1. We weren’t supposed to be home, both of us feigning sick, underwear down around some of our ankles. Senior year. Promises made to love each other forever.
2. Morning announcements interrupted by the turning on of TVs, the large boxes anchored to the walls, cobwebs sprayed across the backs like tinsel. September.
3. We had talked about baby names, imagining their personalities, a passing game that sounded like commitment. Eighteen years old, the pair of us.
4. Smoke billowed from the hole in the building. Teachers’ faces crumpled with the immensity of the unknown. The silence a prowling hesitation.
5. I touched your hip, a new knowledge of heat.
6. The voices of news personalities bordering on hysterical, trying to document history as it was unfolding. Accident, a fathomable explanation.
7. Promise, you asked, the tilt of your neck, the angle of your eyes an invitation, a questioning of my sincerity I didn’t comprehend.
8. The second plane, a ghostly shadow of the first. A mistaken replay. Teachers grasping for the remote, but clutching at their chests instead. The intake of breath just before the landing of a punch.
9. Jockeying for position, an awkwardness borne in inexperience. The meshing of two bodies beyond hugs and hand-holding. Anticipation.
10. Moments after, your head on my shoulder, the sheen of sweat drying, adhering body to body, thoughts spiraling like a fuselage toward an uncertain tragedy.
Tommy Dean lives in Indiana with his wife and two children. He is the author of a flash fiction chapbook entitled Special Like the People on TV from Redbird Chapbooks. He is the Editor at Fractured Lit. He has been previously published in The BULL Magazine, The MacGuffin, The Lascaux Review, Pithead Chapel, and New Flash Fiction Review. His story “You’ve Stopped” was chosen by Dan Chaon to be included in Best Microfiction 2019. It will also be included in Best Small Fiction 2019. Find him @TommyDeanWriter on Twitter.