mother said one thing, the world said another.
None of it
mattered to Leslie.
The cops brought Leslie home and they warned her, next
time it's juvenile hall. Leslie's mother took her house key, “You won't
be needing this”, she said. and then Melinda called.
Leslie mouthed Please
her mother shook her head. “You're in enough trouble, absolutely not.”
waited. Her mother said a terse good night and went to bed. Leslie opened the
window and walked into the moonlight; from her house to Melinda's it was a block and a half, her steps made clicks on the sidewalk.
The house was dark. Leslie wished she had a cigarette.
walked back home, but the door was locked and the window wouldn't open.
Behind the house there was a patio with chairs and a small
garden. The garden was different at night, like the flowers were showing their true colors.
She heard someone. Close by, walking through the grass.
He was older, in his twenties maybe. Good-looking. He cut through the yard, he was coming around the other side of the house. His hair was blond and he wore a light blue jacket.
are you doing?”
are you doing here?”
uh...I'm looking for a house to break into.”
he was joking. Maybe he wasn't. Leslie didn't much care.
cool. You haven't got a cigarette, have you? I'm dyin' for a
some in my car. C'mon.”
followed him to a late model gold Nissan. He
opened the door like a boyfriend. He lit two PallMalls and handed her one.
What's your name?”
He leaned forward, reaching under the seat.
really not important...”
Her mother said one thing, the world said another; the world is different at night, like the breath of a stranger. The summer moonlight turned the grass purple, and none of it mattered to Leslie.