TITLE: New Jelly Belly Recipes
AUTHOR: Luna
ARCHIVE: Ask; it's at the shiny new http://www.sparkgirls.com
CATEGORY: Josh/Sam, R, no real spoilers
NOTES: Not my boys. Format stolen shamelessly from Dan Kennedy. For kel and Jess for bean input, and Jae, who's being served.
SUMMARY: Try them each for a gourmet treat.

New Jelly Belly Recipes by Luna

Jalapeno + Dr. Pepper = Your first summer in Washington. Takeout burritos from the Tex-Mex place two blocks from your walk up apartment. There was no air-conditioning. You ate shirtless, sweating on a springy brown sofa that he said was as old as you were. The decor was rubble: Xeroxed schedules from both your bosses, dirty T-shirts, beer stains, puke stains (mostly his) and old college textbooks (mostly yours). The two of you drank a twelve-pack of Dr. Pepper in one night. You watched the baseball game, sitting shoulder to shoulder, knee to knee. It was a black flag day, the hottest you'd ever been.

Mango + Tangerine = The scent of your mother's hair, hanging about your room long after she'd kissed you goodnight, long after you were supposed to be asleep. Long after your father was supposed to be home.

Cotton Candy + Caramel Apple = Getting braces the first week of the summer you were twelve.

Raspberry + Wild Blackberry = Spitting seeds out in the grass. "Over here," your mother said, and she went to her knees among the bushes. Your sister hurried forward with the basket. You stopped to watch a caterpillar climb a leaf; it was fuzzy and funny and tickled your hand when you took it up. There was a cry, a girl's squeal. "You all right, Tal?" your father called, from the next row of berry bushes. You set the caterpillar down and went to look. It wasn't your sister; it was your mother. The blood was as bright as juice. There was a thorn in her hand.

Kiwi + Cantaloupe + Juicy Pear = Gary Mendel's pool was kidney-shaped and perfectly blue. You lay on neighboring lawn chairs--his mother's and father's--until your bathing suits had dried, crinkly against your skin. You left no footprints on the tiled walk into his kitchen. There was fruit salad in the fridge for an after-school snack. Gary's shoulders were bony and sunburned pink. "I'm not queer or anything," he said. You said, "Neither am I."

Margaritas + Coconut = Nags Head, your last weekend trip before graduation. You spent the whole night on a beach towel with your girlfriend Elyssa, who would break up with you on the drive home; you already knew. You fucked like strangers, like animals, her sunscreened skin burning on your tongue. With every moan Elyssa pressed her hands flat into your collarbone. Desiring, demanding, and already pushing you away.

Cappuccino + Buttered Popcorn + Strawberry Daiquiri = After work you met Lisa, fully intending to fuel up on caffeine and head home to work out your worries about this import/export contract. Instead, you wound up at the Angelika for Secretos del Corazón. You read her the subtitles. Then she led you by the hand to a bar that looked like a health club, chrome and clean mirrors and no smoke. Colorful drinks that tasted like ice cream. She danced with someone you didn't know, came back, kissed you. Hard.

Bubble Gum + Café Latte = You'd been awake for thirty-seven hours. You were chewing Margaret's gum because your ears still hurt from shuttle flights. Your fingers were crossed so hard your knuckles were sore. You couldn't feel the toes on your right foot. "We are prepared to call the race," Tom Brokaw said, and you didn't hear anything else, because as soon as the Governor's picture appeared on the screen it was nothing but screams, pure elation, pure applause. It was C.J. who first threw her arms around you, kissed "we did it" into your ear. You looked past her, through a room full of joy, for one particular smile.

Peanut Butter + Top Banana = Donna was doing his grocery shopping that summer, filling the fridge up with organic produce and protein- packed bean curd. But she'd gone home to sleep. You ate in his bed like children, even though you were talking about serious business, serious work. He licked your fingers clean with a sticky tongue. You thought that this could not be really happening, until he peeled the T-shirt from his broken chest. You wanted the power to heal him; you wanted to be healed.

Licorice + Berry Blue = The bile-toothpaste taste in your mouth, that exact nauseous second when you were told that a man you believed in had been lying.

Orange Sherbet + French Vanilla = "You keep Popsicles in your apartment in winter?" you said. He pulled you away from the freezer, wanting to have a serious conversation. A conversation you'd been through when you left Duke, when you left New York. Almost the same conversation you'd had with Gary Mendel. Afterwards, on the new leather couch that was as slick and dark as fresh ice, he pushed your body until you thought you would break, you would never break free. He passed out. You stole a Popsicle and ate it in the kitchen, placed the wrapper neatly in the garbage can. You left, under a November sky like ashes, the coldest you'd ever been.

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