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First pages

Chapter one

Let’s get one thing straight: this isn’t a tragedy. It’s not a romance, nor a comedy, not even an ironic teenage angst story for you to clutch while you have your prepubescent meltdown. Don’t use my story as some inspiration to live life to fullest and decorate your Tumblr page with trendy black and white pictures of coffee mugs. Don’t look at me like I’m a hero or write poetry about me in your dumb store-bought diary you hide underneath the stairs. I’m only saying this once and then never speaking about it again, so pay attention and listen hard. And trust me, I’ll know if you are. 5 months of silence can teach you a thing or two about bullshit.

I myself was never very good at listening. In Kindergarten I realized the only way to get what I wanted was to speak loudly and often. GREEN GOOSE. THE LETTER A. PURPLE! Some teachers might’ve put a stop to it early on, but I think they thought it would be futile to try and crush my spirit. In fifth grade a boy called me a “loudmouth” and I punched his two front teeth out. I was in after- -school-detention for a month, but that didn’t stop me every day from vehemently discussing with the monitor that my actions were fair. I think by the end of the month she was persuaded.

Now, don't get it twisted. Just because I was loud didn’t mean I had to be nice. Being nice was for people holding the ladder, not for the people who are climbing it to the top. By 8th grade I had practically no friends, no junior high dance invites, and no problem with it. All I cared is that people heard me.

Anyways, last Thanksgiving, I killed my grandpa.

Technically the heart failure did, but at the funeral I couldn't help but wonder if our last conversation broke his spirit and sealed his fate. We didn’t see our family often, mostly because Dad had a falling out with his and Mom never really got along with her ass-hat of a sister. So when Grandma and Grandpa came over for that blustery November dinner I was slightly interested but mostly annoyed as usually I took my dinners into my room to work at my desk. In fact, this was the first time I’d actually sat at the dinner table all year. There was just no time for gushy “catching up” and pumpkin pie. At dinner, all the basic questions were askedand I answered them as collegiate-like as possible.I had this air in my chest that made me “peacock” as I displayed my life plans out for everyone to admire. Editor in Chief of National Geographic by 26, photographer for Times by 30. Maybe get married in the mix somewhere, if my husband could deal with late night Chinese dinners and around the clock editing.

“That’s a mighty fine plan.” My Grandpa smiled at me across the Thanksgiving table, the wrinkles around his eyes bunching up. “You’ll do very well, all the Greens have.”

I remember chewing a piece of dry turkey very slowly, nodding just to humor him.

“Yes, but what I’m doing is a little… different than what you did.” I said pouring cranberries on my mashed potatoes, ignoring my sister elbow me in the ribs. “I mean, a lumber salesman. That might’ve been “doing well” for your time but nowadays…” I chuckled and brought a spoonful to my mouth.

His face faltered a bit, as Mom narrowed her eyes at me in a “You better fix this now” kind of way, but I ignored her. I was getting a real education for a real job- financially speaking I was worth more than the lot at this table, all who had either barely finished school or dropped out. Was it wrong of me to express my importance and pride of my accomplishments? No, I thought not.

“Are you listening to me?” Grandpa asked weakly.

It occurred to me he must have been speaking because everyone at the table was gawking at me like I was wearing a neon sign that blinked, “Uninterested” on my head.

“No, sorry.” I replied simply.

“Logan,” He sighed. “It’s time you stop talking and start listening.”

“No offense, Grandpa, but most people- including you- don’t have anything to say worth listening to.

Grandpa cleared his throat a little, while Grandma put her fragile hand, decorated with gold rings and bracelets, onto his. She pursed her lips into a thin little smile and looked over at me.

“We’re all very proud of you, Logan. But everything good comes with a little bit of manual labor and kindness once in a while.”

I tried to pretend like that meant something to me.

