Amy Q and the Gold Necklace
—fiction by Eleanor Levine

 “Here,” she hands me a white box.

“Thanks.” “Why didn’t you invite me?” “I didn’t think you’d come.”

I’m standing near the cantor; she’s in one of the rows, waiting for me to sing. I don’t have a great singing voice, but the cantor and rabbi are amazed at how I memorize Hebrew from a tape recorder.

There’s no evidence that Amy is married, so we assume she is not going to get married.
I’ve searched the Internet—she has no trial records, taxes or statements. 

"Amy?” “Yes?” “Remember me?”

“No, maybe, I think…”

She is not interested.

This makes little sense as she brought a necklace to my bat mitzvah 40 years ago.

A friend visits my dilapidated apartment in 1988.

“How is Amy Q?”

“She’s getting married.”

They can tell I’m disappointed, but insist she is happy.

In Hebrew school, Stanley has a crush on Amy. I have a crush on Stanley because I don’t want anyone to think I have a crush on Amy, though Amy knows.

Stanley has a funny voice, like he’s getting his nose reconstructed.

When Amy and I meet, she is in another relationship, yet at 12 am, I ask why she isn’t dating me. 

Amy Q was engaged. She didn’t get married. The boys assume she likes girls. The girls assume she didn’t meet the right boy, or maybe the fucking thing didn’t work out.

I’ve been to her room where it’s post-Hebrew Hebrew school. 

Stanley has not been invited.

There are other women.

I am not the designated one.

I have never been the designated one.

Amy doesn’t phone back, or admit she likes girls, though her brother is more out than a tree.

Amy Q has a crush on her brother who might kill me if I phone her.

He designs stained glass windows before he becomes a celebrated architect in Washington. 

Amy and her brother have freckles and black hair and when I wear a dress, she waves.

Their father is my father’s doctor but doesn’t stop the cancer from spreading.

“It would be nice if your father had been more forthcoming,” I say.

Amy is sweet and muses over my words.  

She recedes in the background, though I see her smirk.

We don’t know if Amy Q still sprints. Perhaps she owns a dog. We would like to kiss her, but this happens only in the movies.

Eleanor Levine’s work has appeared in Fiction, The Evergreen Review, Midway Journal, Pank, Hobart, Connotations Press, The Coachella Review, Milk Magazine, BLAZEvox, Atticus Review, The Denver Quarterly, The Toronto Quarterly, Monkeybicycle, Lunch Ticket, Prime Mincer, Happy, Gertrude and Thrice Fiction; she has work forthcoming in Hot Street. Eleanor is currently a copy editor and lives in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.