- / +

  • a dozen of the smallest kisses

  • phone rings, it's the woman who always calls for Dan, but this time she wants to talk to Sylvester Stallone. I mutter wrong number and she starts apologizing but I hang up.

  • When the draft came I was watching it on the screen. It was a field of green data washing over everyone's names. I was terrified and crying a little from fear though I tried not to, to keep my vision steady. Please not Ben please not Ben As the green wave hit a name of a person who was suitable for drafting, the name would light up. I swore I saw Ben's name pass by safely but I couldn't be sure. I ran to find someone who knew. I found J. Michael, who'd been passed over and was miserable. I tried to convince him it was better to stay home, without saying those who were picked will be coming home dead.

    I found Robin and she was packing her things. I froze. I hadn't expected them to pick her - she had a family to support. I tried to be cool but the tears would not stop. She was surprised and tried to cheer me up. She was excited, really wanted to go. "Why are you crying? There's no need." She looked a little like edebroux but more like me. She looked older than when I'd seen her last.

    I had to find Ben. Outside the Youth Group room Heather was shuffling papers. She heard me say something about the draft and she corrected me. "It isn't the draft. Recruits are free to choose." As long as they choose to go, right? She wouldn't listen, wouldn't believe me.

    Ben. Ben was there, crying, and my heart did all kinds of crazy things and I could not speak. I knew he was crying because he had to go. I hugged him and felt the scratchy side of his face and kissed his neck over and over. I thought I would die. "Do you have to go?" he asked, and it shocked me - I hadn't even thought about it. I didn't, of course - they would have found me by now. He didn't have to go either, it turned out, and that's why he was so upset. I looked at the ceiling and saw the hanging basket was broken, the gardenias were going to spill.