A Wake

Two girls sit atop a worn-down bench, feet having stamped black marks onto the faded seat, backs leanings against the front window of their house. Kwon, with copper hair meticulously dyed monthly, is smoking a cigarette while Hannah, with soft honey colored hair, is picking at the hem of her dress. Both girls are sitting and waiting for Yoon to get home so they can get inside. They need to get ready to leave. They have locked themselves out. Kwon flicks the cigarette into the flooded bushes. Rain has been beating their city for two days; everything smells fresh but slick. Green has exploded around their house, but mud has gotten everywhere.

Kwon reaches for her pack at Hannah’s side, brushing the other girl’s arm ever so slightly. Hannah looks up from her hem and catches Kwon’s eyes. They sit there, staring at one another, Kwon’s arm outstretched for the cigarettes, but stopped midway. Her eyes break away from Hannah’s, darting to her small brown hands now motionless in her lap. Kwon flicks her eyes back to her friend, who has not moved nor advanced towards the now leaning body almost pressed against her own. The slightest nod from Hannah and a decision dreamed about for years, Kwon abandons thoughts of smoking a cigarette and scoops her friend’s delicate hand into her own.

Both girls stare at their hands clasping one another, brown in a dark coal. Kwon looks into Hannah’s eyes and smiles, feeling a swell of heightening emotion flood her as reciprocation fills Hannah’s face. They turn to face the street; both grinning, cigarettes and hems now lay forgotten.


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