my brother gets his college admissions letter

On the day my brother gets his college admissions, he picks his envelope up ever so gently, drags a finger across the edge of the flap, and peels back the white like he would peel back the skin of a banana. The envelope bulges with expectations, ripe with the fleshy substance of letters, words, sentences, paragraphs; if he could slip the paper into his mouth, the faintly salty tang of sweat from his upper lip would mix with the dryness of the paper, letters blurring together into inkblots indistinguishable from each other.
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I see you on the bus first. Or maybe, it’s you who senses me, turning around just enough for our eyes to meet. Somehow, past the friend I am talking to, past the earbuds pressed tightly against your ears, our eyes lock. You are skinnier than I remember. Age has sharpened your cheekbones, stolen the roundness from your cheeks. The nest of brown pine needles on your head has softened, curling gently at the tips. It is hard to imagine them as the same rat hair your mom used to comb through, her fingers gently untangling the knots, the burrs in your curls….Continue Reading Strangers