TITLE: Ghost at the Edge of the Sea
Three weeks before I left for boarding school, I said to my mom, “I dreamed I was standing in the doorway of an airplane. We were up in the sky, and everybody was yelling ‘jump-jump-jump!’ But I didn’t have a parachute.”
I don’t know why I said it, because up until then, we’d been having a pretty good time. She had been teasing me about the fact I’d written I LOVE KEVIN SHARPE about a thousand times on this old notebook stowed under my bed. I told her I couldn’t care less about the guy. Kevin Sharpe had failed his driver’s license test and would be taking the bus to high school next fall. And anyway, there was a lifeguard at the pool that was completely hotter.
But since there was nothing I wanted to say to my own mom about how lifeguards could be super cute, and how pale they were below their tan line when their suits slipped down a little, or how they always smell like coconut oil and chlorine, that dream stuff fell out of my mouth while I was trying to make sure the boy stuff stayed in.
I knew right away I’d said the wrong thing. My mom’s hand dropped from the box she was filling, and I could see all the energy deflate out of her. Like she was a vacuum and I had tripped over her cord and unplugged her from the wall or something. It’s just a dream, I wanted to say right away. It was just a stupid dream. I had practically forgotten about it already.