Anna tried to block out the voices echoing off the gym walls in study hall, but her boyfriend, Mike, kept talking about biology in his contemptuous way. “So obviously the electrons and neurons interact.” His pasty white arm wrapped tighter around Anna making her sweater damp with sweat.

She leaned over her math book. “I’m trying to work.”

“I’m sorry.” His lips pressed against her cheek. “You’re just really sexy today.”

“Not now, Mike.”

He placed his hand over hers and turned her chin towards him. “I love you, Anna.”

Her throat closed. His melty, brown eyes stared at her, hopeful.

Isn’t this what I should want? We’ve been going out for a year now. I do love him, don’t I? He’s a perfect gentleman, and he loves me. I’m supposed to love him.

She swallowed a few times to loosen her vocal chords, but her words were still wispy, “I love you too.”


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