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
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


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…
A skirt! Or a tank top!
Or both!
Definitely wear makeup.
And put on earrings.
You don’t have your ears
You have to get them
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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