridge a couple of weeks before. To see someone. Who I really liked. I knew he’d be there and that he’d hurl some nastiness our way with everyone else but that he had a smile only for me.

When I met her pacing in the 7-Eleven’s parking lot she looked pissed. She’d laugh if she knew of my liaison, but I think she too wanted someone on the other side to have a smile only for her. She stopped when she saw me. “Are you ready?” I nodded and we crossed.