how to pretend to be straight for her, vol. 2

  1. You have a toothbrush in her bathroom. You have a toothbrush in her bathroom and a hairbrush in her drawer and her mom knows you don’t like rice so she always makes noodles instead when you’re over. You talk in the dark and her soft breath on your collarbone makes you want to cry. Don’t.
  2. She always falls asleep before the movie’s finished so you pause it before the climax. You let her sleep for 20 minutes before poking her in the ribs. She giggles awake and pushes you off the couch. Laugh, but don’t look. Seeing the wrinkles next to her eyes will make it too hard to sleep.
  3. She’s on your bed sighing every 45 seconds about algebra and you’re on your computer scrolling through the Wikipedia article for Henry VIII. She goes down the stairs without a word and comes back with two cups of chocolate milk, your favorite. Thank her, turn back around and close your eyes. Try as hard as you can to imagine not kissing her. Fail.
  4. You’re at a party where everyone from school is that she dragged you to. She spent the first hour and a half-glued to your side, but she got distracted and hasn’t come back to where you’re stitched into the apolstry of the couch playing a game on your phone. She eventually finds you and wordlessly pulls you away, a manic smile smeared across her lips. She yanks you into the woods where no one can hear you and you can’t see her. She tells you how she made out with a guy on the soccer team. He’s an idiot and everything you’ve both disliked for as long as you’ve been friends and she deserves better. She says it was amazing, describes it in voracious, intimate detail. Your ears ring and your eyes burn. Be glad she can’t see you. Look up at the stars all bleary-eyed, chest split wide open, and curse every god you can name for giving this girl to you. You deserved better, too.
  5. Forgive her.
  6. When she sits next to you at lunch, give her your applesauce. She always forgets how much she loves it and it will make her smile and kiss your cheek. Take that kiss and press it deep into your bloodied heart so you can pull it back out when the monsters come to play at night. They’ll tell you she’ll never love you. Show them the kiss and tell them she already does.

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