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The Secret Place

The Secret Place

Description : The Secret Place
There’s this song that keepsing on the radio, but Holly can only ever catch bits of it. Remember oh remember back when we were, a girl’s voice clear and urgent, the fast light beat lifting you up off your toes and speeding your heart to keep up, and then it’s gone. She keeps trying to ask the others What is it? but she never catches enough to ask about. It’s always slipping in through the cracks, when they’re in the middle of talking about something important or when they have to run for the bus; by the time things go quiet again it’s gone, there’s just silence, or Rihanna or Nicki Minaj pounding silence away.

Ites out of a car, this time, a car with the top down to dragnet all the sunshine it can get, in the sudden explosion of summer that could be gone tomorrow. Ites over the hedge into the park playground, where they’re holding melting ice creams away from their back-to-school shopping. Holly—on the swing, head tipped back to squint up at the sky, watching the sunlight pendulum across her eyelashes—straightens up to listen. “That song,” she says, “what’s—” but just then Julia drops a glob of ice cream in her hair and shoots up on the roundabout yelling “Fuck!,” and by the time she’s got a tissue off Becca and borrowed Selena’s water bottle to wet it and cleaned the sticky off her hair, bitching the whole time—to make Becca blush, mostly, says the wicked sideways glance at Holly—about how she looks like she gave a blow job to someone with bad aim, the car’s gone.

Holly finishes her ice cream and hangs backwards by the swing chains, just keeping the ends of her hair from brushing the dirt, watching the others upside down and sideways. Julia has lain back on the roundabout and is turning it slowly with...