So Thank You

I had a headache on Friday.
I couldn’t decide what to wear.
I spilled hydrochloric acid on my hand in Chemistry first period.
It hurt.
My friends were laughing, but I didn’t understand the joke.
So I didn’t ask.
Wasn’t going to the Prom.
Nobody would ask me, and even if someone had, I’d say no.
I’d feel too out-of-place.
It’s too much money anyway.
I’m sixteen years old, and I’ve never had a boyfriend except for kindergarten.
I’m tired of getting up in the morning and having to have a shower and brush my teeth and comb my hair before school.
It was hot.
I didn’t have any sunscreen on, and my nose burned.
I walked home, and I would have bounced with each step, because it was one of the glorious days when you shine in the sunlight through the leaves onto the sidewalk and I was out in the fresh air and it was Friday and the week was over at last, but

my math book was in my backpack because I needed it to study over the weekend and it weighed me down.
I went inside, and I
lay down on the kitchen floor because it was cool and I was hot from my walk home, and in the next room, I heard my mother sigh and fold the newspaper because it was just
more bad news.
And that makes me stop.
“How was school today?”
“Fine. We had a test in English. It was kinda hard.”
And I was staring up at the kitchen ceiling where the paint is peeling.
I’m sixteen years old, and it’s very difficult for me to imagine a world any larger than a middle-class Jersey suburb.
But I’m sixteen years old, and I don’t know what a war is.
So thank you anyway.

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