“That’s right!” My mother perked up, her wine shivering a bit from how animated she became. “Pop built his entire company from scratch, with his own bare hands. And I started the bakery with just a few dollars in my pocket and a fresh coat of paint. If it wasn’t for our friends and family I don’t think we’d have ever gotten to where we are now. Imagine if I didn’t listen to Dad when he gave me all that advice…”

She looked pointedly at me, a piece of blonde hair falling from the bun she had fastened with two old Chinese chopsticks that most definitely came from my leftovers. I nodded, acknowledging her and whatever message she was trying to pretend was vital.

“Yeah, that’s really… really something.” I bleated, scraping some asparagus off my plate.

Grandpa took his plate to the kitchen after that, looking especially defeated. Grandma followed soon after. We could hear her whispering promising things while his voice was grooved with disappointment.

Mom went up to check on them and Barry glared at me from her seat as I sat with the comfortable satisfaction of knowing I was right. I guess that’s when Grandpa had his heart attack, and I just didn’t hear it going on.

“Is this sweet potato organic?” I chewed. “It’s fantastic!”

Most people wished ill-will on me in the next few months that followed, but I myself am the most avid believer that I deserved every series of unfortunate events that occurred to me in my time of silence. Imagine being so loud and self absorbed that you don’t even hear a heart stop beating in the other room.


I felt a little bad about running over that kid as I sprinted to class. Just because he was actually in my accounting class, and I’m pretty sure he’d let me borrow a pencil everyday for the past semester. I made a mental note to send him a fruit basket.

That was kinda my thing. I found out when I was thirteen that the easiest way to say, “Thank you”, “I’m sorry I kicked your cat”, “Congratulations on your new hair piece”, and “Happy Hanukkah” was through the beautiful art of ‘fruit basketing.’ Since then I’d had the companies number in place of the emergency family speed dials.

I’d woken up in a bed full of edits and somberly realized that I might as well bury myself in all the papers because I was late again for my Journalism 1330 class. I hadn’t even run a brush through my hair before I sprinted out of the apartment, leaping over a herd of Dachshunds on the sidewalk attached to a very long bunch of leashes.

My backpack jumbled up and down on my back, probably shuffling up all the magazines I’d alphabetized a couple days before. I didn’t have time to be annoyed as I buttoned up my grey flannel which was starting to flap open in the wind. I dashed into a the Journalism building and made it to the classroom doors where I burst in- a little louder than I anticipated.

The entire lecture hall turned to look at me. Students who had been asleep woke up, gleeful something was finally happening to keep their drooping eyes open. I was breathing hard, and for some reason frozen in the front of the room.

“What. An. Entrance.”

Mr. Fish was standing with his long skinny arms folded over each other, his furry eyebrows arched. I winced at his lime green sweater vest and red bowtie before attempting to save my dignity.

“I- I’m really sorry Mr. Fish- I was up late working and, and-“

“Logan,” He said my name like it was slimy. “What did I tell you last time you were late for my class?”

The class shifted with anticipation, like they were excited for a smack down wrestling match.

“Uh,” I gulped. “That… that… I shouldn’t show up…if-if-“

“That you shouldn’t bother showing up if you were late again.” Mr. Fish finished for me, coming closer. I noticed he had combed the few grey strands of hair on his head so that you could count exactly how many there were. 1…2…3…-

“So why , Logan, are you here?”

He leaned uncomfortably close to my face, his nose hairs dangling dangerously out of his nostrils. His breath smelled like porridge and beets- Though I’d never actually had them myself… I could only imagine that’s what sad old grumpy men ate in the mornings. He probably concluded his diet with prunes and salted mice.

The lecture hall giggled, thrilled by my shame. This was too much- it was one thing to chastise me, but another to make me out to look like an idiot. Which I was far from.

“I felt it was my responsibility to.” I said, jutting my chin out.

Mr. Fish blinked, not understanding. “Why is that?”

I glared back at him, hoping my stare made his skinny bones shiver.

“Because my attendance in this class pays your salary, and I’ve seen how your latest sci-fi romance novel is selling- or should I say isn’t.”

