The Passed Note Issue 1 June 2016 - Page 24

I've made a hole the size of a basketball. Then I toss in the sticker.

I stare at it as the snow soaks through my jeans. The guilt over what I just said to Des begins to seep in and chill me, too. I think about the horse kicking me and what Uncle Jack said afterward: Never make an animal feel cornered. They’ll lash out—it’s instinct.

I need to get out.

I picture Des’s name before mine on Bucknell’s orientation roster, her standing next to me on the campus tour. I’ll have to spend more hours studying in the library than her; rush a sorority as soon as she signs up for recruitment; intern at a more prestigious company than she does.

And then? It’ll be who gets the prettiest diamond ring, whose house is fancier, who gets pregnant first. We will shove our kids down the same road to rivalry.

There’s got to be an option I’m not seeing, a way to escape this battle and hold onto the future I want. But right now I can’t find it, and I’m tired. I’m so, so tired.

So I do what everybody in this damn family should. I fill up the hole. Des’s sticker and my Bucknell plans disappear into the ground. I blend the snow over it. Smooth it all over. No one would ever guess what’s under there.