[3] Aiden

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You sit down in front of Katie in the library,

She’s reading a book on losing weight.

You ask her if she’s being serious.

She’s the skinniest thing you’ve ever seen.

It’s my body,

And my business,

She snaps,

And you put up your hands in defeat.

She’s not good enough.

Your Mother’s thoughts enter your head,

As if she was sitting right there.

You push them away,

And respond to Katie.

You tell her you’re sorry,

You just think she looks beautiful the way she is.

You think she’s beautiful?

Maybe after plastic surgery.

You bite your tongue,

Desperately trying to get rid of her voice.

Her cheeks redden,

As she closes the book.

Are you going to the dance?

She meets your eyes.

You tell her yes,

And she smiles widely.

You ask her if she’s going.

I’m not sure yet,

She should,

She deserves to have fun.

No one asked her,

Mom laughs.

Because she’s worthless,

Just like you.

You pinch your leg,

Paying attention to the pain.

It was the only way you could escape her.

I’ll be right back,

I have to put this book back.

She smiles,

And leaves.

You sink into the chair,

Trying to ignore the thoughts that creep into your mind.

School was the one way you could get away from your mother,

How could she be here?

Are you crazy,

Insane,

Delusional?

I’m changing you.

My eyes grow wide.

Was this what she meant?

Was she really trying to make me a version of herself?

Was I actually hearing her voice,

Or are they my own thoughts?

What,

Had,

She,

Done,

To,

Me?

Katie plops back in her chair,

Smiling happily.

She never looked happy,

At least not when she was by herself.

Are you going to the dance with anyone?

I can tell by the look on her face,

That she was nervous,

Anxious,

Worried,

It had taken her everything to come back,

To ask,

To question.

But I don’t want to answer her,

Didn’t want to give her the bad news.

Aiden?

Tell her,

Tell her she’s worthless,

Ugly,

Insignificant.

You sigh,

And tell her you’re going with Sarah.

Her face sinks,

Though she tries to hide it,

And she looks self-conscious.

I thought you didn’t like her,

Or Jocelyn,

She whispers.

You tell her you don’t,

It’s just complicated.

Why?

You don’t answer,

But inside your mom does.

Because you’re worthless,

And I’m making my son not like you.

When you don’t respond,

Katie doesn’t meet your eyes.

I thought that maybe,

We could go,

That maybe,

Maybe you liked me.

You tell her that you could never,

Ever,

Like someone so worthless.

As soon as the words are out,

You gasp.

How could you say that?

How could you let your mother’s words,

Escape your lips?

Katie’s eyes fill with tears,

And she stands up to leave.

You reach for her arm,

And spin her to you.

But your sleeve slips,

Revealing,

Untold,

Secrets.

Katie looks,

Shocked.

You’re,

Secrets,

Are,

Revealed.

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