“I went to kiss her…” (2004–rewrite)

Erica had tiny little tan hands and she kept her nails well.

Erica had tiny little hands and she was 17 and I was 15.

Erica drove a little grey sedan.

There was a party one weekend.

My suitemate Zach and I were slipped a letter under the door to our suite in the Easton House dormitory building. It was an invitation to Scotty Showalter’s Meet Your Future Ex’s Party. The invitation included a pre-rolled joint taped to the inside of the card. Nice, I thought.

Scotty was a senior.

His (parents’) house sat along the Etowah River with a custom-built deck designed by some famous asshole and they had to fly in cedar wood from some special fucking place to build it and we all loved to race down the stairs to the river bank. There were several platforms along the way.

One led to his swing set and rocking chair, lounge area. Another, a little farther down, was where the fire pit was and huge logs sprawled around the blazing pit, laughter disappearing with smoke and embers in the air. And yet another led to all the walking trails along the river’s edge, had an old map of the property and local river geography posted on an old, old oak tree.

We all loved Scotty’s parties. The thing about Scotty, though, was… well, never mind. We’ll get to that in a bit.

The next morning at breakfast, I found my other friends Joey and Max at one of the buffets and they said they were going to the party that Saturday as they scooped large portions of rubbery scrambled eggs, bacon, and French toast onto their plastic plates and I just stood there with a cup of coffee and watched.

I took my coffee with cream and sugar, just the way my mom did.

I was all about going to the party because the girls would be there in their new sundresses with their hair all loose and wild and they’d be tan from going to Miami or L.A., St. Bart’s or Santorini, or going to the lake with their families on their boats and I’d get to see their tan lines and imagine the white bikini she might have worn.


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