We went to the store together and bought pineapples, because you said they were a happy food. Because they smell nice and make you live longer and are yellow. I had wanted to buy sliced grapefruit in a glass jar. You said It looks like wrinkled fingers. I took your thumb and bit it. You’re bland I said, and laughed. You wrote me stories on the shopping list, numbered in tiny chapters.
Later, when I couldn’t live at home, I moved in with your family. Your mother was quiet. She would sit all day in front of the stained coffee table staring at the broken computer monitor in the corner of the room. I never asked her what she saw in it. One day, she took me into her bedroom closet. Years ago, the doctor had told her to save her miscarriages and bring them in, but she hadn’t done it. The fetuses were saved there in glass pickle jars.
When we had the house to ourselves, we would take all of the fans into our bedroom and put bowls of ice water in front of them to cool the air. You would dance around the room, spinning your arms like a fan. You flung yourself down on the bed. I sat behind you, tracing my finger around the outline of your hand. You said it made you feel sunny-side up.
I would tell you stories and lies. I told you how light bulbs work. The little bits of metal are antenna pointed at the sun. We would talk about one day going to California with a map of where all of the dead stars once lived, to visit their ghosts. You would change in the room with me. When you took off your shirt, there were circular burns on your arm from when you would press a blow dryer to it. They looked like coffee cup rings, and I didn’t know what they were at first.
We rode our bikes to the store and bought books. But we left them by the back window, and the yellow cover of yours faded to cream. You looked at me and said If the sun washes out yellow, will one day it all be gone?
Cecilia Stelzer is an English Literature and Creative Writing major from Miami University in Oxford, Ohio. She has previously been published in Word Riot and The.