August 22, 2010
By Anonymous

She speeds into the parking lot and squeezes between golden lines.
Stereo screaming profanities.
Bass drum beating the lies into her head.
She strolls through cold, metal doors.
She swings her hips and waves across the commons.
They wave back. They smile. They see her.
But no one sees Taylor.

First stop, bathroom to check her mas(k)ara.
Second stop, locker.
Kaitlyn babbles of midnight escapades with greedy boys.
Taylor giggles sensually.
Kaitlyn’s approval is won.
When Kaityln turns away, I see her.
I see Taylor.
I see her eyes,
Uncomfortable and
But then she puts her mask back on
And heads to first period.

At lunch, she sits with twelve girls
Who spend their hour objectively rating the male bodies that walk by –
6, 7, 8, 9, 10.
And complaining they’re just “not hungry”
Even though they’re starving.
Taylor, tempted, takes a bite of apple
Then pushes it away like she is full.
Their approval is won.
When they turn away, I see her.
I see Taylor.
I see her eyes,
Yearning and
But then she puts her mask back on.

Seventh period.
Twelve more girls in a rumoring huddle
Like a silky-haired, bleached-teethed football team.
And Taylor’s on the edge.
Gossip dribbles down their pink lips like diarrhea.
Stephanie says:
“Taylor, I heard Jessie told Matt you were the ugliest junior in the school.”
“What a b****!”
Taylor replies.
Stephanie’s approval is won.
When Stephanie turns away, I see her.
I see Taylor.
I see her eyes,
Rejected and
But then she puts her mask back on.

After class, I stop Taylor before she can descend the stairs.
I want to tell her she doesn’t belong with them.
I want to tell her to take off that mask of L’oreal.
I want to tell her I see TAYLOR.
But she’s in a hurry, so I just tell her to call.

That night she pulls into her driveway.
Same profanities, same lies.
She tells her parents, “School was fine.”
And they actually believe her.

She washes off her mas(k)ara,
And looks away before the unveiled face in the mirror can scream for her to listen.
She locks her bedroom door behind her.
She strips her legs of Hollister jeans.
And lies in bed.
Her phone vibrates frantically in her hand with an incoming call.
But she rolls onto her side.
Taylor cries alone.

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