It’s a long and tedious drive through a winding canyon to get back to the small town where my family lives. When the bus finally hits my stop, my best friend is waiting for me. She is a grade behind me, and still attending the K-8 school where we have spent most of our lives. High school isn’t quite the adventure I thought it would be and I look forward to these few stolen moments before returning home each day. We make our way to the field on top of the hill between our houses. She pulls out a cigarette and lights it, holding it to my lips so the smell won’t stick to my fingers. We laugh over our mishaps and adventures, while taking alternate drags until we’re down the butt. She stubs it out in the chocolate-brown dirt as I pull out my cinnamon gum and perfume. After completing the ritual, we hug goodbye―promising to see each other tomorrow―and as I turn to leave, she says "You smell like musky sweet flowers." I smile back at her before trudging down my side of the hill, wondering whether or not my parent’s car will be sitting in the driveway.

Heather Brown
Bad Feminist
Roxane Gay