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Number Forty This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine.

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What would I tell you if you were still here?
That the words stuck me like a knife
in my side, the room cleared, and –
a grimace, a grand pause, sudden drop –
“We're done. No more letters.”
Done. And just like that, you washed
your hands of me.
It wasn't till you said “Sorry”
that I felt it bleed.
(The apology fell the way the words had,
bit me sharp, unceremoniously. But that
didn't hurt so much as saying,
“No, you're really not” and hearing
you agree.)
Enter my exit,
cue the open wound.
In a bathroom downstairs, I let it gush.
I felt the past six months seep through my
skin, fall from my eyes, wrack my chest
for an hour counted best in passing shoes
and not in misery.
So your story goes,
I “took you in the alleyway.”
Your foot was halfway on the road,
the bus was coming, I panicked,
pinned you to the sidewalk.
With a dirtied shirt and wounded pride,
it took throwing me over
to get the dust off.
You don't look at me anymore, but if
you did, would you see?
I held the bottle's contents in the cusp of
my hand, flipped a coin.
Heads said I'd live, tails said I'd die.
Tails.
Tails.
Tails.
Heads.
Tails.
Tails.
Heads.
Heads.
Heads.
Heads.
Tails.

I couldn't do it.
Consider this my fortieth letter.

This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. This piece has been published in Teen Ink’s monthly print magazine.




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