So hot here in the sinking summer. August half way down and now we swelter among twelve thousand others, waiting, anticipating. They press into us and it makes me nervous, as usual, like any crowd. Someone will be angry, will push me around soon enough.
Which never happens.
Instead, I see her there, blue t shirt and faded denim skirt, sandals, which will not protect her feet from so much stomping once the music starts, once the band is all anyone cares about, but I will still think of her.
We speak, I am half hushed, afraid I am crossing a clear boundary. She was always untouchable in my head and though my heart has pined for her, my 17 year old body fears her like it fears almost everything, everyone. But she smiles and that frees me a little, asks how I am, how summer has been, how basketball is coming, which surprises me. She knows me, or at least about me. I ask her favorite band.
Later, when we are hand in hand, walking towards the cars, away from friends who certainly wonder what either of us sees in the other, she will lean in and whisper in my ear. I hear the happiness before I feel the chill.