The Passed Note Issue 1 June 2016 - Page 21

“I just want things to stay, you know? What’s wrong with the way things are?”

The clinging sensation radiates off him and makes my skin crawl, even though it’s not me he’s grasping for. I just shake my head. “If I see Des, I’ll tell her you’re looking for her.”

“I’ll be outside.” He pulls a pack of cigarettes from his pocket and heads for the deck’s sliding door. He must really need a smoke; it’s freezing out there.

I’m still trying to brush off Gavin’s words—I just want things to stay—when I see it on top of the entertainment center in the living room. Des’s Bucknell envelope. On display like there should be a glass case and a spotlight on it. All the contents have been scooped out and piled up: her letter of acceptance, leaflets about offered majors and potential housing, an orientation save-the-date card, and a complimentary car decal.

“Ohmigod, can I hold it?” some freshman girl from my gym class squeals from the couch. Like it’s an acceptance letter to fucking Yale.

And then she’s rising from the loveseat that faces away from me. Des. I half-expect her to look different, like virgins think they will after having sex for the first time. But there’s no Bucknell blue-and-orange glow around her as she plucks the letter from the pile.

“You’re such a freak,” she tells the girl as she hands it over. “It’s just a letter.”

Then she glances up and notices me.

Why the hell did I come here? I don’t want to see her, especially not after hearing her call her Bucknell acceptance “just a letter.” I want to smack her. Want to watch the looks on her friends’ faces. Want to rip the letter from that freshman’s hand. I want to take what should be mine.

She crosses the room. She’s in heeled boots, which makes us exactly the same height.

“Hey Mace.”

“Your boyfriend’s looking for you. Said you keep ditching him.”

She scoffs. “He has to make everything into a gigantic spectacle.