“Love is… I don’t know. Something bigger than that. It’s like the sun.”
“In that you can get burnt by it?”
“No,” she says wearily, but already her eyes have that starry quality they get whenever she’s thinking of Alex. “In that it makes everything brighter and happier. And it warms you from the inside out.”
“I’m learning that it’s good to think about what scares you. To bring it into the light. Even to hold it in your hands, if you can, and feel how it can’t hurt you anymore. To think of it and say, ‘I am not afraid.”
When I hear that she’s dead, I run.
I hear it from the girls in the locker room. It threads through their conversations so carelessly, did you hear a girl from Leesboro died weaving through talk of which girl gave a blow job to Jack Morris behind the bleachers and who’s going to Matt’s party this weekend.
The thread of it snags in my gut, because Leesboro was Maggie’s school.
It’s not her, I tell myself. It can’t be her or someone would have told me; her brother would have called me; someone-
But she didn’t answer her phone this morning.
And last night she didn’t text me good night, and I brushed it off because she’s tired from training, we’re seniors and we’re all so goddamned tired-
But I have to know.
Today is 15-9, my hubbies birthday, so I thought it (159) would make a nice page number!
“Great. It must be something, finally being around other people who have this condition. Maybe makes you feel less alone, less isolated?”
“All due respect, sir, but being in the hospital instead of high school is pretty isolating.”