What the boys did not hear from the girls, and what the girls did not hear from the boys, was the shattering, shattering, shattering. Only the Revere girl could hear it. Only the Wellesley boy could make her lips unkissable, but not sealed. And she said, you can’t leave here the way you are. And he said, I thought, I thought you knew. Didn’t you?What the boys did not hear from the girls, and what the girls did not hear from the boys, was the shattering, shattering, shattering. Only the Revere girl could hear it. Only the Wellesley boy could make her lips unkissable, but not sealed. And she said, you can’t leave here the way you are. And he said, I thought, I thought you knew. Didn’t you?

SALUTE

The girls had heard from the boys that the boys were looking for the girls. Outside English, History, Spanish class. Inside the gyms, stables, dormitories. For one week only, they were in demand.

The boys had heard from the girls that the girls were getting ready for the boys. Cherry, berry, wildberry lipgloss. A pluck pluck pluck from the eyebrows to the ankles.

The girls had heard from the boys that the boys had a plan for the girls. A semester’s worth of hijinks, eight weeks in the making. The last hurrah from uniform khakis to Harvard Square.

The boys had heard from the girls that the girls had begun practicing their salutes in front of mirrors. Sometimes naked, sometimes not. Always with the hope of a second or third time.

The girls had heard from the boys that that one boy from Wellesley had sent that one girl from Revere a series of text messages. She responded with a <3, like the girls do when they want to say what they cannot say. The Wellesley boy flashed that <3 around like a medallion.

The Revere girl had met the Wellesley boy under the statue of St. Paul. She dressed in a tank top and floral skirt, as if they were going to the movies, then the diner—or the diner, then the movies. That’s what the Wellesley boy had said the day before, when he walked the Revere girl to her biology lab, elbows brushing and hands tightening.

But there’s no good movies, the Wellesley boy said. He saluted St. Paul, who leaned on his sword and lowered his eyes.

The Wellesley boy took the Revere girl into a janitorial closet, though some girls said it was the boiler room and some boys said it was the chem lab. She held the Wellesley boy’s hand, feeling his lacrosse callouses for the first time. He slipped the Revere girl’s hand beneath his uniform khakis.

Places she could not touch.

The boys had heard from the girls that the Revere girl didn’t want the Wellesley boy to mess up her wildberry lipgloss, but the girls had heard from the boys that the Wellesley boy liked the taste of it.

Wild, berry, smeared.

The girls had heard from the boys that the Wellesley boy saluted the bathroom mirror before knotting his tie the next morning. What did he say? the girls had asked the boys. We’re cool, the boys had told the girls. Are we cool?

[The Revere girl curled below the wooden fence at the edge of the pasture, where even the horses do not tread, until the faraway laughter fell with the moon. She would text the Wellesley boy the next afternoon. She would text him a <3, because boys do not want to see that / in the middle. They do not want to see that line at all.]

What the boys did not hear from the girls, and what the girls did not hear from the boys, was the shattering, shattering, shattering. Only the Revere girl could hear it. Only the Wellesley boy could make her lips unkissable, but not sealed. And she said, you can’t leave here the way you are. And he said, I thought, I thought you knew. Didn’t you?

LAUREN BARBATO is an MFA candidate in Creative Writing-Fiction at Rutgers University—Newark, where she also works as an undergraduate English instructor. Her fiction and nonfiction works have appeared in Cosmopolitan, Ms. magazine, Bustle, and Corium Magazine, among others.

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Lauren Barbato

What the boys did not hear from the girls, and what the girls did not hear from the boys, was the shattering, shattering, shattering. Only the Revere girl could hear it. Only the Wellesley boy could make her lips unkissable, but not sealed. And she said, you can’t leave here the way you are. And he said, I thought, I thought you knew. Didn’t you?What the boys did not hear from the girls, and what the girls did not hear from the boys, was the shattering, shattering, shattering. Only the Revere girl could hear it. Only the Wellesley boy could make her lips unkissable, but not sealed. And she said, you can’t leave here the way you are. And he said, I thought, I thought you knew. Didn’t you?

SALUTE

The girls had heard from the boys that the boys were looking for the girls. Outside English, History, Spanish class. Inside the gyms, stables, dormitories. For one week only, they were in demand.

The boys had heard from the girls that the girls were getting ready for the boys. Cherry, berry, wildberry lipgloss. A pluck pluck pluck from the eyebrows to the ankles.

The girls had heard from the boys that the boys had a plan for the girls. A semester’s worth of hijinks, eight weeks in the making. The last hurrah from uniform khakis to Harvard Square.

The boys had heard from the girls that the girls had begun practicing their salutes in front of mirrors. Sometimes naked, sometimes not. Always with the hope of a second or third time.

The girls had heard from the boys that that one boy from Wellesley had sent that one girl from Revere a series of text messages. She responded with a <3, like the girls do when they want to say what they cannot say. The Wellesley boy flashed that <3 around like a medallion.

The Revere girl had met the Wellesley boy under the statue of St. Paul. She dressed in a tank top and floral skirt, as if they were going to the movies, then the diner—or the diner, then the movies. That’s what the Wellesley boy had said the day before, when he walked the Revere girl to her biology lab, elbows brushing and hands tightening.

But there’s no good movies, the Wellesley boy said. He saluted St. Paul, who leaned on his sword and lowered his eyes.

The Wellesley boy took the Revere girl into a janitorial closet, though some girls said it was the boiler room and some boys said it was the chem lab. She held the Wellesley boy’s hand, feeling his lacrosse callouses for the first time. He slipped the Revere girl’s hand beneath his uniform khakis.

Places she could not touch.

The boys had heard from the girls that the Revere girl didn’t want the Wellesley boy to mess up her wildberry lipgloss, but the girls had heard from the boys that the Wellesley boy liked the taste of it.

Wild, berry, smeared.

The girls had heard from the boys that the Wellesley boy saluted the bathroom mirror before knotting his tie the next morning. What did he say? the girls had asked the boys. We’re cool, the boys had told the girls. Are we cool?

[The Revere girl curled below the wooden fence at the edge of the pasture, where even the horses do not tread, until the faraway laughter fell with the moon. She would text the Wellesley boy the next afternoon. She would text him a <3, because boys do not want to see that / in the middle. They do not want to see that line at all.]

What the boys did not hear from the girls, and what the girls did not hear from the boys, was the shattering, shattering, shattering. Only the Revere girl could hear it. Only the Wellesley boy could make her lips unkissable, but not sealed. And she said, you can’t leave here the way you are. And he said, I thought, I thought you knew. Didn’t you?

LAUREN BARBATO is an MFA candidate in Creative Writing-Fiction at Rutgers University—Newark, where she also works as an undergraduate English instructor. Her fiction and nonfiction works have appeared in Cosmopolitan, Ms. magazine, Bustle, and Corium Magazine, among others.