Because I was semi-famous (infamous?) at school,
everyone knew Gary and I
“It’s a real shame,” Lindsey had the guts to say.
“You two were good together. Two weirdos.”
If anyone was a weirdo, it was her.
She wore a heavy coat in the middle
Her untied shoelaces were tie-dyed
(the only color on her),
and the dark circles under her eyes
looked like pits.
She could taunt me all she wanted,
but I still cared about her
My curiosity had not disappeared.
It had only dimmed, like faraway
headlights in fog.
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I tried to force myself
to fold the note neatly
and put it away,
so it could go into the archives
I could not bring myself
to put it away, so I unfolded it
and read it until I
had it memorized.
Then I tore it up
into long strips,
opened the bus window,
and fed the strips
into the breeze
one by one.
No more boyfriend.
I didn’t need him
—didn’t choose him.
I knew I would regret
not saving the note,
but the satisfaction
of seeing Gary’s words
fly away from me
was far too great.
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I sat down on the bus,
barricaded myself into the seat
with my backpack,
and began reading Gary’s note,
which consisted of only
a few words
that stabbed like little needles.
The last words were jammed together
as if written quickly.
The last accusation was not completely false.
I never chose him.
He chose me.
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