“It Was Only a Joke” Fiction by Susan Hatters Friedman

The Chamber Magazine

If I’d have known that it was going to kill him, of course I would never have done it. We were young and in love. It was a joke.

The way he smelled. Like a forest.

His ID bracelet caught in my hair during our first kiss.

Every single thing about him was sexy. It was 1985. We were nineteen and in love and he could have worn shoulder pads and a crop top and I would have thought he was sexy.

I loved passing gum back and forth between our mouths when we were kissing. Yes, we were young.

I imagined him giving me the ID bracelet when we moved things to the next level. In novels, guys in the army gave women their ID bracelet. I hadn’t seen anyone our age wearing one. Maybe my gorgeous Michael was old-fashioned in this single lacuna.

Lying in the grass, I…

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