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OMEGA | Louis Raymond
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Louis Raymond

18 May Louis Raymond





I remember this one bonfire. The party dwindled. Soon, it was just me, Mike, and Jane left by the fire. And not ten minutes after we sat back down, Mike yawned, rubbed his eye, and said he was turning in for the night.

“We’ll help you clean up,” Jane offered.

“Nah, don’t worry,” Mike said. “There ain’t much. Just these cups, and that’s it. You guys go have fun. Carpe noctum. The only reason I’m checking out is ‘cause I gotta work tomorrow at the ass-crack of dawn.”

“Sucks bro,” I said, feeling exhilarated. I looked at Jane.

“Where to next?”

“I don’t know,” she said, shrugging. “Anywhere, I guess. You’re my ride.”


At first, we cruised around downtown. We glided past the Chinese place with it’s burning neon lights, toward the swank café with their quinoa so-and-so’s, but then I got a hankering to do something spontaneous. I never lived that way, and Jane always did. She’d been to Copenhagen and Zurich as an organic farmer. One summer, she drove cross-country alone to City Lights Books, hoping to embark on a “beatific experience.” She was the kind of girl that liked adventure. I was the guy who’d never left New England.

I drove to the beach. I parked in a desolate dirt lot, right by the shore. I reclined my seat, and rode out my enduring buzz.


“This is a night I won’t forget,” Jane said, turning the music down. “The fire, the ditch. Everything.”

“I had fun,” I said. “I mean, I’m having fun.”

Jane half-smiled. “Good,” she said, unbuckling her seat belt. “Fun is good.”

“Do you want to walk the beach?”

“Nah,” she said. “Too chilly tonight. Could we just sit for a while?”

I took off my hoodie and draped it over her knees. “Sure,” I said. “Sitting sounds good.”

We sat in the quiet. I could hear the lapping waves, the hushed language of passing wind. I could hear Jane’s fingernails tapping against her door. I closed my eyes and sat there listening to the mechanism of our bodies, not knowing what was to come between me and Jane. I didn’t worry over such matters. Her body was outstretched, her shoes kicked off. Her toes curled under foot.

There was nothing decaying inside of us.


Louis Raymond is a Pushcart Prize nominated writer, book reviewer, and teacher hailing from Biddeford, Maine. He is the author of Paper Heart: Love Stories (2015, Thought Catalog), and his poems, essays, and stories have been featured in array of places, such as Dogzplot, The Bicycle Review, Extract(s), Cheap Pop Lit, HOUSEFIRE, and on The Flexible Persona Podcast. Recently, he was awarded a Martin Dibner Fellowship for fiction writing. He can be found on tumblr.

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