Kathleen Parks

The phone buzzed, and Kitty looked down at it vibrating on her thigh. While sitting in her family’s living room an incoming message on her rickety old cellphone read, “Hey! My friend, Travis, and I are going to drive over to Beacon today, and wanted to know if you’d wanted to come?” Tina rarely texted Kitty. They had only met twice, giving each other their numbers as a teenage exchange of consideration and politeness. Tina was a photographer and artist, someone who could see the most ordinary objects and capture their silence and shame in a photograph or painting. Kitty looked up to artists. She wanted to know what might become of the day around someone like that.

“Sure!” she responded. “What do you guys have planned for the day?” She looked outside to the winter gloom. She was not a gloomy day kind of girl but figured getting out would do her some good. The phone was ringing.


“Hey Kit, how’s it goin’? We’re just on our way to Beacon, and well…someone is there who says they really need to see you…”

Kitty chuckled, “What? Who on earth could you be talking about?” Tina responded quietly and seriously, “Well, it’s Jackson… he’s back.”

The ride to the town of Beacon was long, and although Kitty was freezing, the palms of her hands were hot and moist. The three of them were traveling in Tina’s 1973 navy blue Mercedes-Benz. The heater wasn’t working all too well, the leather seats were squeaking and freezing, and Tina was verbally damning the vehicle. Travis was playing indie folk music, the kind that only hipsters like. Kitty liked folk, but not this brand. Travis had sent away for the hipster kit—a tall and lanky character with boxy black frame glasses, a beige collared shirt, brown cardigan, navy blue corduroys, and brown oxford shoes. He was only missing a cigarette. He put on a song that she decided was cozy and enjoyable. The lead singer had a soft whispery voice, and behind him were vocal harmonies and a sweet fiddle. “It’s not too loud back there is it?” he asked.

“I like it just the way it is,” Tina told him. She laid her head against the back of her seat, tilted it slightly and gazed out the window. They were crossing the Beacon bridge, and she noticed the broken shards of ice floating in the Hudson river. Her mind conjured the past, back to when she was fourteen years old, standing on that exact bridge in the dead of winter. She and Jackson. They were discussing the broken shards of ice, how it would feel to hit those frozen knives floating down there.

Travis put on a new song, one that sounded like warm summer. She knew this song from years ago It had always made her happy. A piano that sounded like it was from the 1940s with friendly, acoustic bass and happy, bouncing drums. John Lennon was singing about his love, Yoko Ono. Kitty was summoned to a new scene from her past. She was now sixteen, at a barbecue with a large group of friends. The song was playing inside the house. In the back room of the house, Jackson was standing with both arms folded against the wall, grinning. He grabbed Kitty’s hand and tugged her closer to him. He twirled her around the room until she was dizzy.

“We’re here!” Tina said with a smile. They had made it to Beacon. Jackson’s hometown.

“Yaaaaay, man. I can’t wait to see that Jacko, he’s a nice boy, a boy nice he.” Travis expressed his excitement in registers of weird.

“It’ll be a good one, hipstah twavis,” Kitty said.

“Ya know, Kitty, I like you, you’re definitely one of us, and that boy better realize what he’s about to see… how long has it been since you last saw each other?”

“Three years.”

“Yesh maaaaa’m, too damn long.”

“Oh, would you leave her alone, you’re acting like a complete idiot,” Tina barked. “C’mon Kit.” Tina linked Kitty by the arm and they began to walk up a snowy side walk towards an old theatre. Tina looked around. “They said they’d be right here.”

“Oy! Over here!” a tall and curly headed David Cohen yelled from across the street.

“We’ll be right over.” Kitty and Tina waited on the corner.

“So, are you nervous?” Tina asked.

“No, well, I don’t know…it’s been a long time since I saw him last…what if nothing is the same as it once was?”

“Well, I know I don’t know you very well, and that is hopefully about to change! But, from how I’ve heard him talk…he still is in love with you.”

“Well, we shall see…”

Travis ran across the street to check out what was going on. His shoes clapped and clopped the ground. Kitty stared at the old theatre she stood in front of, noting the vacant architecture and how abandoned it looked. She wondered if it would ever be restored and if it would ever hold the laughs, cries, and cheers of an audience again. It was beautiful, just needed someone to show it some care again. Suddenly a familiar voice was behind her.

“Hello Kitten…”

Kitty turned around. A smile crept over her face. She was with Jackson.