THE ARCHIVES: Chapter 157


The fact that Gary and I
got together sat on top of the rumor mill
like a rooster, crowing in satisfaction.
Whispers abounded through my school.
“So he’s not gay.”
“So she’s not a lesbian.”
“Maybe they’re both bi?”
“They’re kind of cute together.”
“They’re both weirdos.”
“They’ll be like one of those old married couples.”
“They’ll break up in a week.”
The rumors were easier to ignore
when I had Gary. He shrugged them off,
took my hand, and shuffled on.
“We are just the main characters
in their little soap opera,” he said.
“It’s all superficial.”

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THE ARCHIVES: Chapter 156


“So,” Gary said,
“Emily Dickinson helped you
channel your emotions?
She’s a fascinating creature,
wasn’t she?”
I knew that no matter
what I tried to say,
it would not sound the way
I wanted it to sound.
Gary understood
my dumbfounded silence.
“What do you say,
Miss Archivist?
You wanna do this thing?”
No more questions! I begged him.
No more!
Gary took hold of my hand,
pressed it between his own.
The envelope was caught between
the heat of our hands, and I thought
it might catch on fire.
Gary kissed my hand
as if we had gone back in time.

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THE ARCHIVES: Chapter 155

What Is Hot?

“Whatever,” Liz said.
“That Gary guy isn’t even hot.”
So what? I wanted to say but kept
my mouth shut.
He had not been hot to me at first.
He wasn’t even vaguely good looking.
Maybe the more he endeared
himself to me,
the more beautiful he became.
Before I could explain that to Liz,
she had already disappeared.
In her place was Gary,
watching me from across the cafeteria.
A blush so hot it almost hurt
burned its way onto my face.
He walked to me,
the black envelope clasped in his hand.
His smile could rival
the sun’s heat and intensity.

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