1. You are seven and he whispers "fuck" and you scowl at the table and think of words scrawled on the bathroom walls and the anger you feel and he stabs you in the palm with a pencil and you say it back and laugh

2. You are eight and there is a cast on your arm like there was on his and you lay on your stomachs and pour over books and he tells you about chemistry and you tell him about dinosaurs and together you learn

3. You are ten and there are colored rubber bands up your arms and he holds your hand and you want to kiss him but neither of you are brave enough and that's okay because you're young and you have time

4. You are eleven and you can spell anything and he watches your mouth as you put on chapstick and grin around the letters of 'succotash' and he trips through 'magnanimous' and he flushes when you correct him

5. You are twelve and she grabs your arm and you trip down the halls together and sit on the floor together and read comics together and when you bring her home she bites your ear and your breath catches

6. You are thirteen and she has Texas in her 'a's and books in her backpack and you talk about fire and stories and travelling and at night you bike home together and the wind sweeps your voices into the air

7. You are fourteen and tired and he's warm and even if it's only for two days, you let yourself brush his elbow and he leans into your shoulder and all that matters is the paint on your face and the trophy in your hands

8. You are seventeen and when you see her your breath catches and she smiles at you and stammers an old inside joke and a book reference and you shoot one right back and stare until she looks away

9. You are eighteen and he's a name on a screen until he's a chest against your back and somewhere between grocery stores and road trips and breakdowns your hands entwine and never untangle and you know

10/30/2018