Honestly Kid

by Daniel Damkoehler

 

premature fiction

So He Tried To Kiss Her

So he tried to kiss her. Carefully. Slowly. Gently brushing aside her hair, his eyes still closed, at first only rubbing his unshaven cheek against the soft downy skin of hers and then allowing his mouth to fall as if by gravity towards her lips.

“No, Billy.”

“What?”

Tamra gripped William’s shoulders and leaned away from him. “Let’s not confuse things. Not today.”

He looked into her eyes and knew he didn’t have a chance. “Does Chad know you’re here?”

“Of course not.”

He tried to look away, but she wouldn’t let him. She pulled at his shoulders. She moved her face in front of his. A smile passed quickly between them. Their lips parted at the same time but he spoke first, “I’m jealous as fuck right now.”

“I’m here.”

“But only because-“

“Yeah, because of Tommy and this boy they found today. And because I knew it might mess you up. Especially after your mother and moving back here and your divorce and everything else.”

“Everything else? There’s more?” She let him pull away from her.

“Yes. You’re a messed up guy.”

“Hm. I’m a messed up guy. No big deal, William, ‘you’re a messed up guy.’ So, I’m a messed up guy. Uh. Whatever. Lots to work out. Some emotional issues. I’m a messed up guy.”

“Cut it out, already.”

“What?”

“The sarcasm.”

“Who’s sarcastic? I’m messed up. Or am I messed up and sarcastic?” He looked at her.
Tamra crossed her arms and looked out the windown. She whispered, “Asshole.”

“Coffee?”

“No.”

“Suit yourself.” William took his mug of black coffee and went to the cardboard box on the kitchen table. After a few sips of coffee, he opened the box and looked inside.

“What’s in it?”

“Stuff.” He did not reach in, only turned his head from side to side to better see its contents.

After a few minutes of this she asked, “Where are your mugs?”

“Cabinet right of the sink. Changed your mind?”

She poured herself some coffee, found sugar and milk and stirred them in, but said nothing.

William did not turn around. “You don’t love him though, right?”

She sipped her coffee loudly, leaning against the counter next to the kitchen sink. “You talking to me or the box?”

“Funny.”

“So, are you gonna ask me about the boy? Or are we going to keep pretending this is all about you, me, and Chad.”

William set down his coffee and reached into the box. She could hear him shifting things – papers? – around inside. “We’re the only ones here, so it has to be a little bit about us, right?”

“Why can’t ‘us’ just be us being friends?”

“Because Chad’s a dick and you don’t love him. You might not love me, but you sure as hell shouldn’t be with him.” William took an old tarnished brass sprinkler head from the box.

“He was in the exact same position as the way they found Tommy.”

William looked at her. He wanted a drink, but settled for his coffee.

“Everything was the same, Billy. And nobody said anything.”

“What about Hernandez?”

“They put him in charge of the case. Why?”

“Probably because he doesn’t know what happened. Or they don’t think he does, anyway?”

“But why aren’t they talking about it?””Old Mike Boone sitting in jail for killing Tommy.”

“Why do you have a sprinkler head in your hand?”

William sat down in one of his mother’s old green vinyl and stainless steel chairs. “The question is, ‘Why was it in the box?'”