youth

“This is the kinda nothing that folks retire early for.” (Lelonnie Taylor)

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Best Interest

by Lelonnie Taylor

(an excerpt) This is the first story in my creative non-fiction anthology, “Child Who Hurt You?” The full story will be released on my blog, this Christmas.

I saw the back of his head and fell in love.

It was the only thing I could see when I cocked mine over my shoulder after hearing a collective “OH SHIT!” followed by the instigative chatter surrounding a fight.

It had to be around 11:45 a.m.; lunchtime at Trevor G. Browne High School was typically rowdy–with gang fights, spirit rallies, and the bustle of young gossip.

It was partly cloudy, but the sun shined a blinding pastel yellow. In its ray his hair was coffee: silky, black, with reddish amber highlights revealed when cast in the right angle. Tied in a low ponytail, it poured past his shoulders in soft S’s stopping half-way down his lanky, 5-foot-4 frame.

His skin was lit tobacco: spotted mahogany with a soft glow, dressed in a white tall tee, and silver Starter basketball shorts, to be acquired by me the summer before junior year.

I elbowed through the thick crowd of bystanders and yank his ponytail.

“Can I fucking help you?!”

“I don’t need help with anything, but YOU can walk me to class.”

He slowly grinned, took my hand and we made our way to Algebra 1.

The only thing anyone could see for the rest of the school day was my teeth.

After the final bell, I meandered with the rest of the herd to the bus station at the mall two blocks from campus. I was looking to kill time since it was early-release, and my mom didn’t pick me up til at least 4:30.

I was looking for that boy.

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