TITLE: The Past is History
You can’t save other people.
That’s what I told myself. Jon and his friends crowded together on the far side of the bonfire. They shouted into the night, laughed at jokes I couldn’t hear. The party had peeled into two – girls around the fire, boys in a rowdy knot just beyond.
A beautiful night. A party just for me. It was my 17th birthday.
Although I guess if it had really been for me, Jon might’ve been by my side, kissing my neck, sighing onto my skin the way he sometimes did.
A glass beer bottle shattered against the squat stone wall that ran along Chess’s driveway, and the cloud of boys cheered. They seemed far away, only visible in orange fragments through bursts of flame.
Chess straightened next to me, lifted her neck high like she might yell something to them, but instead she shook her head and muttered, “A******s.”
Dennis Lawson floundered among the boys. He shoved his hands in his pockets and fidgeted, a blond wave of hair standing at attention at the back of his head, an unfortunate cowlick. He could’ve been reading their lips, that’s how hard he studied their expressions, his own smiles curling into place seconds too late. The delay reinforced the obvious: he didn’t belong. Dennis caught my eye and I looked away, pissed. I wanted to leave him to his own fate, thinking he deserved everything he got, but, of course, that was only partially true. I also hurt for him. And burned with shame.