“Hi” by Lauren K. Sweeney



by Lauren K. Sweeney

Nine-oh-eight Glenview Road was the best part of carrying the mail. Ten blocks into my suburban trek, there she’d be, stretched out on a neon towel, sweet and slick as a glazed cruller. I took extra care with her magazines and college brochures, stacking them into a neat pile secured with a rubber band. Usually, she slept through my visits. Or ignored them. I couldn’t tell which.

But once, a butterfly landed on her thigh. It breathed its wings open before she sat up and to brush away. She lifted her sunglasses and was arching her back a graceful stretch when she saw me.

Eyes locked, legs locked, jaw locked.

Our future dangled in the silence, the weight of a million little hopes testing the thread.

With a single word, she broke it.