Party Time

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Jury Selection

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“Honey flavoured?”

You’ve got eyes the color of honey. Your hair is honey colored. Not blonde, not red, nor chestnut but honey!
Your pale face has a scattering of freckles that come right down to your curvy shoulders. You’ve got one in the shape of a heart right above your mouth. Then there’s your rose-pink lips that you’re forever covering with frosted lipgloss. The whole time, you keep reaching into the inside pocket in your puffer jacket or your jeans and pulling out a little plastic tube and running the wand all the way round your lips. 
God, I wish I was that wand.
This winter your lips were always chapped, cracked to the point of bleeding. You used to wear a woollen beanie, with a fake fur bobble, that Marco gave you for your seventeenth birthday, the one I’d helped to choose and you never stopped licking your dry lips with your tongue. I felt like letting you have mine so they wouldn’t feel so bad. 

The first time I saw you I said to Marco: “You reckon she’s got freckles all over?”
Your navy top showed one of your bare shoulders. When you stretched, yawning, like a cat, your top pulled up and I could see your milky white skin with a piercing of blue topaz. Like a fairytale mermaid with a jewel in her belly button. I noticed your boobs too… not too big or too small, just right. Perfect for the size of my hands. I told Marco that as well. He just laughed, the mug.

Marco was smarter than me. He went along to the hairdressers where you’re a trainee. You gave him a shampoo with the tips of your purple nails. He called me the day after to brag: “Must have bigger hands than you mate, because they were quite small when I was feeling them, her breasts I mean!”
Since you’ve started going out with Marco you hang out with us all the time.
So there’s the two of us, sitting on the bench opposite Cindy’s Hair, waiting for you like a pair of idiots. We’re larking about, having a bit of joke and when you turn up we kind of go quiet. Probably because we reckon you’d think we’re stupid. 
You sit down between us. And you two hold hands. And kiss. Between kisses you put more lipgloss on. I feel like a real fool.
Each time I tell myself this is going to be the last time I hang around with the two of you, like an idiot. But then whenever Marco calls, I turn up again because of my craving to see you. To get a scent of your hair which smells just like its color. 

There we were the other day and Marco whispered to me, with a snigger: “She’s got them all over, the freckles… well, nearly…”
Right then you came back from the food-stall and asked, with your mouth full: 
“What you laughing at, sweetheart?”
“Nothing, babes. You having another doughnut? They’re not good for that nice little bum of yours”, he said, the mug, giving her backside a squeeze.
You sit down between us, like normal. Gazing into nothing, munching your doughnut. I watch you eating, dreaming of licking off the grains of sugar stuck on your pink lips, next to the freckle in the shape of a heart. I’d like you to eat me too, like that doughnut. 
Then as you put some more gloss on your lips, you said: 
“It’s your birthday soon, isn’t it?”
“Er… yeh”, I said, off-hand as though I didn’t give a damn, though I was surprised and totally happy that you’d remembered my birthday.
“You having a party?”
“Dunno…” I replied, thrown, suddenly thinking that celebrating your birthday means celebrating the fact you’re not dead yet.
“I can make you a cake if you want. I always wanted to make cakes for a job but I couldn’t get into college. I’ll end up being a hairdresser but my thing is making cakes. What sort would you like?”

So you made me a honey cake. It’s out of this world. It’s the same goldeny color as your hair, your eyes and your freckles.
You keep asking me if I like it.
When you’re kissing Marco you look right into my eyes, as though those kisses are a little bit for me.
While Marco is out having a smoke on the balcony, you help me sort the kitchen. You dip your finger into the cake tin and while you’re licking it with your glossy lips you say:
“I love honey too!”
You come up close to me and say: “Happy Birthday. Let’s celebrate you being eighteen!”
You take my hands and put them under your top and hold them over your breasts. 
You give your mouth to me. You taste of that color.
The taste of honey.

Translated by Hannah Charlton


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