>fifteen

>“Hey, you.”

It was a senior, a girl I half recognized. As a sophomore this address didn’t scare me nearly as much as it would have the year before – still, fifteen is a tender age.

“Yeah?”

“You really shouldn’t wear shorts that short. You need to turn down that cuff now.”

I scuttled back into the bathroom and did as she bade me, my face burning with humiliation. Tears slipped out and I splashed cold water on my face to collect myself before I could face fifth period again.

Had she been right? My parents had never mentioned anything, which one would think they would have… I didn’t feel immodest. As skinny a little thing as I was, it wasn’t like there was anything whatsoever to show off. Self conscious all day, I watched fearfully for that girl everywhere I went on campus and then scurried home after school to destroy the shorts… and melt into a puddle of embarrassment.

Years later, my girlfriend Katelin called as she was working on a scrapbook of our younger years.

“Wow, you were wearing some short shorts in this picture.”

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