THE ARCHIVES: Chapter 364

Faded

When Lindsey returned
from the hospital
to finish the year
at our school,
everyone treated her differently.
They no longer teased her
or tiptoed around her
as if she would attack.
She sat beside me at lunch
and said,
“You know, everyone
thinks you’re my hero now.”
I shrugged.
“I didn’t do it to be a hero.”
Lindsey put her head on my shoulder.
“I’m sorry,” she said.
“Honestly sorry.
For treating you like shit
and stealing your crush
and kicking your ass
and being a bitch.”
I looked at her arms.
The burns were still there,
but the self-inflicted scars
had faded.

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THE ARCHIVES: Chapter 363

Later

One week later,
the incident was still
the most talked-about story
in the school.
The library and storage building
had been destroyed
beyond repair.
Maddy and Amanda
tried to kill Lindsey
because they hated her
for no real reason.
Only because she differed from them.
They hated me, too—
because I could not hate her.
West Campus would be too nice
of a punishment for them.
Lindsey lived.
Gary said, and I quote,
“What kind of merciful goddess
are you?”
and literally bowed to me in his odd, funny way.
My ex-crush said nothing.

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THE ARCHIVES: Chapter 362

In the Grass Again

To cool my flaming skin,
I pressed my face into the ground.
The thought of the grass
exhaling oxygen for me to breathe
kept the world from spinning.
I strained my ears
for the mocking tone of Lindsey’s voice.
Why didn’t you
just let me die?
she would ask.
You didn’t want to,
I would say.
Not really.
Instead of Lindsey,
I heard the sirens.
I readied myself to tell the story,
but none of it would matter
if she wasn’t OK.

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