TITLE: Melanie + Kalith
Fourth of July in DC felt like being in an actual war zone. Thick plumes of smoke christened the air. The constant sound of things exploding was inescapable and getting around was a nightmare. The entire city was outside wondering around like zombies. Some frantic looking to feed on the next bit of excitement they could find. Others in a daze lost in the madness and beauty of the night. Every route alternated between blocks of empty streets, eerily dead like no one had ever lived there, and neighborhoods erupting with activity. The closer you got to downtown the more people there were. Tourist were frisked, checked and herded behind metal barriers for safe keeping. Downtown it was an orderly well run war. But in Petworth where we were it was chaos.
A bottle rocket flipped back Melanie’s hair barely missing her face.
“That’s it! I’m about to go fight a 10 year old.”
She took two steps towards the edge of the porch eyeballing a group of boys on their own porch across the street. Annoyed was the emotion that Melanie expressed most vividly. Her eyes caught fire and she pressed her lips together in a way that just made them look fuller and more attractive. I’d better talk her down.
“They’re just having fun.” I got up from the rickety lawn chair I was sitting in and stared out with her.
“Not to sound like an old person but those kids are out of control. Where are their parents?”
“Where are your parents?” I flicked her American flag paper cup.
“We’re in high school, they just fell out of their mothers’ wombs, they need supervision.”
“Come on.” I grabbed her hand. “Leave them alone.” I sat back down in the lawn chair and she plopped down in my lap. I took her cup and drank the rest in one gulp.
“Hey,” she protested.
I didn't know what burned worst the overpour of liquor or all that sugar.
“I’m just making sure no one’s trying to rufie you. It’s my civic duty as your boyfriend.” The taste lingered in my mouth. I tried to scrape it off my tongue with my teeth. “What is this?” I asked, “it’s terrible.”
She was already preoccupied.
“Marquis!” she called out to a group of even younger boys on the sidewalk, “come here.”
He saw her and a big goofy smile spread across his face. Melanie was a good looking girl, any guy would love attention from her, even a little guy like this.
“You know that kid?” I asked.
“That’s my little cousin”
She knew the whole city. Marquis shuffled up onto the porch. He gave me a dirty look.
“Marquis you know those kids?” Melanie pointed across the street. She wasn’t going to let this go.
“Yeah, that’s Matthew, Dominick and Chris. They go to my school. They’re jerks.”
“They keep shooting things over here. They’ve been trying to kill me all night.”
“You want me to get em Mel.” His little face lit up.