THE ARCHIVES: Chapter 197

None of Your Business

Guilt roved over
Lindsey’s face
in a nervous tic.
She shoved the key
back under her shirt,
repeating,
“None of your business.”
She flicked hair out of her eyes
and said,
“So what are you and Gary
gonna do at the party?”
How does she know?
“None of your business.”
I couldn’t resist smiling
as she stormed off.
I swore I could almost hear
the key jingling against
its metal chain,
bouncing in time
with her frustrated footsteps.
How does she know
about the party?
Will she be there?

I crumpled the
lip gloss–stained paper towel
and tossed it away.

Return to Chapter 196 | Read Chapter 198

THE ARCHIVES: Chapter 196

Paper Towel

Oddly enough,
I had just been thinking
the same thing.
The lip gloss
didn’t really suit me.
It felt so slimy
and artificial.
Lindsey stood
behind me,
and we looked in the mirror
together.
I took a paper towel,
folded it into thirds
along its creases,
and pressed it against my lips,
leaving a perfect lip print
on its rough brown surface.
“You aren’t going to question me?”
Lindsey asked.
“No,” I said. “Why should I bother?”
Lauren started to play
with the key
on its chain around her neck.
“What’s that key for?” I asked.
“None of your business.”

Return to Chapter 195 | Read Chapter 197

THE ARCHIVES: Chapter 195

Lip Gloss

All day,
thoughts of the party
distracted me.
Liz’s glittery bracelets
jingled inside my backpack.
She gave me a tube
of lip gloss, too.
Pearlescent Pink.
Brand new.
“Pink would be a good color
for you,” she said.
I paid attention
long enough to focus
on another geometry proof,
but as soon as the bell rang,
I slipped into the bathroom,
twisted open the lip gloss,
broke the seal, and
gently brushed it onto my lips.
“Pink isn’t your best color,”
I heard from the doorway.
Lindsey stood there,
wearing all gray,
arms folded,
a smug-faced
storm cloud.

Return to Chapter 194 | Read Chapter 196