The class gasped- and I’m not just saying they looked shocked. I mean I heard an audible and collective gasp shudder throughout the entire lecture hall. I smiled smugly at all of them, but caught my breath when I saw his cheeks were turning a shade of purple. That was different- that was bad. I’d seen him turn red, pink, and a lovely shade of green at one point, but never purple.

“Get….out… of… my… class…. you… BITCH!” He screamed, pointing his finger with a shaking rage.

Frowning, I rummaged through my backpack and marched over to his desk where I threw down a thick file, bound and labeled perfectly.

“Fine. There’s everything due by the end of the year. I finished it the first week of class.”

I tightened the straps of my backpack and marched out, ignoring Mr. Fish’s flabbergasted curses and promises of expulsion.

“You’ll never succeed in Journalism- never!” Was the last thing I heard before the hall doors slammed behind me.


I cried in the janitors closet for fifteen minutes until I felt all my tears were out. Furious that I had allowed a stupid balding man to get to me, I wiped mascara away with the sleeve of my flannel and muttered angrily under my breath.

What a jerk.

I huffed, walking out of the building to collect myself. It felt good to show up Mr. Fish purely because he had been jealous of me all year, giving me a load of bologna whenever he could. I was always late but somehow showed up on time when random pop quizzes were assigned. I didn’t study but aced the exams like they were kindergarten spelling tests. I disagreed with everything he lectured but he begrudgingly had to ace all my essays. I, Logan Green was his worst nightmare.

But it always hurt when someone yells at you. That, didn't feel good. It’s why I’ve always learned to yell louder- that way you won’t be able to hear anything that would hurt you.

I was debating going home and crashing in bed, maybe wake up in an hour and restart the day, when my phone rang. Reading the caller ID I answered with a short, clipped,

“This better be good. I smell like grape sanitizer and I’m in no mood for bullshit.”

“You’re not in class? Huh. I was gonna leave you a voicemail. Are you late? Was Journalism cancelled? I-“ A string of sentences quipped through the phone.

“Doesn’t matter. What’s up, Ted?”

“Turns out we need your edits sooner than anticipated. Angela is kinda rushing things.”

I put my hand over my eyes, feeling sweat accumulate under my armpits. It was getting hot for October, and unfortunately I hadn’t had time to put on deodorant that morning. Or maybe I did and I was sweating because Angela was my worst nightmare, and my edits weren’t done.

“Okay, okay… how soon do you need them?”

“Uhhh…” I could imagine Ted spinning around in his office chair, yanking his unruly black hair out nervously.


“Okay! Okay! Noon. She said noon.”

I checked the time and felt my heart sink into my stomach. I’m no medical major, but I’m pretty sure that’s a place where it’s definitely not supposed to be.

“Please tell me you have them done.” He sounded worried, his voice whining in that little sqeaky tone he got when he panicked.

“I’ll handle it.” I snapped and hung up, bolting back to the apartments as fast as my navy Keds could take me.

This was life on a daily basis. Not the whole getting kicked out of class thing… but the other parts. Weekly Magazine was everything I had on campus and every year was just another year full of threats to rip it from my grasp. Every new, old, and future student was a threat that I was constantly battling.

Weekly was the top magazine at the school, composed of only the finest Journalism and Graphic Design majors we had. There were about 10 different literary journals around, but you had to climb your way from the bottom to get to the top tiers of magazine literature. I’d done my time, very briefly, with the lower level titles like Bob It Magazine and Zing, but it only took a few semesters for me to claw my way to where I really belonged.

Back in my apartment, I gathered up the mess in my bed and confined myself to my work desk. Slipping on my thick rimmed glasses I went to work with my favorite sparkly purple-ink pen. I’m not kidding- it was my favorite. Dad had given it to me a few years back after I told him I wanted to be an editor.

“You’re gonna see a lot of mistakes, so you better make sure other people see them too.” He’d chuckled, tossing me the silky ballpoint.

