It’s On Simone
“He’s over there,” she whispered.
Jenny looked. Five rows down, he was sitting at a computer, typing from his notes
“Go,” she whispered. “We’ll be in the back praying for you.”
Jenny walked down the aisle. The computers were nearly full. Some people were surfing, others working. No one looked at her. They were busy. She put a hand to her necklace and squeezed until the pendant left an imprint in her fingers.
There was a free computer next to him. She logged on and typed. Meaningless stuff. He barely took his eyes from the notes. Jenny couldn’t see what he was writing.
She turned to him, fully. Stared. She noticed his earring, his silver collar, his cloth watch, his arm muscles. A half hour went by. He didn’t look at her. Didn’t move except for his fingers.
She typed too. The same words, over and over again. When she looked at the screen, it was full.
His typing slowed. He stopped. Put away the notes, copied his files, slung his backpack over a shoulder. He took a moment to stretch. A hand came so close to Jenny that she could have touched it just by accident. Then he left.
Jenny took his seat. His name was in the login prompt. She could smell him. He had left a ball of paper with some words on it; she took it. Then she put her head down on the keyboard and licked the keys back and forth until she was sure that she could taste his hands in her mouth, the rest of him all over her.
In a study room, four girls sat around a table. Their hands were joined. Eyes closed, lips moving. It was a song. At their fingers, electricity was flowing. It passed through the walls, the hallways, went down the steps and dispersed as it touched the grass. When it was spent, it diffused towards the sky.
“She’s ready,” said one of the girls. Together, they raised their hands. “Bless him. Take him.”
Matt was about to leave the library when he stopped. He needed a bathroom. He had been sitting for too long. The library was old, the hallways smelled of rat poison. The bathroom was empty. He hung the pack on a peg and pulled down his pants.
Ibuprofen hadn’t stopped the ache in his head. Antacids hadn’t taken away the rot in his gut. Sometimes, the heat came up from some burning pit and made him sweat. He wiped it off with the back of his hand and rubbed it into the bottom of the pack. There was a fly on the ground, with small wings. Too small to fly. It was walking. Matt watched. It made a pattern. The sweat came stronger, his eyes blurred. It was tracing out letters. Short and long strokes, curves and crosses. When it was done, it walked under the door.
Matt swabbed his head with toilet paper. He was still looking down. “Goodbye, darling,” the words had said.
Thirty five thousand people went to the school. On Friday morning, the last Friday of the semester, they were all out walking on campus. It was early, but many students were finished for the day. A professor was teaching in the courtyard, on a little chalkboard; a student had parked his car at the edge of the ring road and was playing his music loud.
Five girls were in the middle of the field, walking in a row. They were holding hands. Tomorrow was Saturday. After that was rapture.
Somewhere deep in a hole, a boy was shaking the blight from his mind and the burning from his skin, trying to figure out why.