Rejection

My twelve-year-old hands tremble,
and sweat,
I pass slide the note in the vent of the locker,
as it disappears, my heart slams against my ribs in panic.
After lunch, she walks up to me,
her group waiting a few feet behind staring,
“Um… Mike, thanks but I think we should just be friends.”
I nod, my throat dry as sandpaper,
I turn and walk to class, my stomach threatening to burst me.

She walks up to the window of my mom’s car,
severely arched eyebrows poking from behind aviators.
“Show me the hand signals,” she demands.
I show her—correctly— and ask “Is that right?”
“You should know,” she says coldly.
She hands me a sheet that says I failed.
Tears rush from my eyes, snot from my nose,
my mom rubs my back,
“I didn’t even get to the driving part!”

I wait for months, checking the mailbox every day.
I need a decision, I need to know,
My home is gone, my job is gone, I need to know if I will have school.
I have to make a decision before knowing,
my brain is a fog from all the uncertainty.
“Let’s move!” I decide, either way I want to be down there,
The letter comes, and I pause before opening it.
“We can not offer you admission at this time.”
I stare at the words, no tears, no stomach ache, hollow.

When does this stop sucking?

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