Luke Grimes
Victor Rasuk

Daphne by Will Boast


Daphne by Will Boast

Author:Will Boast
Language: eng
Format: epub
Publisher: Liveright


SIXTEEN

THAT NIGHT, I TOLD HIM.

We lay on his mattress, surrounded by old radio parts. It took more than an hour for the last of the attacks to wash through me. We lay apart, neither of us quite willing to touch. He was confused and angry with me. I couldn’t blame him. But, as it was, I’d barely been able to talk about the break-in. Now he wanted to know what had happened at the columbarium. “You just freaked the fuck out. Where have you been? Shit, I don’t even know what I did. Why haven’t you even called?”

“What, never had a girl go crazy on you?”

“I’m definitely not taking that for an answer.”

“It’d take all night to explain.”

“Well.”

I shivered. The memory froze me as hard as oak. I didn’t know if my tongue could even get it out. I tried to start, once, twice. “O-kay,” I began again, “you ever go to dumb movies when you were a kid? Just to make fun of them?

Ollie gave me a doubtful look, still worried I was evading.

“My friend Brook, she had all the irony. But I was just . . . susceptible.”

Truly, I loved every movie we saw. The huge, beautiful faces of the actors, the seismic bass of the soundtrack, the vividness and velocity of the lives flung up on screen—even the lousiest, corniest stuff grabbed me, held me tight. Brook was always snorting and coughing out her hard, sharp laugh. But I could never get that distance. In the moments when the story, no matter how worn and predictable, began to yearn toward its climax, when you knew someone was going to die or sacrifice themselves or do something truly, foolishly noble, I couldn’t keep my heart from gonging in my chest.

Plus, in the dark, no one could see me: my sagging jaw and fluttering eyes. God, sometimes it was like my eyelids weighed a ton. This was junior year. Despite everything I’d tried to avoid—stress, arguments, competition, flirting—my weird little moments had grown more frequent. Kids started to pull faces back at me in the halls. I hid myself under droopy bangs, brown lipstick, ribbed Henleys, and chunky Docs, mimicking Brook’s style. And when I had to be seen, in speech class or gym, I’d rattle off my notes or listlessly shoot hoops, all my concentration spent on trying to ward it off. I had my methods then, crude as they were. Counting back from a hundred, that kind of thing. But at the movies, finally, I could surrender.

That afternoon, Brook and I had been out with Samantha and Tina. They were more Brook’s friends than mine. They smoked, cut classes, wore Joe Camel sweatshirts and baggy jeans. Tina had even dated Kyle Magolski. In other words, Brook was busy shrugging off the Sunday-school sweetheart her Evangelical parents still expected her to be, and Samantha and Tina were part of the campaign. At least they never mentioned my funny faces.

Brook insisted on some period drama. It was set in the 1930s, a dusty cattle ranch down by the border.



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