I yawn. My mouth stretches, gaping wider than you’d thought was possible and an inhuman groan rumbles up from somewhere in the vicinity of my sternum. You wonder how such a petite girl can make such a viscerally unsettling sound without effort. As my frame groans on its hinges, settling back into its place from the unnatural contortion it had only just occupied, your uneasiness dissipates. I’m human again, not that gaping, devouring, heinous monster of merely seconds ago that you so hated.
You smile at me now, hoping that the momentary disgust you held for me was only a fleeting thing, and that I can keep my place in your mind as the fey little woman child you think I am. I refuse to return the smile to you, Aaron. I know your motive. I know your game. I know what happened between you and Hannah, and Susie, and Michelle, and Dorian, and—some rumors say—with Jacob. None of those people walked away safely from your smile, Aaron. So I won’t be fooled by it. Your perfect teeth, your dimples be damned.
I am tempted to yawn again, ruin your image of me completely, but I refrain, knowing that the yawn is a dangerous contagion that could end up infecting the entire class. I do, however turn away from you, Aaron.
Crossing my arms, I slump even further into the seat of my desk. The teacher is absent today, there’s no worry of cumbersome work cluttering my hour. I continue the doodle that I had been poring over before my exploration of the minute details of fatigue. Whorls and whorls spiraling down and down into black. If you were to see this, Aaron, you’d be appalled by the darkness in it. You’d be shocked to see such a grim perspective given to this simple design—the one within which you’ll see hints of me, my eyes, my hair, my wry displeasure with being the object of speculation. Down and down into black. You’ll see it all, Aaron.
I hate you. Stop staring at me. I truly, honestly wish you would turn your face away from me and never look my way again. Aaron, if you do not look away from me in three seconds I will turn and destroy you. Three, two…one. Good, very good. You almost lost your life there, buddy. Are you sure you want to play such a risky game?
What am I to you?
Im thinking about last Tuesday, Aaron, at that party at the Alpha Kappa’s. I didn’t want to be there, but somehow you’d managed to coerce me. Neither of us likes parties, Aaron. That I know. I’ve seen you too many times in the library—looking at me the same way as you are now.
Why did I have to come to that party, Aaron?
And why did you have to be there? I don’t appreciate this intrusion at all.
Nor do I appreciate the flowers.
Or the chocolates.
Or the love letter you left in my notebook when you thought I wasn’t looking.
I tore it up without reading it, Aaron. Without reading it at all.
I don’t at all like how you smell.
I have no inclination whatsoever to give you a single second of my day.
2 thoughts on “English Literature, Sophmore Year, University”
I liked this. The description of the yawn transformation was awesome and unexpected. It made the narrator intriguing and gave a sense of keeping them at arm’s length at the same time as I was getting to know them. My favorite kind was “your dimples be damned”
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Thanks for the thoughtful feedback, Amy!