Ice Skating

I drive in the new dark of eight thirty, my sister in the passenger seat of my car. The disembodied voice of Terry Crews intermingles with the schizophrenic sounds of electro-swing, giving us directions from the phone in her lap.

“In 1.1 miles, turn right.”
“I forgot my jacket. Turn around?”
“You can wear mine.” I say, laziness outweighing warmth.

We arrive at the ice skating rink and meet up with my sister’s friends.

“So what’s new?”
“Nothing much.” She says. “Working mostly. I bought a house today.”
“You bought a house? That’s great!”
“It’s just a condo, but yeah, I’m excited!”

I remember why I don’t tag along behind my sister anymore, besides the obvious of preferring not to be a hanger-on. She and her friends live in an alternate reality from mine where people are gainfully employed and complain about roommates or have mortgage payments instead of essays and math tests.

I skate to the piped in music, one of my sister’s friends passing me, spinning and gliding over the ice effortlessly. The grooves worn into the ice over the course of the last hour pull at my skates, trying to pull me off course. I skate past my sister behind the clear plastic wall talking to another girl as they tighten their skates, my arms turning red where my short sleeves end. I skate to the sounds of off-key singing as a group of girls in the middle of the rink begin to sing along to the music. I do not skate well.


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