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e came in bleeding. A gash in his face, slanted from temple to cheek. He had been partying since it happened, drinking beer at a beach cabana, and the blood was caked and brown. “How’d this happen?” I checked Tully before the ER doc came around. I am the triage nurse, the first smile you get – sometimes the only one. He said the crossbar of a hang glider got him, and he smacked his palms together. “Like that,” he told me drowsily. It would take stitches. Needed a thorough cleaning. “Hey,” he added, peering at me with his good eye. “I know you. Hollis. You’re Franklin’s … wife.” I shook my head, lifted a Q-tip to his cut. “Girlfriend,” I said. I chuckled. It had a lot of sarcasm in it, from what I remember. “Girlfriend.” Franklin knows so many people that I tell him he should run for county commissioner. They say a bartender at a resort beach will meet – and serve – up to a half-million people over the course of his career. Franklin says he is already there. Tully reached out and placed two fingers on my arm. “If this is going to hurt,” he grinned, “I could use a fresh beer.” … These skinny girls crowd around the patio beside the diving board every day at noon. Waitresses with swollen boobs, endless legs, streaks of blonde, and they lie on the

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chairs and pick at their bikini strings to draw attention to their perfect bodies. As if a body like that needs special activity to get a man to look. Every time one of them goes to the board and tiptoes down the plank it is like fireworks going off. Every head turns, neck stretched to look. Me and one of the older girls, Layla, just go, “My gawd” and we talk about our real jobs, our college degrees. “How is Franklin?” Layla asks. We are looking at our thirtyish, imperfect thighs anyway. I need to go and get my toes done soon. “The same. Same old Franklin. You know?” Layla peers over her Liz Taylor sunglasses and grins. She makes a tisk sound with her tongue. “And that friend of his. How is he?” She means Tully. He has been around the condos a lot since his accident. He and Franklin are new best buddies. With his pumped body, soldier buzz cut, tats, and soul patch (a blonde tuft under his lip that he tells dirty jokes about), I can see Layla’s point. But he has a checkered past. And by checked, I mean checkered. It was in the papers. “How should I know?” I say. Another waitress, a fake redhead, is prancing down the plank. Layla laughs. She snorts a little. The redhead looks over, a withering look. “Not about you, honey,” Layla waves. “My friend is being silly.”

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Profile for Katya Cummins

Niche Magazine No. 1  

Niche is an online literary magazine that was designed to be limitless. It aims to provide a place where an array of voices, from experimen...

Niche Magazine No. 1  

Niche is an online literary magazine that was designed to be limitless. It aims to provide a place where an array of voices, from experimen...

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