THE ARCHIVES: Chapter 216

Church

I tried to put
the whole incident
out of my mind,
but I still kept seeing
my ex-crush’s
pleading eyes.
After Gary walked
me to class,
I didn’t go in.
I wandered around
the school until I was late.
Near the band room
was an advertisement
for a local church
that held services
in the school
on weekends.
Christian rock music!
Coffee and doughnuts after service!
Register to be baptized
into our faith community!

How weird would it be
to be baptized
in a school?
Especially a high school
tattooed with rude graffiti?
But everyone says God
is everywhere…
even here.

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THE ARCHIVES: Chapter 215

Compelling Me

The eyes of my ex-crush
burned into me,
compelling me
to believe him—
to believe that Lindsey
is truthful.
The same Lindsey
who lied to me,
told me my ex-crush
was gay…
just so she could have him…
I echoed Gary.
“She’s a liar.”
My ex-crush stomped off,
weaving a frustrated hand
through his curls.
Gary put his arm around me.
He took the notebook from me,
flipped through the creased pages,
then tore them from the binding,
one by one by one.
Finally, he flung the fragments
into the air, so they fell silent
like snow at our feet.

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THE ARCHIVES: Chapter 214

Truth or Lies

“No!” Lindsey gasped,
her face as red as the notebook’s cover.
“It was Maddy and Amanda.
They made me do it!”
She couldn’t be lying.
She just couldn’t be.
She wasn’t tugging her earlobe,
looking off to the side,
or scratching her nose.
They made me do it, she said.
“How can they make you do anything?”
I asked.
Lindsey took off, her face in her hands.
Her crying didn’t sound
theatrical or forced.
“She’s a liar,” Gary said.
My ex-crush gave Gary a bitter look.
“She’s telling the truth,” he said.
A thick vine of confusion
choked my thoughts.

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