It had been about two years since my sister and I had last seen each other, and I’d neglected to pick her up at the airport. Neglected as in unable. Unable as in drunk. Sister as in disapproving authority figure critically being critical there in front of me.
“Drunk as in scared,” I said with what I thought was authority.
The cab drove away. Nomi pulled her suitcase up my drive. A breeze stirred up dust that twirled on itself and the yellow-brown grass. She sat beside me on one of the webbed vinyl lawn chairs—the one that wasn’t broken. My right butt cheek poked through the hole made by one of the guys earlier when he’d used it to climb onto the roof. The dusky sky around us broke out with little sparks of light, like lightening bugs, which you never saw here in the Mojave. Had she brought them with her from home? Her mouth then twitched from end to end, as if she was considering the problem of me between her jaws—but then she spit me out. “Your nips are showing.”
Was that humidity I felt? Had she brought that with her too? Evidence of massive amounts of alcohol consumption littered the yard. My sin in red Solo cups. The hallowed-out watermelon had been tossed from my kitchen window—thankfully open, this time—the melon rind in pieces on the driveway. Perhaps a summer thunderstorm was approaching and that was what I felt. The streets would become rivers all rushing east to the low point of the valley. A flash and my mess would be washed away, though the landscape would be altered: a boulder in the middle of the street, scattered limbs, from trees and those on the porn slapper cards. I looked at Nomi and felt our mother. I peeled off my artificial lashes and dropped them on the ground. That hurt like hell. I broke my acrylic nails. I unclipped my extensions; Nomi had the real hair, long, raven black and silky. She also had the better rack. I kinda hated her for that. I would’ve taken off my Miraculous bra right then, but it was already gone. The guys had put it on the roof, along with my car keys, knowing I couldn’t and wouldn’t leave home without either. Nomi kicked a piece of the watermelon and it rolled down the driveway and into the street. It spun beneath the carriage of a passing car.
“I made the vodka,” I said. Not made. Loved. Not loved. Assaulted.
I’d spent hours beating the watermelon. That softened the fruit inside. Then I cut a hole in the middle of the rind and poured in a bottle of Stoli. I might’ve also poured in some Everclear. With a paring knife I cut the hole bigger and made a gash, sort of like a spout angled in the melon rind so that you could pour from it. The small rivulet was a sun-ripened pink when I tipped it into my cup. I prefer alcohol in my fruit. A burp rumbled up my throat and out my lips, with it came a small, shiny black thing. Nomi held out her hand to me. I placed the seed into her palm.
Becky Bosshart is a 2015-2016 Fulbright grantee to Romania and a graduate of the Master’s International Creative Writing Program at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas after serving with the Peace Corps in Ukraine from 2012 to 2014, up until the Euromaidan revolution. Her stories have appeared in Psychopomp, NANO Fiction, Interim, and 300 Days of Sun. She reads for Creative Nonfiction and has served as the nonfiction editor for Witness. A 2015 Virginia Quarterly Review Writers’ Conference fiction scholar and a Nevada Arts Council fiction fellowship finalist, she has presented her prose poetry and flash fiction during the Vegas Valley Book Festival, and twice won the festival’s flash fiction contest.
“Watermelon Seed” was originally published in Volume 1 Issue 2 of 300 Days of Sun.