I pulled up to the 7/11 and realized I couldn’t remember the last time I’d ordered an Icee. I mixed Coke and Strawberry into the biggest cup they had. I remembered when Cheyenne and I were in middle school how we used to mix this with the vodka her mom never bothered to lock up. The girl behind the counter looked like she’d recently graduated from high school, although she held herself with a toughness beyond her years. She’d either shrunk her uniform shirt on purpose or lied about her size, because I could see her belly button ring on her washboard stomach. I looked at the half-eaten nachos behind her and figured she only had a few more years to look like this. She didn’t ask where I was going or where I’d come from. When she handed me my change, I noticed the frenzy of old cuts on her left arm. These weren’t those superficial, privileged, symmetrical cuts girls in my high school had. These were frantic and left her arm looking like an old cutting board. These were the cuts that you get when your uncle’s bent you over a couch for a year and no one believes you. I thought about giving her a hundred dollar bill to impress her. I could tell her where I was headed. She’d be touched and give me her number, and then…what? I threw a pack of Cheyenne’s brand of smokes on the counter, paid with a twenty, and left.
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