amy dunne’s kid would need therapy

my god, high school was a mess.
everyone was asking if they could meet
my mother. the newspaper stories
weren’t forgotten, because she would
never let them, but most of the boys
just thought she was hot. the teachers
wanted to ask the harvard alum how
she could have such an uninspired kid.
my father wanted to grit his teeth and
throw a plate across the table, his
knuckles white with anger-anger-anger.
he’s not a good actor. i don’t know why
he tries. we go out to fish, and his
hands are unsteady on the pull, eyes
searching for something in the depths.
it’s nothing metaphorical. he just thinks
i’m a coward. aunt margo’s better
about it all, weekends away from the
house watching tv. an old, wrapped
set of golf clubs. an x-box she doesn’t
let me touch. warm, warm beer.
nothing important, nothing real,
my mother smiling daggers when
i return, talking about cases and murder
mysteries and gossip. always gossip.
prom is her tying my tie in front
of a full length mirror, our blonde heads
shining under the lights, her whispering in
my ear. don’t kiss her if she’s covered
in sugar.
 tucking my hair behind my ear,
taking out a blade from my pocket.
box cutters are for grown-ups, darling.

Syna Majumder (she/they) is a high schooler from India who loves to talk about road trips and Oscar seasons. Her work has been published in school magazines and a local newspaper as well as recently winning a country-spanning Essay writing competition. You can find them @fuzz_pedals on Instagram.

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