Whisper 1.6

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In my dream, I have a best friend. I don’t see his face, I just feel the closeness between us. It reminds me of when Chauncey and I were best friends, before we became not-friends, and then just good friends. I miss having a best friend.

You’ll have a best friend again. Be patient.

I wish I knew what it took to keep friends. I seem to be able to make them OK; it’s just keeping them that’s been hard.

I’ve always heard the advice, “Just be yourself,” but when I’m myself, that’s when my friends decide they don’t like me, after all, and stop being my friends. Maybe I just need to keep looking so that I find people who really do like me, when I’m being myself. I don’t want to have to pretend, or to hide my rough spots, just to maintain friends. That’s not real friendship–that’s pretend friends.

While I’m lying in bed, thinking over all the things I might be doing that prevent me from keeping my friends, I hear something being slid under my door.

It’s a big manilla envelop.

In it are my term grades.

What’s this? I missed some questions on the exams? I thought I aced them!

I earned a B? What? I thought I was getting all A’s!

Relax. Earning a B your first semester of college is an accomplishment worth celebrating.

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What am I saying! I got a B! B is for Better! Yay!

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Next term, I’ll earn an A.

The van arrives to take me back home for break, and, to my surprise, all my dorm mates come out to see me off.

“Bye! See you guys next term! Be safe!”

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It’s snowing when I arrive home. The valley is dark and beautiful.

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Inside, Jin cooks mac and cheese and Chauncey reads.

“Hi, guys. How’ve you been?”

They don’t say much.

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It feels awkward. Jin burns supper and goes to bed hungry. Chauncey hardly even looks up from his book. I can hardly wait for break to finish.

You could always head back to college early.

In fact, I decide to sign up for Inter-session, and the next day, I’m on my way back to university.

At the dorm, all the other Inter-session students are moving in.

I talk with this guy dressed like Sgt. Peppers.

“So, the theory is that once we identify our specific mental constructs, we can begin to,  you know, deconstruct them.”

“I’m into music,” he says.

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As I head up the stairs to my room, I catch the scent of fresh broccoli stalks, kale, and spinach. My vegetarian mouth begins to water.

There, using my easel, stands a very green man.

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“I hope you don’t mind,” he says, and his breath smells like snow peas. “This was the only free easel I could find.”

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“That’s OK,” I say. “You can use it any time I’m not.”

My stomach growls.

“What was that?” he asks.

“Oh,” I say. “Never mind. I just love leafy greens, that’s all.”

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