All through Monday,
I waited to see him again.
My heart felt encapsulated
in a haze of joy,
thinking that he might say something
about our chance meeting.
Possibilities popped up in my head:
conversations he might start…
conversations I might start…
Maybe he would acknowledge
that he had missed me
during my absence.
My hopes were dashed.
He walked straight past me in the hall,
his gaze glancing off into the distance.
My vocal cords became paralyzed,
unable to utter even the first syllable
of his name.
Was it my joyful haze
that had rendered me invisible
to his eyes?
Return to Chapter 33 | Read Chapter 35
The Sun Rising
Trips to Walmart are comforting
because they’re so predictable.
Everything’s in the same place.
There’s always a kid crying over a toy his mother won’t let him buy.
I always get the cart with the squeaky wheel.
I always get the slow check-out lane.
I never see anyone I know.
It’s like they’re all too cool to go to poor, lowly Walmart.
But this time—the boy!
I saw him emerge from the video game section,
and he saw me. The smile that burst upon his face
was brilliant like the sun rising,
but completely unpredictable.
Return to Chapter 32 | Read Chapter 34
Once the hallucinations stopped,
packed the fever into carry-on bags,
and took it with them,
I began to recover.
The first thing I ate that wasn’t soup
was a fortune cookie.
The tiny slip of paper inside read,
“School is a building that has
four walls with tomorrow inside.”
School, I thought. My heart swelled
with how much I had missed it.
But it was Friday
by the time I recovered.
I’d have to face the weekend:
two tomorrows outside of school.
I pasted my fortune to the inside cover
of one of my notebooks
and circled “School.”