Coffee: Americano, Caribou Coffee; It was ok. I wanted to drink it at the cafe but there were no parking spaces. Not many coffee shops open on a Sunday in Cary.
I knew J as the girl in high school who was aware of being beautiful but hadn’t figured out what to do with it. I imagine she’s a woman now, living a life somewhere I’ll never know a thing about.
We weren’t close but had a few classes together. Teenage Me stole glances at her in Civics, she wore yellow shirts pulled down one shoulder, we were learning the Justice System but I was wondering how far that fabric could go.
Later, in AP Euro, we worked on a few projects. There was a mock trial of Martin Luther. One half of the class were prosecutors, the other defendants. I can’t remember which side we were on. I played the role of a witness, some bishop, J was our lawyer. It was her job to think up the arguments, make a case, drive it home. We planned it out for weeks. I gave a lot of input, that’s the kind of kid I was. When it came time for the trial, J clammed up. She asked me – again and again – to give her pointers. She was nervous. I tried to tell her she had it, tried to be encouraging. I ended up playing de facto lawyer for our side.
She told me a couple times that she just ‘couldn’t think as fast,’ comparing herself to me, to some of the other kids in class, a lie she bought completely. It was sad but exciting. I never wanted to admit it, but it turned me on.
AP Euro was on the bottom floor, almost a basement, we had a couple windows that started at ground level and stared at a three foot gap before another brick school building. When it rained, the windows fogged up. You almost heard windchimes. In my memory, it was raining the day of the trial. I still see J shadowed by the water, a pinstripe jacket, black glasses, red t-shirt, more beautiful than she ought to be, her features clogging up the room.
History of Wolves, Emily Fridlund (2017 Man Booker Prize Shortlist); Blowing me away so far; 100 pgs in.
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“I can only note that the past is beautiful because one never realises an emotion at the time. It expands later, and thus we don’t have complete emotions about the present, only about the past.” – Virginia Woolf