“Forgotten Kids” excerpt I

‘Summer Present: Chapter 1’ excerpt from Forgotten Kids by Laurie Costello.

She appeared, parting the rest of them like Moses, though that reference was stale and forgotten from two decades ago. Yes, there she was, indeed, with her wavy locks falling from underneath a debonair fedora, tickling her sun-kissed cheeks and bare shoulders. She was the girl, or woman now, who altered my life with the most miniscule of moments in the grand scheme of things. The tiniest sliver of hope that ignited a burning that has since only been met with temporary relief, for it will never be satisfied.

Heather came up next to me and said, “What is she doing here? God, I hate that bitch.”

I tugged on the cuff of my button-down to cover my wrist. “Yeah, me too.”

“Her teeth are, like, too perfect. It’s disgusting.”

I turned and looked at Heather as if I had never seen her or heard those semantics before. She went blonde, and the mountains rounding from underneath her top could have only been formed with assistance and a hefty entertainer’s fare—or perhaps even an industry comp for a role.

“Well, you’ve certainly changed.”

She stepped back and twirled as if it were a compliment. “I had to. Isn’t it great?”

“It’s something; that’s for sure.”

“So what do you do now?” she asked.

“I’m a counselor.”

“Oh,” she said, disappointed at the lack of esteem.

“And you?”

Nadia sauntered over before Heather could answer, and said, “A counselor, that seems fitting after all that happened.”

I smiled and gave her a hug; she used to be petite, but all that remained in that regard was her height. She was proof life phases add weight in more than one aspect, especially when experience was forced early on. “Hey, Nadia, great to see you. I heard you have, like, ten kids.”

“Always the omniscient one.”

“Well, not always, just more so over time.”

“I don’t have ten kids, but I have a gang.”

“Hopefully a little tamer than the one you used to roll with.”

“Just a tad.” She chuckled.

A stout man, just a few inches taller than Nadia, walked to her side with sunglasses on his forehead and his chin lifted. He held a beer, and his stomach stored a few more.

She put a soft grip around his triceps and said, “This is my husband.” She then presented her palm face up in my direction, “Babe, this is Kyle. You know, the one I talk about sometimes.” 

He extended his hand and I met it with a firm grip.

“Nice to meet you,” I said.

“Same here, bro.”

After we released, there was no need to further the introduction with mundane getting-to-know-yous because I was at a point in my life where I wanted less people around, not new acquaintances who will inevitably become as irrelevant as names from the past—just quicker this go-around. He appeared to be stuck in the same mentality, but it may have just been his personality of being unimpressed, demanding respect without an ounce of reciprocation. So, just another person from this town, I guess.

“Are you still into music?” Nadia asked.

“Can’t seem to get away from it, which is a good thing.”

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