Issue 48 May 2017
Adam tosses a pebble from one hand to the other. He’s facing away from me, silhouette smudging against the murky sky behind him. He pivots suddenly and tosses the rock towards the skyline. My breathing stills as I strain to hear the thud of the stone in the distance.
Moments pass, but the only sounds are the slight rustle of brittle leaves stubbornly clinging to tree branches despite the chill in the air. Adam picks up another pebble and begins tossing it into the air and catching it.
We’re at this park I used to go to when I was little. I called it “The Park With the Two Big Slides” then, but now Adam and I call it “Skyline” because of the glow of Boston in the distance. I’m not sure what the real name is. It’s not really a place where other people go, not at night at least. Our little town has plenty of other spots for that, each one littered with beer cans and cigarette butts, smelling vaguely like sweat and mostly like alcohol. I don’t remember why we started coming to Skyline, and I’m not entirely sure why we keep coming back. Adam likes it. That’s the whole reason, I guess.
“What are you doing?” I ask, just to have something to say.
Sarah stuffed the money, birth certificate and diploma in the side zippered pocket of her backpack. She closed the safe deposit box, stepped out of the small room, and signaled to the bank lady, letting her know she was finished. Jake met Sarah in the lobby and laid his arm across her shoulders in that possessive way he had.
"You get all your money and papers?"
"Yes." She gave him a sidelong glance and they strode to where he’d parked his father's pickup. She scooted in from the driver’s side, leaving just enough room for Jake to slide in next to her—the way she knew he liked. He squeezed Sarah’s thigh before pulling the truck onto the street, and his hand rested on her leg as he drove. The backpack was on the seat beside her.
Jake parked the truck on icy slush in front of her house and turned to look at her. “Think your old man’s home?”
“Don’t call him that. No, Stan’s still at work. Ma should be here, though.”
Jake rolled his eyes. “Yeah, okay. Well, I’ll meet you there tomorrow. Bus leaves at four, right?” He ran a finger back and forth across Sarah’s cheek and dipped his head to get her to look into his eyes. “You looking forward to getting away from this mess?” His eyes swept over her head to look at the house. “And ...” Jake lifted her chin and smirked, “being together?” His brows moved in a suggestive gesture.