Her waist was so small his hands almost touched when he held her, and when she put her tongue in his mouth he almost forgot that her boyfriend was following them in his car. He lingered on that kiss longer than he should have, they were next to Frontier park and he figured if he could get down to the creek he might be able to run through the big water pipe and out the other side. He doubted Diane’s boyfriend, or his friends knew the park as well as he did. He broke off the kiss as soon as he heard the tires squeal and was down past the first row of trees before he heard the doors slam on Reyes car. He heard the other two guys yelling to each other to cut him off. He was fourteen and fast for his age, so he was not too worried at first. It wasn’t until he saw them jump down into the water leading up to the big pipe that it occurred to him that he might not make it through to the other side. The water was knee deep, so it slowed them all down enough, but he was losing ground. Just inside the other end of the tunnel he was grabbed by the arm and spun around and punched deep into the gut by a thin kid who looked about seventeen years old. Diane’s boyfriend was in high school even though she was still in the eighth grade with him. The next thing he knew his arms were pulled back and Reyes was punching him straight into his face. He felt his head snap back and he heard Reyes yelling something about his property, but all he was really thinking about was the heat of that kiss. It had taken all winter long to get close enough to Diane. He worked hard at listening more than he talked, at empathizing instead of trying to solve her problem. Hell, he even knew that she was counting on her boyfriend following them that night. He knew she set him up just to make Reyes jealous. None of it mattered, not the blood he was tasting or the two teeth he lost. It was all just the kiss, it was the kind of magic that remained after the wounds heal, it was a kiss from the kind of girl he might never be that close to again. Just before he blacked out he thought he saw the first stars in the night sky, the last thing he remembered thinking was how beautiful it all looked from inside that tunnel.
About the contributor: Matthew Borczon is a writer from Erie, Pa. He has published 10 books of poetry, the latest Ghost Highway Blues is available through Alien Buddha press. He publishes poetry and prose widely on the net.