I loved the sound it made as it shot around a paper. Crosses, circles, and lots a notes in the margins sounded like music to my ears. It also smelled a little if my hands worked too fast, sometimes I think I could burn the paper.

The apartment door opened and I heard a “hello” from my roommate Tara, but I didn’t bother hollering back like I usually did. I heard her scuffling around in the kitchen and then pad into the hallway, knocking on my bedroom door.

“Loges? You home?”

From the corner of my eye I saw her less than appealing green nurse scrubs as she inserted herself into the room. When she saw me she laughed, probably because my tongue was sticking out in a concentrated form.

“Last minute edits?” She peered over my shoulder, something I hated but I didn’t have the time to snap at her for.

“Angela’s mother is either a crocodile or Cruella DeVil.” I mumbled, flipping a page and marking a huge X through a paragraph.

Tara laughed and sipped a diet coke she must have cracked open. I was instantly jealous, my mouth watering a little.

“Cmon, take a break.” She said, flipping my sandy disheveled ponytail around.

“Tara, I really gotta finish this.” I insisted.

“I brought back Chinese, though.”

My stomach growled and by instinct my hand let the pen fly out and hit the wall. I stood up and rubbed my eyes, tired and feeling a little queasy. Tara hugged me and patted my head as we walked into the kitchen.

I grabbed a box of fried rice and dug in, sitting at the little kitchen island. Tara slid a diet coke my way and pulled chopsticks out of the greasy brown paper bag.

“Did Angela give you a near impossible deadline again?” She asked, popping a bite of egg roll in her mouth.

I nodded pitifully. Usually I liked to look strong and confident around people, just so they knew I meant business, but Tara was different. I could act like a sad wet cardboard box around her and she wouldn't go poking around for soft spots to break me.

She shook her head. “That’s ridiculous. Doesn’t she realize that you have other things on your plate, besides a campus magazine?”

This time I shrugged noncommittally. Tara didn’t really get it. The magazine was my plate. Everything else on it was just ugly pieces of broccoli and meatloaf to shove around until it looked like I was full.

My phone buzzed on the counter and I speedily responded to an email, three texts and a schedule reminder all while managing a bite of rice. I glanced at the wall clock and estimated I had about an hour to finish the edits and get them to Weekly headquarters.

I could do that. I’d had worse catastrophes.

Suddenly there was an enormous elephant banging on our apartment door, trying to get in. I jumped, knocking over my diet coke and spilling it all over my stack of papers neatly organized next to me.

“CRAP.” I screamed, picking them up and dashing them over to the towel rack. I dried them off as best I could and flapped them around, praying nothing would be damaged permanently. “What the hell is that?” I roared over the banging.


Okay, so it wasn’t an elephant. Those are actually very intelligent, beautiful creatures. It was more like a very dumb, fat, ostrich. Boyfriends are a ridiculous concept. When they’re not bothering you with stupid chocolates or ugly roses they’re annoying you with theatrical episodes. I’d rather have a very dramatic hamster.

Tara’s already large eyes were wide with absolute horror as her (ex) boyfriend started pouring his heart out in the hallway of a very populated apartment complex. She mouthed “oh my god” to me before putting a finger to her lips. We both stood very still, hoping he would think we weren’t home.

“I know you’re home! I followed you!” He whimpered.

“Greg, god go AWAY.” Tara yelled, exasperated. He’d been badgering her for a week now after they broke up, begging for her back like a deaf dog. “I told you a billion times this isn’t helping and we’re over!”

“Please baby- remember all the good times we had! Remember New Year’s Eve? Do you remember that night on the floor baby?”

“Ew what did you do New Years we slept in the same room! I was in the sleeping bag next to you!” I gagged as she turned red and flapped her hand in my direction.

Tara went to the door and peered through peephole before yelling,

“Greg, you need to leave. And stop following me.”

“Ooohhhh” He moaned like he was… well a sick dog. “Where did we go wrong, love?”

