[Flash Fiction] See You Around
“Hey, great seeing you.”
“Yeah, you too! Don’t be a stranger! Find me on social media!”
“We’ll talk soon!”
Kate and Dana made their ways down opposite ends of the hall. Sideshow clown grin still painted on each of their cherry-red lips.
Kate stopped at the end of the hall, she couldn’t bring herself to push the door open.
Her hand tried, it wrapped around the frigid handle, she saw the wintry night waiting to greet her.
She couldn’t do it though.
Her mascara began to smudge as she rattled the door in vain.
“We’ll talk soon…what the fuck Kate?”
Derision and disgust seeped from her lips in the form of random expletives, as memories floated to the surface of her conscience.
She could suddenly taste the beach they’d spent their summers on.
Black bikini tops, cherry lip gloss, and Pabst Blue Ribbon hidden in their cooler.
The sights of her sea-kissed past took over the frigid scene winter painted in front of her.
She could see Dana’s beautiful auburn hair that she’d always been so jealous of.
It was perfect, sleek, and draped all the way down her back.
The whites of waves crashing along and the sea’s tantalizing aroma crept into her being all over again.
“Do you think James and Devin are gonna come to your parents beach house tonight? I wish we didn’t have to go back to school. I like everything about the beach better than home, don’t you Kate?”
She remembered Dana so much different than the woman she had just encountered. She was young, brash, and headstrong to say the least.
Every night they’d sneak out. 11pm sharp, when they knew their parents would be passed out from the booze and cards.
Sometimes to kiss boys,
sometimes to watch waves dance under the moonlight,
sometimes to discuss where they thought the future would take them.
Dana was going to be a scientist, work at Princeton University.
Study monkey vocal progression, or some crazy idea she’d told Kate a hundred times before.
She might have been a little too buzzed to remember them though…
Kate always wanted to teach kids,
she always loved watching their eyes light up when they learned about ideas that were…
bigger than them.
It was their last summer together, they were both going off to different schools to pursue the dreams they spoke of under the ocean of stars.
Kate never forgot the last hug they shared before they packed up their things and lift.
“I love you Dana, you’re the other half of me. You’re everything I need in a person. I don’t know how I’ll take everything on without you.”
Dana squeezed her tighter than Kate could have imagined, even tighter than when they sat through the entire “Nightmare on Elm Street” series.
“Kate, you’re gonna do it. I saw you beat up Becky Darden, you can take on anything girlfriend. I’m only a phone call away.”
The calls started, and stopped they had to, life knocked the baby teeth out of them both.
Kate got over her fear of other people, joined a sorority.
Got a boyfriend, followed by a girlfriend, then another girlfriend, and finally decided that Ted was the guy for her during her senior thesis.
Dana studied at UCSD, graduated Summa Cum Laude, ended up meeting another scientist, Avery Green, moved back to the East Coast, finally got that job at Princeton she always wanted.
So when Dana moved back to the Princeton area, and the High School Reunion letter came in the mail.
She only wanted to go and see one person.
She told Ted to stay home, she didn’t need to flaunt success, she was on a mission.
Dana always told her, “No one stops a woman who knows what she wants.”
The event was dreary to say the least, and when she finally met up with her Dana, it was a five minute conversation that ended with,
“We’ll talk soon!”
It was shit,
it wasn’t them.
She broke from her meditative trance, turned around and began to walk back to Dana, when she saw Dana already walking down the hall to her.
Dana was close enough to catch a beer, even with her poor hand/eye coordination.
Silence, but a coy smile slowly penciled across Dana’s face.
“So… I think you should tell me about this Ted a little more in-depth. Maybe about the new district you’re in charge of? Being a superintendent has given you a few stories I’m sure.”
Dana flashed a bottle of Bailey’s from her purse and Kate felt her childhood giddiness creep back into her.
“Coffee shop we used to cut school at?”
“You read my mind.”
Both of their hands pushed the door open, and laughter could be heard reverberating from the school halls,