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Fiction, Summer 2007

Page 2

Engorged by Leonard Kress



It sort of worked—Brenda went off to Oberlin until she realized that she wasn’t academically prepared and couldn’t keep up with her classmates.  From there she went to Hampshire and ended up, I’m pretty sure, at Immaculate or Rosemont or Cabrini, one of those Catholic girls’ schools out on the Main Line—most likely the only Jew in her class.  I hadn’t seen her in more than ten years, until she began substitute teaching at my school, almost a year ago, arriving with just the slightest puffiness around the cheeks and the subtlest swelling pressing against the waistband of her skirt.  Just as I remembered her—and more!


As we stand there deliberating, crowds of students began to grope and shove their way down the hall, taunting and haranguing each other, oblivious to the room of their next class or the buzzer.  I nervously realize that both Brenda and I have preps for the next 40 minutes, as we protectively press on, further down the hall, against the presiding current.  “But where can we go?” I repeat.


“Oh, we’ll find a place,” she says.  “I’m desperate enough to do it right here in the hall, but I’m afraid of getting bumped.   Remember, though, this is only going to be this…only this, isn’t it?”



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Per Contra Summer 2007