Teenage Games

by Sofie Fowler

He smells of smoke and sugar. Through a hazy mind and toxic blood, he touches me. Gently but purposefully. On my collarbone. His eyes dart left to right across my eyes, as if he’s trying to catch his own reflection. I wonder if he’s daring himself to say what he wants to.

Tag, he says, you’re it.

A game played in the garden of a therapy centre, with the willow tree that stood in the middle. He knows that story. I wonder if he knows me.

The flickering stare breaks with a glance at his fingers, he edges the tips ever so slightly into the groove in my shoulder. I look at my fingers, touch his chin.

Tag, now you’re it.