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

Her T-shirt says Pants on it.
His says Don't Tell Me What To Shave.
This is not what I thought and I
want to go home.
I did not know the Ferris wheel was crooked.
I did not know he would ask me to share
a capsule
and hold my hand until we stepped on
solid ground again.
I did not know he would get bored and
make us leave the fair early and
walk across highways. My shoes left welts on my talus and crushed my metatarsals.
I did not know they would sneak inside jokes into our talk and
leave me out when convenient.
I did not know he would tease me for ordering a smoothie instead of a meal and he would eat with his mouth open and listen to her tell stories about her sexual endeavors.
I do not care. These are my friends.
I did not know that when she would leave
he and I for a moment
we would not be able to speak because
he's too busy averting eye contact and I'm too busy trying to keep parched words from singing through my teeth,
and I did not know that when she would
return and he would leave,
and I would tell her that he's a damn mute with me, that when he would return, she would only leave again.
And I did not know that when I would leave and come back, they'd be wearing each other's shirts,
and that I'd feel so awful.
And I did not know that when we would leave for her house,
my brain wouldn't shut off and I'd get that pounding in my chest and the restlessness in my fingers and the dizziness in my head and I'd start thinking and not be able to keep track of my thoughts because they're
coming and going so quickly and
what if they just hate me and
they brought me along
because I'm a good buffer,
and what if we get in a car accident, I mean,
her mom isn't the best driver and
my parents don't know that we ever even left the fair, and
I think I'm going crazy, I mean,
it can't be normal to feel like this –
like my past has been displaced by the
night terrors I had as a kid and like
my future is just those same horrors and
like this car ride is symbolic of my incessant downward spiral and
why won't it just end?
Is this permanent?
I did not know that I would have to ask her to ask her mom if I could be dropped off
before he and she go to her house.
I figured I'd be breathless by the end of
the night.
I'd been hoping for a different reason
this time.

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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