By Esty Loveing-Downes
Send me three dozen roses to carry around school all day. Make people stare.
Pressure me to stay the night and after I leave, fuck the girl you claim is obsessed with you. Blame me.
Send a buddy to ask me out. Lay your tongue inside my mouth like a thick, motionless eel. Make me almost vomit. Send me to Algebra II wondering how to keep you from ever, ever doing that again.
Break the rules. Get caught alone with me on a bus in the woods. Conjure puppy-dog eyes. Cry. Send weepy audio files. Mail stacks of hand-written letters to my little sister that I will find in a desk drawer at home six months later. Pursue her. Watch me vibrate with rage.
Say I’m your best friend. Lead me on. Sit with me on a park bench by the water. Gaze at rainbow strands of Christmas lights strung on palm trees in other people’s yards. Ignore me at a party. Change your mind often. Lie. Hide your insecurities behind lazy shrugs and charming smirks and privileged indifference. Keep me a secret. Deny it all.
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