Molly used to wear those double-decker platform moon boot sneakers and she’d tap her heels methodically against the tile floor as she yawned through Mrs. Kennedy’s 8th period language arts class. She was so tired, and the smell of anything after 6th period made her nauseous; the hot sweat from P.E. mixed with the cold sweat from recess to create an aroma that, if wafted at just the right moment, could make her wretch. The rest of the kids discussed books like Night and Dawn and stories like Flowers for Algernon and some of them would cry.
Her mother told her that it wasn’t her fault; that the smorgasbord of simple carbohydrates she was served at lunch was putting her to sleep. Could people in the Paleolithic era hunt for Wonderbread? Then how could you, Molly, a descendent of early humans like all the rest, be expected to survive on such?
She tapped her cigarette on the ashtray and Molly watched a few sparks flicker before they disappeared. Her mother looked elegant.
Not to mention the downright oppressive nature of assigned seating. To make you share a desk with that Robby, of all people. Unbelievable.
But Sometimes, Molly, this is the lot of life. These are the cards we are dealt. And you should know, a damn house of cards it is.
She lit another cigarette.
Damn house of cards.
With that, she fell asleep, upright in the chair as she sometimes did. She still looked elegant. Her chin tucked into her shoulder with grace. The angles were perfect.
Molly plucked the cigarette from between her fingertips and settled her mother in under a blanket. She stepped out onto the fire escape and smoked the rest herself while she waited for her father to get home.
©2014 Emma Harper