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April

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I wasn’t really sure why all five of them were at school at 6:30, but the reason why I was there was a mystery, too. They are sitting at one of the picnic tables in the school courtyard. They are eating dinner from their lunchboxes. All five of them pull out white bread and start eating the slices, laughing at the same time. I cough. The group drops their bread and looks over. I am behind a trash can thirty feet away from the wooden table. One of them says something and they continue eating. I want to be with them, I want to be part of their group, always running around in matching t-shirts, putting stickers on the walls around the school when nobody else is looking. I am always watching them, picturing myself as the sixth member, making it an even three boys three girls group.

The shortest girl yells their name, standing on the bench. I want to stand with her, holding her hand and adding an enthusiastic “callooh, callay,” or trill of the lips, which is what the other group members excitedly do.

I picture myself sitting next to the boy that wore a green jacket. We would make jokes with the other boy, immature ones that the girls would not find funny. We would talk about girls while they talked about boys, and I would feel like kissing them all, even the boys. I would be happy.

All five of them look around and pick their lunch boxes up, playing with the crusts before leaving them. I start to stand up, but then I realize that they don’t know me and don’t want to.

They are gone now. They have gone into the woods next to the courtyard singing songs that I’ve only heard from them. I look at the crusts that they left on the table. They have been made into little pictures and words. I pick up some of the pieces of crust and try to figure out who ate from which piece. The one I am holding is from the girl that reminds me of a lion. Her hair is wild and she has almost sharp teeth. I create a picture of the sun. The pictures made from the crusts of the more important ones have been mutated by me. I wish I could apologize to them, but they will never know that it was me.

I apologize to the crust artwork and step into the woods. I can easily tell the path that I have to take; there is a tiny path that has been taken many times by the same five people. I can barely hear the teenagers off in the distance, and I want to hear them very well. I walk through the woods, and I see carvings on the trees. The carvings are little people dancing and playing odd instruments.

I walk for three more minutes; I counted, until I can hear them very well. There is a bush separating me from the people I want to love me back. They are still singing songs. I am surprised, expecting them to be doing drugs and running around. Two of them are playing the mandolin, and they are sitting in a circle. I can see that they are all wearing their matching t-shirts, and I once again picture myself wearing one just like theirs.

The girl that I know plays soccer notes that it’s getting dark. All five blink.

“Whoa, it is.” The tall boy says.

They look around and come to the agreement to leave through their eyes. They stand up and walk right by the bush I am now hiding in. Five of them are going home, but the sixth one is staying here.





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