Longreads

Minda Honey | Longreads | April 2018 | 20 minutes (4,980 words)

Let’s start at 16-and-a-half, a half-a-lifetime ago. I was gone off this boy who lived around the corner from me. He was two grades ahead in school, a senior. We rode the bus together. His name sang with alliteration fit for a newscaster. Tall, Black, beautiful in that stony, delicate way only young men can be. Already toxic, poisoned by his father, knuckles split and scarred from fighting. One morning, on the ride to school, he showed me a picture of his girlfriend, his other hand in my lap, beneath my uniform skirt. “You should shave,” he said. I listened.

In the afternoon, on the walk to his house — I’d walk past mine and double back later, just to spend more time with him — the younger boys would crowd around, their white school shirts untucked, sneakers…

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