THE ARCHIVES: Chapter 253

Storage (Reprise)

I remembered going into the school’s storage room
at the beginning of the year
and looking at all those boxes of yearbooks stacked up so high,
covered in dust,
the years on their spines
moving from 1945 to the present…
I shut my eyes and tried to recall
every detail of the room:
the dingy window punctured with a beam of daylight,
chairs and desks red with rust, etched with graffiti,
and the door to the building…
The door had been marked with an S
for “storage”—
and so had Lindsey’s key.
That same spiky S…
is this coincidence?

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THE ARCHIVES: Chapter 252


Time seemed to slow
as I turned through pages upon pages
of the archives,
in search of one small clue
that might lead me to understanding.
I found my middle school yearbook
hidden among all those scattered papers
and flipped through it.
There was Gary, grinning as usual,
his hair discombobulated.
And my ex-crush,
unsmiling and somber.
Even Lindsey was there,
long earrings hanging halfway down her neck,
makeup smudged,
eyes caught in mid-blink.
We did not look that different at all.
My elementary school yearbook
lay in a corner collecting dust,
but I did not pick it up
because I had realized.

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THE ARCHIVES: Chapter 251


I did not let myself
cry over him.
I would not waste
a single tear
on a liar.
Instead, I kept
going through the archives.
The precise order
of everything
that would be meaningless
to anyone else
inspired me.
If only I could put my feelings
in order that easily.
Maybe I can.
I sifted through the papers,
hoping to find something
about Lindsey.
Any tiny fact I had overlooked
might help me
understand what was going on with her,
why she was holding
that key,
and what it might mean.
But I could not understand
why I cared about her.

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