Dandelion

She held on to him tight like one of those koala toys her uncle brought from Australia last Christmas, the one that wears a vest and firmly hugs her little finger.

Jeremy said, “Let me go!” three times and then yelled, “I’m married to Rebecca!”

Sara looked down the track in the schoolyard and saw Rebecca watching them, arms crossed, angry-faced like she knew she wouldn’t talk to her for a few weeks. Jeremy flailed to get away but couldn’t.

“Um, we’re married,” Rebecca said as she walked up to them.

Sara remembered their wedding ceremony, under the mulberry bush at lunch hour on the grass hill that turned into an ice slide in the winter. Their wedding day was sunny with a berry feast, purple squished on the bottoms of their shoes.

Still Sara held tight and didn’t let Jeremy go. She wanted him to hug her like he hugged Rebecca, round the waist under the mulberry branches so they could take wedding pictures. She thought if she held him tight enough he might stay and she wouldn’t have to walk around the track alone anymore. She closed her eyes and made a wish in her head as she squeezed: I wish Jeremy would marry me under the mulberry tree, and then she let go.

He ran, not to Rebecca but far down the track. He kept running and then he disappeared. Rebecca turned away too, walked the other way. Sara stood alone and dandelion seeds floated by.

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