I was in fourth grade. She was
the prettiest girl in class. Tall,
athletic, friendly. Her curly
head, tousled like mine but blonde
not black, had no interest in math.
During the first wave of spring,
she invited me to shoot baskets
off her garage wall after school.
Again. And again. Dad picked
me up after work and we drove
home to the country in late light.
Mom said it was okay to invite her
over to my house the next Saturday.
I showed her around our tree-filled
country acres. We clambered up to
my tree fort, and under the tangle
of bushes housing several hideouts.
Shot baskets for an hour. Finally
headed inside to get a cool drink.
She slipped off her shoes at the door
revealing elegant feet for an athlete.
Mom gave us glasses of lemonade
and Christy gushed, I love it here!
I never want to leave! So I gave her
my school photo off the hall wall. Too
soon, her father arrived to drive her home.
On Monday, she appeared at my locker
with a grim look. My parents said
I couldn’t be your friend anymore
she mumbled as she handed back
my bent -over photo. I’m sorry
were the last words she ever spoke to me.
Deep in the night, I crept to their darkened beds
and reached, only once, for each set of sisters’ feet.
My fetish for female feet secretly grew, leading
to teen sex, to leaving home in my senior year, and
to failed relationships with other teen-somethings
despite a ten-year marriage and two kids of my own.
A fetish that led me, eventually, to felony probation,
another conviction, and now, prison.
first published in BEHIND PRISON WALLS Chapbook
©2011 Bonnie Manion