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.”

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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.

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THE ARCHIVES: Chapter 194

Fashion

I must have been wrong
to ask Liz what I should wear
to the party.
It was like I lit a fuse
and set her off
on a rocket of chatter.
“You should totally
wear something… not so…
baggy.
A skirt! Or a tank top!
Or both!
Definitely wear makeup.
And put on earrings.
You don’t have your ears
pierced?
You have to get them
pierced.
At least wear a necklace.
And some bracelets.
I have some glittery bracelets
you can borrow.
You do want to look good
for him, don’t you?”
But he likes me
the way I am.

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