Sylvie(5)

By: K. Langston


“See, I knew you could do it,” he says.

I throw my arms around his neck, hugging him tight. “Thank you.”

I still can’t believe I did it. With him, I overcame one of my greatest fears, and he revealed to me a part of himself no one else knows about.

It goes down as one of the best nights of my life.





Past

My feet dangle from the bed of Linc’s pickup, parked near the railroad tracks. We spend almost every Saturday night here. Usually we come with Rachel and Will but tonight it’s just the two of us.

“What are your plans after we graduate? Do you ever think about that?” Linc asks, looking up into the star-filled sky.

“Yeah, I’ve been thinking about it a lot lately. It feels like my parents are constantly on my ass now, and I just don’t know. There was a time when I thought I wanted to be a nurse. I love to help people, but I don’t think I can ever get over my fear of needles.”

“I bet I could help you,” he says, nudging my shoulder with his.

“I’m pretty sure that’s one thing you can’t help me overcome, Linc. And if you even think about tryin’ I’ll do some serious damage to your junk.”

He winces, cupping himself. “Calm down, girl, no need for violence.”

We both laugh, filling the silent night with the comforting sound. Our friendship is effortless. There is never anything we can’t talk about, even the scary stuff.

“I don’t know. My parents want me to go to college, but I have no idea what I wanna do. I’d love to travel. See the world.”

“Me too,” he agrees, staring off into the distance.

“What do you wanna do?”

He shrugs but I can see that determination glimmering in his green eyes as he looks up into the darkened night. “I wanna write music. Sing. I don’t know. It’s a long shot but it’s what makes me happy. My dad wants me to join the Marines. He says there’s stability and discipline there.” Linc scoffs. “He thinks I need more discipline.”

I try to stifle a giggle but it sneaks out anyway. I can’t imagine Linc in the Marines. He has a hard enough time following instructions in school. He just seems to always find his own way of doing things. It drives the teachers nuts but they all adore him.

Hell, everyone does.

Linc is an only child so he gets away with a lot at home, too. His father is a sergeant in the Marines and is deployed ninety percent of the time, leaving his mother at home to enforce the rules, but Gwynn can be a big pushover when it comes to her son.

In her eyes, this boy can do no wrong.

“What’s so funny?”

“I’m just trying to imagine you with a buzz cut,” I say, running my hand over his head. “And taking orders from someone else.”

He playfully swats my thigh. “Smart-ass.”

“Have you told your dad you don’t wanna join?”

“Yeah, but he won’t listen. He thinks music is a hobby, not a career. I think he’s just pissed he never went for it.”

“What do you mean?”

“My mom told me that he was in a band once. When they first met. It was a hillbilly rock band and they were really good. She even showed me pictures and some old videos. She told me they could’ve been huge. Even had a record label offer them a deal but he turned it down.”

“Why?”

“They got pregnant with me. Changed everything.”

“That sucks.”

“Gee, thanks.”

“You know what I mean.” I nudge his shoulder. “I cannot picture your dad in a hillbilly rock band, that’s for sure. He’s always so serious.”

“I know. He was such a badass, too. I tried to ask him about it once but he refused to talk about it. The only thing he’d say was he never regretted his decision. But I’m not so sure he’s telling the truth. He’s like a completely different man with a guitar in his hands.”

“Well, maybe he can live that dream through you.”

He’s not convinced. “Maybe.”

“I believe in you, Linc. I think you could go all the way. Your voice and the way you sing some of those songs…it’s breathtaking.”

Ever since the first time he sang to me on the Ferris wheel, I’ve become his biggest fan. He is modest about his talent and still only shares it with me. I don’t think he believes in himself as much as I believe in him, which is crazy to me because Linc is confident about pretty much everything.