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Feathering At the Edges

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I watch her return from the bathroom, licking her teeth, and my stomach twists with enough disgust for both of us. She sits down beside me, swinging her legs over and across each other. Still not looking at me, she flips her hair with one hand and holds out the other.

The Listerine burns in my clenched fist.

“Rin-rin,” she singsongs, but I don’t move. She slams her hand on top of mine, and I can feel the parched lines, oil drained by heavy soap.

“I can’t watch you do this,” I burst out. “I just want to-”

“To protect me?” she snapped. “I don’t need protecting, and I certainly don’t need it from you. Stop acting like you know better than me. It’s irritating.”

She taps a finger on my hand and I open it, because that’s what I always do. She pops a gossamer sheet on her tongue and it melts, obscuring the smell. As she leaves, she feathers the edge of the ‘B’ on the whiteboard with her pinky finger, smirking. She raises her dusty finger to her lips and blows me an inky kiss.




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