Camila and Me

by | Dec 15, 2023 | Fiction, Flash Fiction

A bonfire surrounded by indistinct, blurry figures standing around it and standing in its light.

We’re in the backseat of Theo’s car and he’s driving kind of fast, swerving into the oncoming lane because he’s tipsy but also because he likes to hear us shriek his name in unison, Camila and me. Theooo! we scream, and we batter the back of his seat until he returns to the right lane.

We realize we’re early when we get there. It’s just Finn and his buddy, Jonah, and a few guys we don’t know trying to get a bonfire lit. They tell us everyone is coming, everyone is on their way, they offer us their bowl. We sit on overturned crates and smoke together, Camila and me, watching each other pretend to be cool, pretending to be sexy and laughing hard into our elbows.

The boys talk, exaggerated grins and glossy eyes, interrupting each other, arguing with each other, but none of it is real—it’s all just a part of their script, the grand play they perform just for us. The more they drink, the closer they get until they are brushing our shoulders and whispering in our ears. Until they are bestowing compliments like shiny gold stickers.

When more people arrive, the two of us make a dash for the field where we collapse under cover of tall grasses. We are all giggles and flushed faces, brushing hair out of our eyes.

They’ll never find us, Camila says. I reach out and clasp her hand, hoping maybe this time she is right. 


Photo by Ben Crowe, used and adapted under CC.

About The Author

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Isabelle Ness is a writer, educator, and Spanish interpreter living in western Massachusetts. Her work has been shortlisted for the Bridport Prize in flash fiction.