8 months ago

Comfortable Madness First PDF 4-13-18


Reunion First thing in the morning, I found a note in my locker. No one ever left notes in my locker. When I saw it, I thought maybe Tayla had left it. I knew better, I hoped. We hadn’t said anything to each other for weeks. Maybe, I thought, this was her way of trying to get past things. I opened the note and on it was written: The offer stands. Coy. PS: You’re starting to show. I closed my eyes. Coy was the last person I wanted to hear from. Life was so much easier when he was nothing more than an aggravation and a pain in the ass. This solicitousness complicated things. Of course, he couldn’t just be nice. He offered a kindness but backed it up with a slam. I folded the note and tucked it into my pocket. No one needed to know that I was talking to Coy. It would piss people off. Miss Tris and Tad would never understand and Tayla would just walk away. I needed her to walk closer. Walking down the hall, I watched for people staring at my belly. I kept one hand on it, pushing, hoping no one knew what I carried there. My belly was still hard and flat, and no one said anything. No one seemed to stare at me more than usual. In bio, I stared out the window. Off and on, Gid’s face reflected there. Off and on, the teacher’s voice cut through the white noise in my head. I wanted to go home, but there was nothing there for me, so I wandered through the day, watching people, worrying about what was coming next. At lunch, in Queertopia, Tayla came and sat with us. Tad and Miss Tris tried not to stare, but their eyes washed over us on and off. Tayla ignored them. She ate and she kept her face down over her plate. I wanted to touch her. My fingertips ached with a wild desire to feel her jaw’s soft line. “So,” she said. “Gid?” I nodded.

“You know,” she said. “No one’s going to believe you.” “I know.” “Gid,” she said. “He’s the only one.” She closed her eyes. She closed her eyes and she breathed and then she put her hand on my knee. Fire jerked through the muscles there. “I…,” she said and sighed. “It’s hard.” This was it. This was the first step. Doubt still stained her voice, but she was willing to consider the possibility I wasn’t lying. Maybe she’d come back to bed now. Maybe she’d tell me what I needed to do to make this real to her.