We’re nineteen and you can’t sing your favorite song right. He says “she” and, for some reason, you keep singing “me” and laughing about it afterwards. We’re nineteen and you’re laughing out the window of my Jeep at your own stupidity, and I’m laughing too but only because it would have been impossible not to. Next year, I’m going to be twenty and you’re going to be dead but we’ll still be laughing nineteen-year-olds in this particular memory.

That seems so wrong to me now.

It was December, like it’s December again. You were facing the world, away from me, but I still turned to you, still laughing, and said, “Roll the window up, it’s freezing.”

I never should have told you that. The glass cut up your face, and they had to bandage it in the hospital, and your mother kept saying, “Her face, her pretty face,” through her tears. Your face was still beautiful to me. You always looked beautiful.

I’m twenty-three now and you’re still dead, still nineteen, still laughing somewhere in the back of my mind, and there’s a girl here with me that I think I’m supposed to love. But she can sing that song perfectly on the off-chance it appears on the radio, and she never rolls the window down, and it’s all wrong in the way your face is wrong now in my memory: faded and cut and in a sea of snow and broken glass.

Daryn Orr writes in Arizona, USA.

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Every Day Fiction