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3 months ago

Comfortable Madness First PDF 4-13-18

Miss Tris didn’t buy

Miss Tris didn’t buy all of it, but she bought enough. She let it rest. “Are you and Tayla doing Prom?” Miss Tris asked, out of nowhere. I smiled and shook my head. Prom was a het thing too. Along with romance and babies. “You know,” I said, “after Homecoming.” She nodded. “Yeah,” she said. “Homecoming. No Bueno.” Miss Tris smiled. She knew the real story. The real story was Tayla thought refusing to be part of the world as it existed was for pansies. Tayla had to put a pin in anything that reeked of normal. “You should see my dress,” Miss Tris said, changing the subject. “It’s the color of love.” The color of love? Jesus. What color was that? Was it the color of Tayla’s eyes or the line of her lips when she smiled? Maybe it was the color of the water in the toilet after I puked all night. Maybe it was the color of Tayla’s face when she found out I was pregnant.

Looking Forward Dance team girls gathered around Jessica Barber, shoulder to shoulder. Sometimes one pushed into another. Everyone wanted to be close. Jessica sat in the cafeteria with her daughter. The baby was tiny and smooth. A pink blanket wrapped the girl tight. I wondered how she could breathe. “Fucking ridiculous,” Tayla said. Jessica looked tired. Still, her hair was done up right. Her jeans fit her perfectly. Her teeth were too white in a mouth painted too red. Eye shadows hid a darkness. “Can you believe this shit?” Tayla asked. We sat in Queertopia. The room was mostly empty at the end of the day. “Who brings a baby to school?” Tayla asked. “Fucking hypocrites.” Most of the girls there were part of the chastity club. They walked around looking all superior and moral because they took a pledge they couldn´t keep. And none of them saw the sadness in what was happening. All they saw was a doll. All they saw was the romance of the thing. “She says she didn´t know,” Tayla said. “Bullshit.” Gid came and sat with us. I wouldn´t look at him. “This,” he said, “is you.” Soon, even the teachers came to Jessica’s table. Mr. Skarey carried a smile like a blade. He didn’t reach or coo like the Dance Team girls, but he was part of it. All he saw was the joy and momentary mania. “Her life is over,” Gid said. “Yours too.” I sighed. Tayla turned to me. Bitterness and anger pulled the skin around her eyes tight. It was not a pleasant look. “She’ll never believe you,” Gid said. “Stop,” I said. Tayla looked at me.