Iowa Writes

Worst Secret

     We were both as youthful as the wooden playground that engulfed us, though he much older than I. Holding hands, my body slouched next to his. The summer leaves rustled about. His soul was just as gentle and cool as the breeze that hugged my arms and legs. "You're beautiful!" he whispered as he stroked my leg. Though an unanticipated silence, there was never a dull moment between us.
      "How many wooden pieces do you think it took to make this playground?" I asked.
      "Three hundred and fifty nine."
      "Ah, so definitive. How can you be so sure?" I laughed.
      "Well, it's not hard to figure out when the masterpiece is right in front of you." He smiled. I smiled back.
      "I'm gonna say, it took about seven trees to make this thing." He busted into laughter.
      "Why seven?"
      "It's the number of completion." It was no coincidence that it was Sunday.
      "What? Don't act like you weren't raised in the church!"
      "No, I was. Four-hour services, chicken dinners, and everything." We both laughed. Our conversations were always familiar territory.
      "I don't think any church service should ever be that long, unless it's a wedding or something big." I said.
      "Yeah, I don't want my wedding to be that long." My eyes lit up.
      "Oh yeah? And just how long do you want it to be?" My tone reduced to a sweet voice somehow unfamiliar to myself.
      "Well, it's going to be about two and a half hours, tops. I'm not paying for a minute longer." He looked down and smiled at me. Bashfully, I rolled my head into the contour of his neck.
      "Well, it seems like you've got it all it figured out. I thought only little girls fantasize about their weddings." I teased and pulled back to see just how serious he was.

      "Stereotype." He responded as if he were semi-offended before following up with, "That happens to be true." We both laughed. I playfully pushed him. "No, really, I've given it some thought. It's not a fantasy."
      "Oh?!" My heart started racing. Excitement bubbled up in my stomach. Palms began to get moist beneath the wing of the wind. My fingers tingled.
     He grabbed both of my hands as he pulled me to face him. I can't get married now, I thought to myself. Ooooh, what's happening here?!  I love him. He's so amazing but I just graduated high school. What about college? He's already gone to college. My wild oats have not been sown.
      "Are you still there?" he said softly poking fun to get my attention. I snapped out of my daydream.
      "Uh, yeah! Sorry. What were you saying?"
      "I'm getting married!" My eyes grew wide. I think I may have stopped breathing. My voice shaking as I struggled to catch my breath.
     And on day seven, of the seventh day of the month, in the seventh month of the year, whatever imagined love affair I thought we were having had suddenly come to an end.


About Iowa Writes

Since 2006, Iowa Writes has featured the work of Iowa-identified writers (whether they have Iowa roots or live here now) and work published by Iowa journals and publishers on The Daily Palette. Iowa Writes features poetry, fiction, or nonfiction twice a week on the Palette.

In November of 2008, the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) designated Iowa City, Iowa, the world's third City of Literature, making the community part of the UNESCO Creative Cities Network.

Iowa City has joined Edinburgh, Scotland and Melbourne, Australia as UNESCO Cities of Literature.

Find out more about submitting by contacting


Local to the Midwest, Glenance Green is a Chicago-based writer. For years, Glenance has forged her own creative path to visual and performing arts through writing. Follow her on Instagram @innerg_is_me as the journey continues.

"Worst Secret," originally developed in response to a writing assignment during a workshop for the Iowa Summer Writing Festival, will be featured in her upcoming anthology, Shades of Green, being released this fall.

Glenance Green on Instagram

This page was first displayed
on October 20, 2016

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