Tara smacked her head. “When you slept with the entire cheerleading team, you jackwad.”

“Baby I apologized for that!” He called, his voice cracking. “I got you a necklace- with a fruit basket!”

Tara whipped her head in my direction, giving me an accusing glare.

“Hey,” I stabbed my finger out defensively. “I use fruit baskets the right way. His are just sacrilegious.”

“Tara if you don’t open the door and let me see you…. I’ll…I’ll…” Greg stammered.

And then it was quiet. We both stood still for a little bit, wondering if he’d given up and gone home. I slowly brought my chopsticks up to my mouth for a bite of rice.


Tara flew backwards and landed with a thump on the floor as the door came crashing down, Greg standing on top of it. Crazily enough, I’d thought he was actually decent looking at one point. He had a nice body, tall, and I thought the slight shadow on his face was appealing. But looking at his heaving body now, he looked like a sad gorilla too lazy to shave.

WHAT THE FU-“ Tara stood up, starting to scream.

“Baby don’t get mad, I’ll fix your door later I promise- as soon as you fix my heart!“

“FIX IT NOW!” She screamed, stamping her foot.

I glanced at the clock, slipped on my backpack and started heading towards what used to be our door. I knew I should be there for my best friend in her desperate time of need, but to be honest I had no tolerance for crazy ex boyfriends- or boyfriends in general. And if Greg didn’t kill me, Angela would if I didn’t meet her deadline.

“Where are you going?” Tara pleaded as Greg started rattling off every good memory his tiny little brain could recover.

I turned to look at her, walking backwards. “I’m sorry. Greg, if you don’t fix our door I’ll eat your heart for breakfast. I don’t care if it’s broken.” And with that, I bolted.


Angela wasn’t pleased with my diet coke soaked folder of papers. I’d done my best to dry them off in the wind on the way to Weekly headquarters, but there was still brown splatters all over the pages.

“This is sub-par work, LogHan.” She sneered, stressing the Log-HAN like she always did. I cringed, shifting back and forth.

“I told you, you can’t keep shifting deadlines on me like that.” I huffed a little.

She tapped her long cut red nails on the arms of the office chair she was basking in, one of the biggest ones in headquarters. Today she looked as vicious as ever, wearing a white polo shirt and black professional slacks. Her hair was pulled back into a slick power pony, swishing like a black whip ready to strike. I wasn’t afraid of her though- I mean. Just a little bit.

“I make my deadlines tight so I can weed out who can handle it.” Angela smacked her gum and I could see through her chiclet teeth that it was an oozing juicy red.

I bowed my head like a dog getting caught rummaging through the trash, but I secretly clenched my teeth together. How dare she make me feel like my edits were garbage! And I definitely didn’t cowar like a shivering Chihuahua. I was Logan Green for godsake! I lifted my head and opened my mouth to protect my pride when Angela whipped her chair around to address the office.

“Everyone, attention.” She snapped, and all the tapping of computers and whirring of printers ceased. “Can Ben Carol please stand up.”

A small lanky boy cautiously stood, looking around the room. His nostrils flared and eyes darted here and there, wondering if he was about to get pelted by office supplies. The other staff members on the floor looked up at him with pity, whispering their condolences as Ben’s eyes got wider.

“You can go.” She said tartly.

He blinked. “Go… where?”

“Disney world, China, the moon? I don’t care. But your time at Weekly is done so take your blurry pictures and go to TeenBop.”

“Are you serious?” Ben screeched, his mouth agape. “I’ve been working here since freshmen year! Longer than you have! You can’t… you can’t fire me.”

Angela popped a small bubble and rolled her eyes.

“I just did. Leave, your stinking up the air with your negativity.”

Ben collected a few things at his desk, then stormed out, a few people covering their mouths in horror as the Junior’s future career looked grave.

He whirled around at the exit and hissed, “This magazine is going to die this year, and it’ll be all your fault!”

