A Familiar Face
Francisco Q. Delgado

Yeah, saw him at the Leprechaun last night—across the bar by himself. Did you know that he and I were best friends until ninth grade? That was the year when some kids at school, the ones that ridiculed us for being poor, for being brown and ugly, talked us two into fighting. I won, pummeling him to the cadence of those kids' laughter and applause. I was cool for a second afterward, maybe longer, until the next fight between two other losers happened and I was forgotten about.
I thought about saying 'Hey,' at least nodding in his direction, but the look in his eyes had narrowed and dimmed through the years. He looked like someone who was ready to make us pay—one by one by one. And then I remembered that it made perfect sense for him to start with me.

Francisco Q. Delgado has had work in H NGM N, The Molotov Cocktail, Underground Voices and others.

Read another story of his in the archive.

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