thirty-seven days after

The next Wednesday,I ran into Lara after religion class — literally. I’d seen her, of course. I’d seen her almost every day — in English or sitting in the library whispering to her roommate, Katie. I saw her at lunch and dinner at the cafeteria, and I probably would have seen her at breakfast, if I’d ever gotten up for it. And surely, she saw me as well, but we hadn’t, until that morning, looked at each other simultaneously.

By now, I assumed she’d forgotten me. After all, we only dated for about a day, albeit an eventful one. But when I plowed right into her left shoulder as I hustled toward precalc, she spun around and looked up at me. Angry, and not because of the bump. “I’m sorry,” I blurted out, and she just squinted at me like someone about to either fight or cry, and disappeared silently into a classroom. First two words I’d said to her in a month.

I wanted to want to talk to her. I knew I’d been awful— Imagine, I kept telling myself, if you were Lara, with a dead friend and a silent ex-boy friend — but I only had room for one true want, and she was dead, and I wanted to know the how and why of it, and Lara couldn’t tell me, and that was all that mattered.


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