The Passed Note Issue 1 June 2016 - Page 37

The second person to be hospitalized was Micah Tannenbaum. He was the son of two psychiatrists, one of six brothers, a rock-climber, and a math genius. And, apparently, a landscaper. Over winter holiday, he crashed his car into a tree. He blamed ice and exhaustion. The cop said he was going 60 in a 30, like he’d had “a death wish.” Officially, Micah’s absence was blamed on his leg, broken in six places, and his collarbone, snapped like a wishbone.

No one at Mayfield knew about the mental health ward that Micah was locked in for a few nights. One day, during free period, Cal told Maggie and Gigi DeClare the outline of an elusive truth.

“I mean, I can tell he’s depressed. I know depression. He’s always high,” Cal said.

“That doesn’t mean he’s depressed,” Gigi said.

“No, but he’s using it to cope. It’s hard for me because I used to cover for him, but I told him I was done enabling him with the weed. Now this happened.” Maggie was sitting to his right on a bench by the gym and they talked over the squeak and boom of a pick-up basketball game.

Maggie had been friends with Cal since freshman year when her locker was below his. Between every class her binders, books, and makeup spilled out to the floor and he’d hover above her, rolling his eyes and tapping his watch.

“While we’re young, kid,” he said every single day as she scrambled and laughed.

“Would you just wait? God,” she said.

“You’re just lucky I’m jacked, Maggie, holding these big ass books for months on end.” During their shared free period, they talked about family and soccer and movies with indie soundtracks. Maggie and Gigi had set him up with Lydia Grierson, Gigi’s best friend. Cal dated Lydia that whole year until her family moved to Virginia, and maybe he was sad that summer, but Maggie never saw it. Sophomore fall, he was taller and was the starting keeper for the soccer team. Micah was sweeper, but quit after one season.