Summer, 1984

They’d met on the beach. Lily was there on vacation with her family, laying in the sand and listening to her walkman. Her little brother was splashing in the water and her parents were off somewhere beachcombing. She had better things to do, like listen to her new cassette and try to get a tan. That was when she suddenly got a face full of sand and sat up, spluttering as she pulled her headphones off.

“What the hell are you-…you…”

She trailed off, lowering her shades as she looked at the short haired girl standing sheepishly in front of her. There was a frisbee laying in the sand between them. The brunette was tall and lithe, with a wry little smile on her face as she reached for the errant frisbee.

“Sorry. I missed the catch.”

Lily brushed her hair back out of her face and hoped she wasn’t blushing.

“It’s okay. Really.”

The girl with the frisbee looked Lily over and then held the disc out.

“Want to join us? I’m Charlie.”

Hesitation. Lily was unsure. She wanted to. She wanted to so badly. Then she tucked her walkman into her bag and reached for the frisbee.

“Sure. I’m Lily.”

Despite the darkness, the air hadn’t cooled off at all. It was sticky hot and Lily leaned out the window of the summer cottage, watching the stars and wishing for a breeze. Then she heard something small skip off the roof just in front of her and looked. Charlie stood below, her hand holding another small stone. She grinned, letting it fall back to the ground as she waved. Lily chewed her lower lip. The rest of her family would be asleep downstairs. Only she had the attic. She beckoned and Charlie reached for the low porch roof, pulling herself up. She crawled across the roof with care until Lily reached to help her through the window and they met with a kiss like the crashing waves against the shore.

The photograph was taped up on the mirror in Lily’s new dorm room when the semester began. Two girls side by side on the pier, laughing and smiling. Written across the bottom was the date in stark black marker: summer, 1984,

Dealing in Books – Part 1

“Have you got the stuff?”
“That depends.”
You can never be too careful when you’re dealing out of your locker, especially not when there are snitches all over the place who would be more than glad to turn me over to the cops. The dark haired boy gave me a grin and then leaned in.
“All the world’s a stage.”
With a relieved sigh, I responded in kind.
“And all the men and women merely players. So, what’ll it be? I’ve got pretty much everything.”
He handed me his backpack and turned to block the view.
“I’m looking for one of the classics.” Again his voice went hushed. “Hobbit.”
I stuffed the old paperback into his bag and shoved it back into his arms.
“Good choice. You remember the deal?”
“I’ll get it there by Friday.”

Friday after school, I went to the mall with every other student in my class, just like every week. It was agonizingly painful, especially knowing that soon I’d be getting home to a new offering for my supply. I had to read through it before I made it available to others…and check it over for bugs. It wouldn’t be the first time someone had bugged something from my stash to try and catch us. Too bad me and my folks are smarter than them. Looking around, I knew I had to buy something before I left or it would look odd. Everyone else was lapping up the pointless sales and the never-ending rounds of cheap entertainment. Turning a corner to go into one of the shops to find a new sweater, I nearly stumbled over a pair of kids from school knocking boots right there on the floor. Not making a sound, I just crept back out and went somewhere else, hating that this was normal.