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They Meet on What I Assume Is the Second Page

November 19, 2019

The best way to wear a hoodie, according to Sun, was with the sleeve cuffs rolled back and the strings pulled tight. Rolled back cuffs left plenty of fresh air for the hands to breathe and tight hoods felt like perfect cocoons. They were snug and warm just as all cocoons should be. 
    Sun also had an opinion on pockets; the bigger, the better. The reason for that was because of snacks. Small pockets could barely hold anything worth eating unless it was candy, but even then bigger pockets could hold more candy so there was no practical use for small pockets at all. The cargo that bigger pockets contained included (and was not limited to) bags of chips, juice boxes, lox bagels, full-sized candy bars, and cereal. Sun favored the chips, mostly because they were easy to get a hold of, but the best days were and always would be bagel days.
    It was a Thursday afternoon in a fourth-period math class. Sun sat in the middle of the room, eyes on the whiteboard, hands shoveling artificially flavored cheese puffs into her mouth. She was focused on crunching as quietly as possible. It was a difficult feat, but she managed. On her desk, a math book lay open to the page she assumed they were on. Beneath that, a backpack slumped across the floor. It was unzipped. Inside the bag, one could see all the necessary materials for the common public school child. Things like paper, pencils, books, and liquid glue to pour all over your hand and peel off once it dried. Things the common public school child could never live without.
    Sun glanced up at the clock. It hung on the wall in the space above the teacher’s desk and below the ceiling. She could barely make out the time from where she sat, but after lots of squinting, Sun concluded that there were about six minutes left before this period was over. She reminded herself that if she didn’t think about it, it would go by faster. Six minutes was nothing.
    It was a Thursday afternoon and math class was nearly through. Sun felt indifferent about Thursdays. She felt indifferent about them in the same way she felt indifferent about all the other work-days of the week, but secretly, she thought Thursdays were better. They let you know that only one day was left and they gave you an honest pat on the back for making it through the other three. Thursday was like Friday’s Eve, the opening act for the real show. You could close your eyes and breathe easy because the worst of things had passed. 
    Sun used a cheesy hand to cover her mouth and yawned. Then she licked the cheese off her fingers and wiped her fingers on her jeans. Enough artificial cheese had been eaten for the day and it was making her thirsty. She grabbed her water bottle and took a sip. Water. The blood of all life. Sun reverted to her ancient fish brain and let the water cleanse her soul. In that moment, water was all she needed, all she wanted, all she lived for. Water came like a liquid angel and caressed her throat with cool, gentle hands.
    Then she knocked her pencil off the table.
    Her ancient fish brain disappeared. She set the water bottle down. That pencil was a good one, mechanical and burnt orange. One of Sun’s favorite colors was burnt orange. Her eyes followed the pencil as it rolled and stopped beside someone else's feet. It did not roll far. Sun leaned over and reached for it, really stretched her arms and reached, but the pencil remained just centimeters out of her grasp. Her efforts were fruitless. She returned to her normal position and was about to try again with her foot when the other girl turned around.
    She wore a grey hoodie and had the strings tied into a bow. She looked down at the pencil by her feet, picked it up, and looked directly at Sun.
    No one should ever look directly at the sun. The sun is a bright burning ball of fire up in space and will blind you without hesitation or regret. The sun has no mercy for pretty eyes, but Sun did. Sun did not only have mercy for pretty eyes but was at the mercy of pretty eyes. Her pretty eyes, to be precise. 
    Moon held out the burnt orange mechanical pencil. Sun paused. Moon’s eyes were black and perfectly so. It was looking into the night sky and seeing the void and feeling it swallow you whole. It was enchanting.
    Sun moved carefully, fearing what would happen if their fingers touched. She took the pencil, whispered, “Thanks.” Moon nodded then, all too soon, turned back around. Sun leaned back into her chair, pencil mindlessly tapping against her legs. She wanted to drop it again.
    The clock then decided it was time. Riiiiiiing! the bell rang. Students slid books off of desks and into backpacks and students got up and the halls erupted with noise. There would be a sea of faces out there in no time at all, a sea in which familiar faces with pretty eyes got lost. Sun could not lose her.
    Moon stood up, backpack already on, and took a step towards the classroom door. Sun panicked and knocked her math book off the table. She grabbed it as she went, slung her bag over her shoulders, and tripped over a desk. 
    They stopped and met at the door. They were the last two left in the class. Moon noticed the girl awkwardly standing next to her. Sun had no plan and no idea as to what to say. Moon recognized the pencil. 
    Sun beamed.
Did I do a good job at "realistic fiction"? Probably not. Did I try anyway? Yes, yes I did. Hope you enjoyed reading this.


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  • N.

    I love your narration in this! It's just sarcastic enough to be entertaining without being overbearing, and the overall story is sweet. You did a great job setting the scene as well. It has an airy poetic vibe to it while still being prose, so kudos because I live for that sort of thing. Honestly I love everything about this piece- wonderful job :)

    about 2 years ago
  • babybluelamentations

    Omg, i looovvveeee!
    The simple phrasing of metaphors in this piece makes it feel really down-to-Earth and wholesome. Everything about this is beautiful, from the title to the first sentence to Sun’s cheesy fingers and ancient fish brain. This has probably just become my favorite piece of non-prose fiction on this site <3

    about 2 years ago
  • sophmailloux

    This is genuinely so good, you did such an awesome job with the characters! Not to be dramatic but I would die for Sun and her fish-brain. Great job!

    about 2 years ago