The Passed Note Issue 1 June 2016 - Page 38

Now, she had her arm around Cal’s sweatshirt and felt his shoulders tighten as he talked about his brother. She touched the bottom edge of his strawberry hair, but felt hot guilt as she comforted him. Even though she was a junior and could now park in the lot, Maggie didn’t drive much since she could walk to school from her house. After hearing about Micah’s accident, though, whenever she took her mom’s Subaru anywhere, she drafted elaborate plans to let go of the wheel and accelerate wherever the car took her. A death wish.

She turned to look at Cal and pretended he was Micah. She wanted to kiss him on the cheek, but he was Cal, and Gigi was there. They were so happy, and she could see how twisted and confused Micah’s darkness made them.

“He comes home from school and he smokes up. My parents pretend not to notice. I don’t even care for me. It’s just a terrible example for Jack and Marty. They really look up to us. Peter and Kirk never did any of that shit. He was probably high when he was driving.”

“I’ve driven high before,” Gigi said from the floor, where she was balancing The Lord of the Flies on her head.

“Oh. You did it. So it’s okay,” Cal said hotly.

“It’s not like driving drunk. You can concentrate. Lu and I went to Tulane for a party. We smoked up and I drove home and I was fine. I was probably even better at driving.”

“You don’t smoke like my brother does.”

“How do you know it’s not just for fun?”

“He’s depressed.”

“How do you know?” Maggie asked. “He does well in school. You have a good family.”

“Oh, come on,” Cal flushed. “You know there doesn’t have to be a huge reason to be depressed. I just think he is ‘cause I knew how he was and I know how he is now.”

“I only know him through chem but he seems chill to me,” Gigi said. Cal shrugged and closed his eyes for a minute.

“He’s chill. But we used to talk all the time and now it's different.