We are young, we are wild, we are richer than we know. We are headed home from the party, together, for maybe the last time. Tena is not yet pregnant, Capuchin is still alive.
We are named for monkeys, for train lines, for the cities in which we were conceived. Our clothes are bright like the feathers of the birds, our hair shagged and gelled and pinned and dyed. The wind is wild and Toby lets out a scream like he has seen a dead body, but he hasn’t, not yet.
The hotel is quiet this time of year. In a few weeks the tourists will come and we will move out of their rooms, but at the moment it is ours. There is laughter from the roof, our parents, their own party. They are together again, maybe for the last time. We hear them clinking glasses. Someone gives a toast.
Tena wears glasses with the rims sparkled in glitter. “Fairy Dust,” she calls it, and it sheds everywhere, on our clothes, our skin, the rugs and bathtubs of the hotel. We will find it weeks later in our suitcases and between our teeth.
We left the party early because no one else’s company is as good as our own. We left the party because we were drunk on smuggled champagne and each other’s presence and we wanted to go back to the hotel and begin our summer as quickly as we could. We ran to the master suite and jumped on the bed together until we heard phantom footsteps in the hall and then we ran again, giggling, a cloud of glitter in our wake.
It is Maarten who suggests the climb, up the west wall where the ivy hangs hard. We will climb like movie savages and surprise our parents at the top. We kick off our shoes for what will hopefully be the whole summer and we dig our nails into the stucco. Jasmine’s are purple like her name and they chip and she does not care like she would back home.
We ascend. The moon is dark but the stars are very bright. The wind still whips. We giggle, we flail, we are invincible. Toby’s tie flaps behind him like a weathervane. He is the fastest. Crumbs from his shoes tumble into Cap’s eyes and he shouts, and then we all shout, and above us our parents are shouting also, shock or encouragement or disdain we cannot tell.
We make it to the top, we are breathless, we are deathless. We stand on the wall and face the sea, holding hands. We shout our lost youth out to the stars, to the waves, to the primordial ooze from which we sprung. Behind us our parents cheer. We are here, we are together again, maybe for the last time.
We are here.
Hanna Lackoff work has been nominated for the Pushcart Prize and the storySouth Million Writers Award and has been published in Flapperhouse, Spark, Shoreline of Infinity, Psychopomp, Bourbon Penn, and 10,000 Tons of Black Ink—Best of: Volume II, among others. Her short story collection After the World Ended was published in May 2016. Hannah lives in Boulder, Colorado, where she works in a library to feed her book addiction. She loves a smart TV show, a rocky ocean beach, and a high quality pastry.