The doors slammed and everyone glanced over at Angela before ducking their noses back down into their work, looking busy. She looked pleased, and glanced over at Marina, her freshly hired “assistant”. What campus magazine editor had an assistant? What was this, Seventeen Magazine?

Marina shivered as Angela’s eyebrows raised. She was a tiny girl but wore thick turtle neck sweaters and thick colorful headbands to keep her bangs away from her wide eyes. With a soft smile she rushed to her new desk and carried two coffees over to Angela, who took them delicately.

“Thank you, Mary.” She simpered.

Was Mary short for Marina? I wondered if she had approved this nickname. Wouldn’t really matter if she didn’t. Angela could call her Betty and no one would say a word. Except me, maybe. If I cared.

To my surprise, she handed me the second coffee, instead of splashing it all over me like I was imagining in my mind. It was hot, steam rising from the top and wafting vanilla spice into my tired face. Gratefully I took a sip, feeling the color come back to my cheeks.

“You knew what kind I like?” I tipped my head to the side, smiling a little.

“Of course, it’s the same kind I get.” She grinned, lifting her own cup to her lips. “Logan, you and I aren’t that different. That’s how I know I can always count on you. We’re go getters. We know what we want and we don’t care who we step on to get it.” Leaning back in her throne office chair, she skimmed the room. “That’s the kind of thing that will get us noticed by top selling magazines. Who knows? Maybe we can share a flat in New York after senior year?” Her eyes twinkled, just like mine did whenever I talked about the big apple.

I grinned and took another sip of coffee, ignoring everyones glares of jealousy. I winced as it burned my tongue, leaving me with an acrid taste in my mouth. I ignored it. It wouldn’t last forever.


Too scared to return to my apartment after all my classes for the day were through, I headed to 101 Bagels to grab a quick bite. Sometimes I did this thing where I forgot to eat. It didn't bother me much, but my mother always panicked when my weight fluctuated so intensely.

I ordered a peanut butter and pickle bagel, the #17, and took it over to the single table by the window. Nearly tempted to pull out more work, I controlled myself by people watching.

Athens was probably the most beautiful at this time of the year. The trees mixed together in a pallet of gold and rose, the leaves tossed around in the air like fire licking the bricked roads. Other places had pretty Fall weather, but Athens had colors that only nature could create.

Girls in leggings and oversized sweaters walked together holding their purses or books close to their chests as the wind whipped their hair around. A kid on a skateboard bobbed his head to some EDM music while zipping off to class.

“Hello, there Logan.”

I groaned as my table for 1 turned into a table for +!1 unwelcome.

“Levi.” I acknowledged from my bagel.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m always down for talking to people. Hell, the best journalists are socialites.. It’s all about social connections and who you know- of course I understand and have mastered that. But Levi… was just plain old Levi. I didn’t benefit from spending time talking to him.

He shook his head, flopping his bleach blonde hair over his forehead for a moment before shoving it up away from his face. It stuck up in a million different directions and I briefly wondered if we could do a piece about the “messy look” in our Style section.

“You’re nose isn’t in a magazine, taking the day off?” He grinned his slightly crooked smile.

I bit into a rubbery pickle, rolling my eyes a little.

“I should take the year off I’m so tired.” I admitted, wiping my mouth. Peering up at him curiously, I questioned, “Where have you been? I haven’t seen you since the neighborhood end of the summer cookout. And even then you didn’t stay long.”

He shrugged, admitting, “They kicked me out after Mrs. Grindelwald found my whiskey flask. I wasn’t even gonna drink it. It’s just fun to carry.”

I shook my head. “When are you not in trouble?”

His eye glinted a little. “You’re the one who made me like this. Remember all your little schemes to take over the neighborhood?”

I recounted all the times we acted like lunatics back at home, our houses being five feet away from each other. Watching him now, I almost couldn't believe how close we once were. When we were 12, we strung a rope from my window to his and tried to swing over late at night. I was grounded for a month after Levi cracked his head open and had to get 13 stitches on his forehead. If I squinted, I could still see the scar.

