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Cicada Days
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"... Barbara G-zus..."

"She didn't even come on the trip!"

Shit, true.

"She was cute though..."

Shit, also true. Irene continued to rattle off names like a saber, and at some point she wasn't particularly sure herself where the names were coming from. Somewhere in her brain, surely. Somewhere where memories, mostly awkward, of words and greetings exchanged and hot summer days and hot winter days because global warming. Of names and phone numbers at least sort of memorized, of hopes and dreams, of sheaves of papers with math equations and group partner names. Of affections nursed tender under breastbone. Also mostly awkward, those.

They all just kind of sat there, those names and faces, weighty in her brain. It felt heavy on her lobes and eyelids. Tiring, exhausting.

"... Maxim, Danny, Jacob. Uh, that one bitch everyone hates... And, uh, Alvavo or however you pronounce his name. You know, the one with the cafe and all...?" Irene's voice trailed, puttered out. She took a breath. Olivia was looking at her, breathing. Hi Olivia! Irene felt another round of the old giggles knocking on her collarbone, demanding freedom. She let them go, but they came out all mopey and tired and sad. A halfhearted sort of chuckle, the sort that deflates like a balloon. Sudden deflation, as if shot and popped.

Irene met Olivia's stare, silent for a good moment too many.

"What are you doing, Hannananah? What do you both think we should do now?"
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Until all our yesterdays are lighted fools... · The Cove