Eddie sat down first. He had his legs straight out and his elbows down. He lowered the rest of his body and felt the moisture from the grass through the back of his shirt. A box of cigarettes was passed around. I didn’t take one. Voices approached and we couldn’t tell who it was until they reached the atmosphere of light our collected phone screens produced. We opened our circle for the newcomers and let our phones dim. Stars started to reveal themselves. I was struck by how big the sky was.
Someone kept saying it was nice. Eddie shivered. I thought we were thinking of the same thing. Then George came out of nowhere and pulled Eddie’s hood down over his head and the two boys started running after each other. All I could see of them were their white sneakers. The girls called after them to be careful.
It was cool enough that there weren’t any bugs. Almost September. George came back and Eddie followed. For a while we listened to their breaths, then George played music from his phone. He put on a song I didn’t like, then he put on a song I liked. The cigarette box went around again.
No one thought to bring a blanket. We found a slope of grass facing the tower. It was windy. Sand rose with each gust and eventually we stopped rushing to cover the cheese and prosciutto.
We drank red wine from the plastic cups I picked up at a corner store. My friend played soccer with some little boys. I sent him a photo.
Everyone counted down in unison. The night filled with flashes.
Dead body. I pointed to the man on the blue tarp. Red from sunbathing. I kicked off my sandals and crossed my legs. Water trickled from a sideways bottle and soaked through a corner of my tote bag. My friend returned the book I lent him. I felt sorry for a second. He sat down next to me. We looked down at the baseball diamond. The tree he picked was big enough to shade us all. It was a tough hill to climb.
People stopped to let us pet their dogs. The red man never moved. I went home with six new mosquito bites. Gifts to remember the day by, my friend said. I said oh my god.
Lily Wang writes from Toronto. She is the author of the chapbooks Everyone in Your Dream is You (Anstruther Press, 2018) and Oh(!) (Dancing Girl Press, 2019). Her work has appeared/is set to appear in: Peach Mag, Cosmonauts Avenue, Bad Nudes, and more. She is the editor of Half a Grapefruit Magazine.