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THE ARCHIVES: Chapter 104


We left the fitness center,
and back on the bus,
I heard some girls talking.
“You know that girl Lindsey?
The one that looks like a fat little mouse?”
Her? What about her?”
“She actually has a boyfriend.”
“Like, seriously? God, and I couldn’t
even get an eighth grader to take me
to the prom!”
I pressed my ear against the freezing metal side
of the bus and squeezed my eyes shut.
No matter how hard I tried not to pay attention,
I still heard them.
“That guy she dates must be, like, real crazy
or something.”
“To date her? Yeah.”

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THE ARCHIVES: Chapter 103

Fitness Center

Our gym class
took a trip to the fitness center
across town.
A steroid-pumped, muscle-bound man
showed us through the weight room,
talked us through how to use the machines,
but we were not paying attention.
The girls danced to the music playing overhead.
The boy bragged about how much they could bench press.
And me…
I imagined taking a barbell and flinging it at Lindsey.
The man stopped talking
and told us we were allowed to try the machines.
I went toward the pull-down machine.
After five minutes,
my muscles burned,
but I started to feel
just a little better.

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THE ARCHIVES: Chapter 102

Geometry Test

The only thing left to do that day
was take a geometry test.
At least it would keep my mind off him.
I stared down at the crisp white paper
full of circles, triangles, hypotenuses,
sines, cosines, and tangents,
and asked myself the age-old question:
When will I use this in real life?
I tried to turn off every part of my brain
except the geometry part.
I handed the test in when I finished,
put my head down,
and convinced myself
that, like geometry,
high school would not matter.
Nothing that happens here will ever matter.
I won’t use this in real life.

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