“I need a smoke,” I said and got up to go to the Shack. Miss Tris and Tad followed me. Wind still edged with the smell of snow from the mountains cut through the spaces in the walls. I shivered. “You have to talk to her,” Tad said. “She thinks I cheated,” I said. Tad and Miss Tris blinked. “Did you?” Tad asked. I shook my head. “Why does she think you did then?” Miss Tris asked. “Something happened.” They waited for me to tell them the story, but there was no story to tell. We smoked until the bell rang. Miss Tris and Tad ground out their cigarettes and started for the door. I couldn’t bring myself to move. “You coming?” Miss Tris asked. “Later.” They went in and Gid sighed. “She will never love you like I do,” he said. “I know.” That was the problem. No one would ever love me the way Tayla did. I wasn’t sure I wanted anyone to love me the way Tayla loved me. I wanted Tayla but it seemed like she wanted nothing to do with me.
Waiting I danced. I danced and hoped the dance would knock the baby out of me. I danced and sweated and hoped it would bring back something I lost. Angie circled me like a cat. She arced and stretched. She was all long lines and sex. Hard muscles in her back and belly felt like smooth stone. The bones in her arms and legs were strong as ancient oak. The music was gentle, too gentle. I needed something to push at. Anger and frustration needed noise. They needed screaming fiddles and groaning bass. I needed something hard to pound against. Angie came and together we flew. She was the feather. I was the muscle. We danced until spots bloomed black in the corners. Gid watched. I ignored him. When the song ended, when the dance was over, Angie watched me. “I can take you home,” she said. I nodded and gathered my things. Angie’s car was a box of money made from sex. Her whole life she sold sex without actually fucking anyone. She was perfect in her yoga pants and sports bra. I hated her more than a little. It wasn’t her fault but still. “Are you still sick?” she asked. “Sick?” She didn’t look at me. She knew and I knew what she was talking about. Part of me hated that she knew about the baby. This was something between Tayla and me. Gid too. It was a wall needing to be climbed. Only I didn’t know where to start. There was nothing to take hold of. Angie wasn’t judging. She was only asking a question. “A little,” I said. “Tayla’s a mess,” she said. “I know.”