“Now you’re all miss business. No time to hang with the lesser crowd.” He burst my bubble, and I suddenly felt a little bad.

“It’s not my fault I’m trying to have a career here.” I said defensively, flicking a piece of pickle off the wheat bagel. “Some of us have a real major.” I knew it was snotty right after I said it, but I never take back anything I say.

Levi was nonplussed. “We’ll see who saves the puffins in the end, huh?”

He was the only Arctic Puffin Engineering major I’d ever met. I think he was the only one, period.

I gazed out the window distractedly when disaster struck and my heart quickened. Cussing I ducked down under the table and yanked Levi with me. We knocked heads and squished together; I felt his breath on my face. It smelled like thin mint cookies- just like it did when we were kids. Did he eat those for breakfast or something?

“Logan! I never knew.” He joked, batting his long eyelashes.

“Yeah so romantic under the all the chewed up old gum.” I hissed, bumping my head on the underside of the table. “Shut up! Greg Freeman is coming in. Act natural.”

“Ok. This is what I’d be doing here anyways.” Levi said nonchalantly. “Is there a reason we’re hiding from Tara’s boyfriend?”

“He broke down my door this morning.”

“Ah. Hate when that happens.”

I groaned, feeling my neck cramp up. If I knew Greg at all, he didn’t leave the apartment with the answer he wanted, and he still wasn’t going to give up. He’d latch to me with his octopus suckers and follow me home.

“Do you think he’s gone?” I asked after a bit.

“Want me to check? Maybe he won’t recognize me.” Levi said.

I allowed this and watched as he lifted his head. He stayed there, and then furiously tapped my head to let me know the coast was clear.

“Ouch that’s my eye you-“ I grumbled, about to surface for air.

“HEY LEVI!” A booming voice rumbled, and I realized we were caught. I held my breath.

“Hey there bud, how ay doin?” Levi said politely, like he was to everyone. Would it kill him to be rude once in a while?

“Not too hot, man.” Greg sighed, just as I suspected. “Tara doesn’t want to get back together, let alone talk to me.” He slammed his hand on the table, ringing my ears. “Why do girls have to be such bitches?”

Levi stayed silent, but I heard some back patting going on.

“I mean,” Greg continued his sermon. “Haven’t they heard of forgiveness? You sleep with a couple of cheerleaders and it’s like the world is ending…. You know?”

“Oh yeah,” Levi simpered. “I feel you, bud.”

Bud. What’s with him always calling people bud? That was so personal and chummy.

“Hows Belinda doing, anyways? I’ll tell you that girl is seriously hot. You lucked out. I bet she doesn’t give you much trouble.”

I blinked, remembering Levi’s angel of a girlfriend, Bella. She was a reporter for the Daily Newz, a well known newspaper I admitted but ridiculously named. She swished around campus in her button up coats and fancy coach shoes, a pencil always stuck in her hair somewhere. She was annoying as hell. I’d imagine. I’d never… actually… talked to her before.

“She’s good!” Levi chirped.

“Uh, whose this?” I heard Greg poke, wondering who the headless girl ducked under the table like she got a bad case of stage fright.

“My science lab partner. She uh, she feels a little sick. So I told her to keep her head between her legs, helps with the nausea.”

I heard Greg make a noise of understanding, a felt a small pat on the back. It made me flinch- gross. How could Tara date this kid for four months?

He left after giving Levi some weird high five before thumping out. Once I heard the door jingle closed, I sat up, gasping for air. The blood returned to my face and I felt little dizzy. Wow, the room was spinning a little too fast.


About me

I'm a graduating journalism student obsessed with writing, food, and my hairless dogs and cat.

Q. What is the inspiration for the story?
Surprisingly the inspiration came when I got my infected tonsils out around Christmas time. I was instructed not to speak for an allotted amount of time and eventually everyone just started speaking for me. I wondered how someone else would react to a situation like that.

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