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that the past year had really even happened, no way to know that any time had passed at all, except now Dean Miller was missing and Kennedy had a nose ring. It felt more and more unsettling that Dean Miller wasn’t there the longer we sat there talking. He came to all of Jimmy’s parties, like everyone did. I wondered if anyone else noticed the empty space at the pool table where he used to face off Jared Masen and his buddies, or in the kitchen where he could almost always be found chatting up some girl. He had become a fixture in the old house. Suddenly, Lucy said, “Maybelline, Aaron Davis is staring at you.” I took a big sip of my mojito. It was disgusting. “So?” “What, you’re trying to tell me you don’t have it bad for him no more? Last year in English you’d stare at the back of his head so hard I thought you were gonna burn a hole through his skull or something.” “Come off it,” I said. “You’re exaggerating.” Kennedy fanned herself with her phone. “Well, he’s got bedroom eyes if I’ve ever seen any,” she said. “What does that even mean?” I asked. “I don’t know, I heard it on some HBO show. But it sounds real sexy. Maybelline, he sure does keep looking over here.” Aaron Davis was wearing a pair of swim trunks that rode up high on his thighs as he served the ball. He played lacrosse for UGA now, and was apparently making a big splash there. In high school, he’d been the star midfielder on our lacrosse team as well as the salutatorian, and I’d courted a ridiculous, one-sided fantasy that we would start dating, since I was the valedictorian. But back then, he’d never looked my way once. “Well, it seems kind of silly now to care about all that,” I said. “We go to colleges clear across the country from each other. It’s not like anything serious could happen this summer.” Kennedy shook her head at me. “It’s like this, Maybelline: if someone put a big slice of peach pie in front of you, would you just sit there and stare at it?” “All he’s done is look this way, Kennedy. I doubt he’s even interested.” “Eat the pie, Maybelline,” Kennedy said, ignoring me completely. “Eat the damn pie.” By middle school, Dean and I had started going to the pond almost every afternoon. It was an unspoken ritual, something we never acknowledged or planned ahead of time. But we walked over as soon as we got off the bus unless it was pouring down rain or one of us had a dentist appointment. Sometimes Mama would mutter comments about him when I came home in the evenings for supper. “I know for a fact that boy smokes pot, Maybelline,” she told me one day as soon as I’d entered the kitchen, without even saying hello first, as if she’d been sitting in a chair for possibly hours just waiting to inform me of this dis-




Profile for Oakland Arts Review

Oakland Arts Review Volume 4  

Oakland Arts Review Volume 4