When I was 13 I rode quietly in the back seat of our family car. My older brother was in town and he was taking us to Taco Bell. Just the kids. My sister, who must have been 16 sat in the front and the two of them talked about high school. The windows were down so the wind was loud. I think it was July. Sticky.
How many boys have you kissed?
My sister said nothing.
What a stupid question, I thought. None. I would've known. And besides, kissing is gross. Or it's for grown ups. Or people who don't go to church.
Come on. How many?
Another pause. And then fingers shooting up on two hands--
The wind pushed my hair into my face. 6?
With tongue?
What do you think?
Not bad!

In the back seat now my hair was strangling me. Or, no, I had put it in a ponytail.
And they kept talking but my hands were sweaty and I couldn't hear.
Maybe I was praying?
I got a taco.
And I shut my door when we got home.
And 3 months later I kissed a boy in his basement without tongue
and I got older
and quieter.
Because I heard 6
but I didn't hear the rest.


Haley Nimer said…
this is all sorts of thought provoking and strong a full of voice. i'm a fan.
Natalie said…
Wow. You are an amazing writer. I love it.

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