Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Ode to Dishabillophobia

In gym class, Alex climbs the stairs to the changing room.
"Fuck it," she says. "I'm not doing gym."

She untangles the earphones from her hair and pulls it back into a dark ponytail with a blue elastic band from her wrist. As she walks back down the stairs, her phone vibrates, sending shivers up her spine.

"What, no show for me today?" it reads.
She erases the message, pretending it never sent in the first place. Pretending she never read it. Then she pulls a think layered mask across her face, consisting of solely a slight, quaint smile.
"Fuck you," she says out loud. "Fuck everything you've done to me."
With that, Alex hurries into the gymnasium and sits on the bench. Tick one, tick two, tick three, tick four.
She runs her fingers along the bench wood in a straight line, tick, ticking her way until class is over.

"Alex," she hears from behind her.
She turns, and it's her gym teacher.
"See me after school. You're running laps."

Alex doesn't move her smile, but instead lets it sit there, in all it's wrongness.
Running, Alex thinks. Is an excellent way to improve your body. 
It tones your leg muscles and, if you do it long enough, helps your lungs improve their breathing capability, just in case you ever need to run away. 
She nods in the direction of her instructor, then almost lets a real smile break her mask away.

But that would mean breaking it forever. 
And one real smile is not worth the millions of fake ones she's perfected. 

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