Kids- A Short Story

You see the pairing all the time but can never place the situation. Two boys and a girl. Friends. But you just know there’s a love triangle, too. Not the adult kind where one is sleeping with the other and only one harbors emotions about it while the other wishes she/he were the one you chose to sleep with. These kids are too young for that. You can see it on their faces- they don’t know what sex is, but would maybe one day like to know. The twinkle in their eyes is puppy love but the effect is different for each.

The first boy sits in the corner seat of the train car. He’s slim, leaning half his weight towards the railing while holding an umbrella as if trying to pose like a 2Pac poster. He chews his gum with mock authority while the line “sit yo five dolla ass down before I make change” looks like it will spill out of his mouth at any time. He talks to the girl who sits in the middle of another boy. The girl has braces wearing a lime green pea coat with a hot pink hoodie underneath. She looks like Liberty from Degrassi. Seems to have the same shy mannerisms as her, too. She places her pink bag on her lap, frequently retreating into it because the slim boy appears to be flirting. The slim boy pinches her cheek with affection but you can tell he cares nothing for her. He laughs with the other boy while making a point to show that he made her blush.

“Yea, this shit easy. Ima get all the bitches.” His body language topped with his mock authorative gum chewing tells me that’s what he’s saying, or some variation of the such.

This boy is proud of himself for making an innocent girl, who looks at him with burning admiration but does not like in “that way,” feverish with giddiness.

And what is the other boy doing; the round Christopher Wallace looking boy with a bubble coat on, hunched into his lap, watching his friend tease the girl. He’s looking on with silent jealously. The second boy and girl don’t seem to be related- none of them do- so to think they had been family would be wrong. The thought would exit your mind when you saw the second boy’s face as each moment whined down where he was receiving less of her attention and more of his teasing friend’s. It was almost as if the friend was saying “I got all the bitches and maybe one day you can have my leftovers.”

He didn’t want his friend’s leftovers, however. He wanted to spend time with this girl in the most innocent way. He wanted her to be his first kiss. He wanted to watch cartoons with her with snacks in front of them. He wanted to listen to R&B and create the right moments to tell her “I love you” and the love would be bursting with the carefree attitude adults only wish to recapture. But that kind of love only exists as a kid, and in movies. That’s what these kids were doing- writing a scene so well scripted it seemed to be pulled out of any “coming of age” story.

But that’s what growing up was like. It was easy to create moments like walking your crush home hand-in-hand or sitting in a pizza spot sharing a slice. No priorities. No need to be home to cook or clean or tend to the kids. You are the kid, and as a kid you’re free to create as many key scenarios to make your coming-of-age drama unfold the way you want it to.

That’s the magic of being a kid. No wonder we all want such emotions back.


One thought on “Kids- A Short Story

  1. Yes, nostalgia is powerful because adolescence is a time when you don’t know what the reality of love is like. And while wonderful, it is very different than what we imagine.

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