THE ARCHIVES: Chapter 227

Two Girls

Gary took my ex-crush’s seat
and my hand.
He held it to his lips
and for a moment, I thought
he would kiss my hand,
but he held it in front of his face
like a shield.
“Always fear the quiet ones,”
Gary said. “Because they’ll try
to steal your girlfriend. Right?”
“He didn’t. He just said
you weren’t right for me.”
Gary frowned and put my hand down.
His mouth twisted
in a smirk. “Exactly.
He’s trying to steal you.
But why?
Doesn’t he already have one?
I know every guy wants
two girls, but come on!”

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THE ARCHIVES: Chapter 226

I Am

“Why? Why isn’t Gary
right for me?” I asked,
and the tone of my voice
must have upset him.
Before he spoke again,
he bit his lower lip
because it was wobbling,
and I wanted to touch his lip
to steady it
and hated myself
for wanting that.
“Because I am,” he said.
Now? Now he says it? Now?
I heard shuffling behind me
and knew Gary was there.
I waited to feel his embrace,
but nothing happened.
“What’s going on?” Gary asked.
My ex-crush
(crush? unrequited? requited?)
left, and I knew he had turned
to look at me, but I could not look
at him.

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THE ARCHIVES: Chapter 225


my heart decided
to start pumping so hard
I became short of breath.
“Talk about what?”
Each word was like a wisp of air.
He wasn’t looking at me
when he said it.
His gaze was on his book,
like he wished he could open it
and lose himself in the pages.
“What about Gary?”
My voice was stronger now.
“He isn’t right for you.”
He looked sincere,
but sincerity didn’t matter
to me anymore.
I am tired of people telling me
who I am
and who is wrong and what is right.
They don’t know.

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