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Comfortable Madness First PDF 4-13-18

Back Again Voices filled

Back Again Voices filled the cafeteria with too much noise. It arced and rolled like stones rattling on a tin roof. Walking was hard and slow. Tayla and I were the last to Queertopia. We shuffled through the crowd to our table. Miss Tris and Tad waited for us there. They had our food and a lacey cloth draped over the table. “The pretty girl is back!” Miss Tris yelled. “With her Sherpa.” Tayla frowned at her. “I’m no Sherpa,” she said. On the best of days, the cafeteria seats were miserable; now with my broken bones and my bruises, with my abrasions and strains, they turned tortuous. Still, I sat and sighed. Anything was better than trying to stay upright. “How’re you feeling?” Tad asked. I shrugged. I hurt. The oxy helped but not enough. Lunch was greasy burritos and limp lettuce the school claimed was salad. I ate and watched everyone in the room. They talked and laughed, and no one seemed to pay me the slightest attention. All day I heard about my supposed suicide attempt. No one believed it was an accident and no one had the details right. They were all about the drama. “Do you know when you’re going to dance again?” Miss Tris asked. “Jesus,” Tayla snarled. Tad pushed Miss Tris a little. “It’s okay,” I said. Dancing was my thing. Everyone knew I danced. Everyone wondered if I ever would again. Now that I couldn’t, though, I saw things differently. Dancing lost a lot of its shine. “Could be awhile,” I said. “Week, the doctors said. Months maybe.”

“You’ll make it,” Tad said. I smiled a weak smile. “You will,” Tayla hissed at me. It seemed more important to her than me. All I could was nod. Tayla was in full-out fierce mode. I didn’t want to fight. “Okay,” I said. She stared at me until I looked away. I hated the way her face got when she was like this. I hated the thought of disappointing her. I hated the thought that if I didn’t come back from this, she’d walk away.