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.”


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.”


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.”



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?”


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?’ ”