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We couldn’t shack up, but oh, we tried.  We were 18, filled with juicy, lusty love and so we found our places: the off-road spicy woods or the porch at midnight, starlight and the sounds of waves swashing over our pale skins.  We found my parents’ house at noon: clean and quiet, everyone at work.  Sometimes, that was the best of all: the forbidden; sequestered in my mother’s orderly living room.  Us, pink and full of hot breath in the afternoon sun angling in on the floor.

My son is twenty.  Our house is sometimes empty at noon.  There are woods and fields aplenty, burgeoning with leaves and fresh grass, springy and pungent.  He does have a girlfriend.

How I reconcile what I loved back then and with what I know to be true today is my mystery, my letting-go and my lesson.  And I hope with every fervent prayer in my heart that she’s on good birth control and he’s using the condoms I slipped into his bathroom on a day when the trees and grasses, the waves and the stars beckoned with their scented breath.


Jane Banning lives in Oregon, Wisconsin with her husband and son.  She has received honorable mentions in the 2008 Micro Fiction Contest and the 2009 Glass Woman Prize Contest.  Her work has appeared in the University of Iowa Daily Palette, Six Sentences, Long Story Short, Boston Literary Magazine, Lyrical Passion Poetry and 52250 Flash.  She is pretty certain that this story is fictional.


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