Mack is Back (Click to download story.)

My senior class consisted of one-hundred-and-forty-six students. The number included everyone, whether they graduated or not, and farm kids from neighboring communities too small for a school of their own. Most of us had known each other since kindergarten. As a teenager, any time I’d have a stirring of attraction, I’d remember the dirt clod fight I had with the guy when I was eight, or how when I was ten, he’d teased me about needing a bra.

Somehow, I never met Mack McKenzie when I was younger. He was a year older. In elementary school, I went to public and he went to Catholic. In junior high, when we should have attended the same school, he’d been such a handful that his mother had shipped him off to live with his father in California.

Of course, I knew of Mack. He’d been somewhat infamous, returning on school breaks to visit his mother and siblings. He’d roll into town on his motorcycle, shaggy hair flying, and whispers would spread, “Mack is back.” His real name was Donald, but no one called him that….

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