Part Nine

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He went home, thinking he had murdered their dalliance. How long had it been? Two weeks? Two weeks, four days?

Who was counting.

He looked at the makeshift calendar on his bedroom wall, with phases of the moon drawn as faces, and boxes, meaning days, beneath them. He picked up a dandelion from a small pile beside his bed and rubbed it on the calendar.

"So close," he sighed, and fell backward on his bed.

He thought about their cheeks pressing together. He thought about the strange things she said. He thought about her dancing-- surrounded by a mob of masquerade monsters.

He said, "Maybe I should never see her again."

A tap tap tap chimed on his window. His heart caught in his throat. She was here!

He threw open the window.

"Hey kid," said a girl's voice he did not recognize. "Stay away from her. I want her dead. Not you."

"H--hello?" he asked.

When no one answered, he closed the window, sweating.

A stack of poems sat next to the dandelions. Poems he had written for her. Poems of epic draft and poems of silly sketch. Staid poems and daring poems.

Poems he would never give her.

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