THE ARCHIVES: Chapter 156


“So,” Gary said,
“Emily Dickinson helped you
channel your emotions?
She’s a fascinating creature,
wasn’t she?”
I knew that no matter
what I tried to say,
it would not sound the way
I wanted it to sound.
Gary understood
my dumbfounded silence.
“What do you say,
Miss Archivist?
You wanna do this thing?”
No more questions! I begged him.
No more!
Gary took hold of my hand,
pressed it between his own.
The envelope was caught between
the heat of our hands, and I thought
it might catch on fire.
Gary kissed my hand
as if we had gone back in time.

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THE ARCHIVES: Chapter 155

What Is Hot?

“Whatever,” Liz said.
“That Gary guy isn’t even hot.”
So what? I wanted to say but kept
my mouth shut.
He had not been hot to me at first.
He wasn’t even vaguely good looking.
Maybe the more he endeared
himself to me,
the more beautiful he became.
Before I could explain that to Liz,
she had already disappeared.
In her place was Gary,
watching me from across the cafeteria.
A blush so hot it almost hurt
burned its way onto my face.
He walked to me,
the black envelope clasped in his hand.
His smile could rival
the sun’s heat and intensity.

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THE ARCHIVES: Chapter 154

A Scab

“You’re still thinking of him,
aren’t you?” Liz accused me.
“Of Gary,” I said.
Her eyes looked ready
to pop out of her head.
I could see the curving lines of her contact lenses.
“You’re into nerds?
I guess I should have expected that,
but what about the other guy?”
I thought about him. My crush.
Missing him used to be a terrible ache,
a wave that could knock me into sadness,
but it had become nothing.
It was a scab I already picked off.
(I thought.)
“I don’t care about him.
Gary’s been nicer to me.”
Liz just shrugged.

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