Fiction: Antonio Elefano


I met you by the pig pens on the last day of the state fair.  You were holding onto your mother with one hand and a half-eaten corndog with the other.  I asked, “Who is that?”  And Mom said, “It’s not nice to point.”  The napkin in your pocket fell to the ground.  I ran to pick it up.  Mom was angry until she saw what I was doing.  You had mustard on your nose, which I was trying to help you with until Mom frowned and said, “What did I say about pointing?”  You were wearing a blue dress.

When I came home that night, Dad asked about my day.  I told him about you, the girl in the blue dress, and he asked if I got your number.  I didn’t understand the question, so I went to my room and wondered what your number was and if you had a number, if I had one, too.  I decided my number was four.

I didn’t see you again until two weeks later in the park.  Your mother was pushing you on the swing but you looked bored, as if you’d been on too long.  You were wearing pink butterfly clips that looked like they might hurt.  I asked Mom if they hurt, and she said “No, they keep your hair in place,” and I was scared because I thought if the clips came out, your hair would fall off.

Mom and I didn’t go to the park very much because the sun hurt her eyes.  We only went outside when it was overcast, which was the opposite of what most people did.  My mom once told me I was her only friend in the world and that made me feel good until I looked at her face, which was sad, and that made me sad.  I wanted your mom and my mom to be friends but before I could say my plan out loud, you were getting off the swing and going back to your car.

Mom smiled.  “All to ourselves.”

And so I slid on the slide and swung on the swing while Mom watched the sky for rain.


ANTONIO ELEFANO is a fiction writer/playwright/attorney currently living in Stamford, CT.  He received his JD from Yale Law School in 2005 and his MFA in Creative Writing from BU in 2011.  A two-time Charles Gordone Award winner (Best Fiction of 2001 and Best Play of 2002), he taught at BU as a lecturer of Introductory Creative Writing and Advanced Fiction from 2011-12.  Starting in the fall of 2012, he will be a Writing Fellow/Visiting Assistant Professor of English at the University of Houston.