Little Fires Everywhere by Celeste Ng

Little Fires Everywhere by Celeste Ng

Author:Celeste Ng
Language: eng
Format: epub, azw3, mobi
Publisher: Penguin Press
Published: 2017-09-12T04:00:00+00:00


Since the Halloween party, Lexie and Brian had also been sneaking away together as often as they could—after practice, at the end and sometimes the start of their weekend dates, and once, during finals week, in the middle of the day between Lexie’s physics exam and Brian’s Spanish exam. “You’re an addict,” Serena had teased her. To Lexie’s great annoyance, someone always seemed to be at the Richardson house whenever she and Brian most wanted to be alone. But between Brian’s father being on call and his mother working late, the Avery house was often empty, and in a pinch they made do with Lexie’s car, pulling off to a deserted parking lot and clambering into the backseat under the old quilt she’d begun to keep there for just this purpose.

To Lexie, the world seemed nearly perfect, and her fantasies were her real life with all the colors dialed up. After their dates, when she and Brian had reluctantly disentangled themselves and gone home, she would snuggle down in bed, still imagining his warmth, and picture the future, when they would live together. It would be like heaven, she thought, falling asleep in his arms, waking up beside him. She could not imagine anything more satisfying: the very thought filled her with a warm, almost postcoital glow. Of course they would have a little house. A yard in back where she could sunbathe; a basketball hoop just above the garage door for Brian. She would have lilacs in a vase on the dresser and striped linen sheets on the bed. Money, rent, jobs were not a concern; she did not think about these things in her real life, so they did not appear in her fantasy life either. And someday—here the fantasy began to twirl and sparkle like a firework against the night sky—there would be a baby. It would look just like the photo Brian’s mother kept on the mantel, of Brian at one: curly headed, chubby cheeked, with brown eyes so big and soft that when you looked into them you felt like you were melting. Brian would bounce the baby on his hip, toss the baby in the air. They would picnic in the park and the baby would roll in the grass and laugh when the blades tickled his feet. At night they would sleep with the baby between them in a warm, soft, milk-scented lump.

In Shaker Heights, every student had sex ed not just once, but five times: in the fifth and sixth grade, considered “early intervention” by the school board; in the “danger years” of seventh and eighth grade; and again in tenth grade, the last hurrah, in which sex ed was combined with nutrition basics, self-esteem discussions, and job-application advice. But Lexie and Brian were also teenagers, poor at calculating odds and even poorer at assessing risks. They were young and sure they loved each other. They were dazzled and dizzied by the vision of the future they planned to share, which Lexie wanted so badly, sometimes, that she lay awake at night thinking about it.



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