"That movie was so funny," Rachel laughed. "Jim Carey is always hilarious."
Yasiris shrugged. "It was okay. I think Private Parts would have been better. Howard Stern is the best."
"But didn't you like the part where he beat himself up in the bathroom?" Rachel pressed.
"I mean....it was a little funny," Yasiris conceded. "But if we have another sleepover next week then let's get Private Parts."
"Okay," Rachel agreed. She uncrossed her legs, kicking them out in front of her and fluffing up the ruffled skirt of her nightgown. It was a Victorian style nightgown from the American Girl catalog, a perfect replica of the one on her Samantha doll, seated with her synthetic hair in rollers on the coach behind her.
"What do you want to do now?" Rachel asked.
Yasiris' eyes took on a mischievous glint, the corner of her mouth turning up into a half-smile. "Do you want to call boys?"
"Like who?" Rachel asked. "You aren't friends with any boys at school."
Yasiris raised her eyebrows. "Yeah, but I know some boys from the gym that me and my mom go to and they're in middle school."
"I don't know," Rachel faltered. "What would we say to them?"
Yasiris shrugged again. "We could just tell them stuff that we want to do to them. That's what my mom does when she talks to guys she likes on the phone."
"Maybe we could do something else instead."
"Well..." Rachel searched for something sophisticated and adult enough to impress Yasiris. "We could play Truth or Dare!"
"That sounds cool," Yasiris consented. "Which of us is going first?"
"You can!" Rachel cried. She snuggled down into the blankets spread out across the living room floor.
Yasiris grinned and pulled over one of the pillows, shoving it under her bum and crossing her legs beneath her. She wore loose-fitting Superman pajama pants that had once belonged to her mom, and a matching baby blue t-shirt with the word 'brat' written across it in pink and gold sparkles. She rubbed her hands together, the sleek bun on top of her head, caught the low light of the hanging floral-printed lap. Yasiris head was usually glossy since she'd started using hair gel. Rachel thought she used too much, but didn't know how to tell Yasiris that without hurting her feelings.
"Okay," Yasiris said. "I am actually gonna choose for you to go first. Truth or dare?"
"Truth," Rachel replied. Rachel always started with truth. A person should lead up to dare. Jumping straight to dare was skipping all of the anticipation.
"Do you remember anything about your mom?"
Rachel shifted, tucking her toes under the cotton fabric of her nightdress. She and Yasiris had talked about her mom a couple of other times. Other kids always wanted to know why she lived with her grandparents. Still, this wasn't a question Rachel had been expecting. The last time they'd played Truth or Dare, Yasiris had asked her which boy in their class Rachel thought was the cutest, and whether or not Rachel had ever thought about shaving her legs. Rachel hadn't expected the game to turn into a deeper conversation. But she had picked truth. That meant she had to tell the truth.
"I only remember that I went camping with her once. I lost my crayons and I cried when I couldn't find them. I was really little. It was the same year that I started taking dance classes, so I was like three."
YOU ARE READING
***Long-listed for the Watty's 2018***Rachel lives in constant fear that she will burst into flames. She can feel the heat building in her gut. She keeps buckets of water under the bed. She keeps them to fend off the flames that her body may create...