The next day, the library walls were stripped back to bare brick, marked only by the remnants of a GSA poster half-covered by a crumbling banner for Nationals. Zach passed them by, and took a sharp detour towards Mr. Handson’s classroom.
“She ran around naked?”
“Yeah, isn’t that crazy?”
Zach sneered at the gaggle of gossiping girls, and opened his mouth to speak— when suddenly a whining voice yelled:
“Shut the hell up!”
Mike stood there with the sun against his back, thumb-shaped head tilted to one side and lips parted in a grimace of disgust. He reminded Zach of a dog that had just barked at a passing car. The girls ignored him and whispered amongst each other, until Zach exclaimed,
“You know what’s crazy? Cathy fucked Vivian’s boyfriend. They were sitting in the car this morning.”
Vivian looked to Cathy with a bemused expressed, searching for a sign that this was a joke. Instead Cathy blushed and defensively snapped,
“It wasn’t like that—”
“Then what was it like?” snapped Michelle, “I saw you, too. You were sitting with him.”
Vivian loudly bawled, “Oh my god, how could you—”
“—Nothing happened, I was just sitting in his car!”
“Yeah, for two hours.” Zach scoffed, as he turned to leave.
As the dramatics began again, Mike dejectedly lowered his head and trudged past Zach. Perhaps it was his dejection, the hopelessness in each step, that prompted Zach to remark, “It’s a game— don’t believe everything you hear.”
Mike ignored him and kept walking, so Zach looked away as well. He pulled open the heavy door, and let it loudly slam behind him.