Little God – by Nat Hwang (High School)

Writing contest prompts are fascinating!  A few words and a picture can elicit a treasure trove of stories, each different from the other except for the mention of one flower.  As you read all the entries for our Freesias subcategory, notice the wide range of themes, styles, characters and plots.

This beautifully written story by Nat Hwang is one of those stories that lingers long after the last word is read.  You may find yourself reading and re-reading it, and enjoying it more on each consecutive reading.

Here is Nat’s story.  Enjoy!

Little God

It’s in these moments that he feels understood by God.
It’s kismet, he thinks, the way that Drew finally looks at him. He’s been waiting for this, this, for so long. He thinks only God could let this happen, this beautiful, this bright getting brighter as his best friend’s face nears, and his eyes unfocus the way they do when seeing something dazzling up close. Then Drew laughs, brushes his hair out of his face, and falls back into place.
He sighs, partly from relief and partly from something he can’t name right now. He will have to think about it in bed tonight, turning the moment over and over until the edges are smooth as glass. He will remember this moment the next spring, when Drew tells him something precious and sweet. He will think back to this afternoon and marvel at how it doesn’t exist suspended in time for Drew the way it does for him, because Drew has other memories he replays and plays and plays.
This is for him alone.
He remembers the freesias in the garden, the ants making their slow, solemn march across the food, and the crinkles in his pants from leaving them in the dryer overnight. The dirty shoe they find near a tree Drew broke his leg falling from when they were 12. No pair.
Drew tells him that he worries too much, and he’ll get permanent forehead wrinkles, and come here, I’ll give you something to worry about. He knows his parents would disagree, but he is so grateful for Drew, grateful to God for giving this to him.
This is what he worries about at night now, next to Drew and the pillow he absurdly, stubbornly insists sharing, turning the moment over and over until it wears down into nothing: his parents, mouths open before saying anything, as he and Drew walk towards their doorstep holding hands.
Learn more about the contest which inspired this story:  Nutshell Narratives 2019-01
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