“Marcia, Spring Valley” by Maegan Cadet

She always had the faint smell of sweat on her—Marcia. After school we would sit together on the long, brown bus seat, both of us taking our share of the seat, but Marcia taking the most.

I can never remember just quite what we talked about, but I always remember what Marcia was eating: a strawberry shortcake ice cream pop on a brisk winter morning, a pink-filled Pop-Tarts she bought at the community college vending machine after school. When I think about our friendship I remember our lips moving, but no words ever coming out.

One day on the bus, a younger girl with cornrows peaked her head over the seat and asked if we were best friends, Marcia and I.  We both answered at the same time, and our responses left us in silence: she had said yes, and I had said no.

A different morning on the bus a kid whose name slips my mind found a pair of big, white, women’s underwear. He held it up to showcase its massive size, and said it belonged to Marcia. I pretended not to notice, because I was glad he hadn’t said it belonged to me.

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