November 22nd, 2004

Mask

Nurse





It's seven am in the morning and I am standing at my usual post next to the school entrance. I’m taller than the wall around the building, giving me a perfect view of both the schoolyard and parking lot. Right now it's only teachers and security; the children won’t arrive until seven. I see Ms. Lilly get out of a car I don't recognize, not hers, and the man who was driving gets out too, puts his hands around her waist, pulls her close. She melts against him and they touch noises.

The Bastard’s handsome. Long, shining blue-black hair, thick curling lashes framing wide dreamy eyes. High cheekbones and square shoulders, a thin waist and a quick smile. He drives a nice car, and his shoes, though worn, are spotless.

I’m huge and ugly and uneducated. I smell like baby powder because flesh and metal sweat and chafe. There are grenades under my shoulder blades, poison in my forearm and gunpowder in my stomach.

It was fine, the way it was, not knowing.

My ebony eye focuses on him, does a data search and pulls his public profile. Age twenty-seven, six foot two, born Lothlyrn H. Rynn, Masters degree in social service. Three arrests for public protest, dated three years ago. He smiles, and his teeth are perfect, white and straight. Asshole.

They hug again, and he leans down, as if to kiss her, but she moves away, inclines her head towards the school. He smiles again and takes a step back, bows, and gets in his car. She walks towards the entrance, looks back at him driving away, waving four or five times till the car turns and leaves the lot. She is walking and watching behind her so intensely that she nearly bumps right into me.

“Oh! Brute, I’m sorry, I didn’t notice you there.” Her hair looks so soft, and I wish I could touch it.

“I think I’m pretty hard to miss.” She smiles, and the sun shines through her dress, outlining her legs. I want to die.

“I’m pretty silly today. Having a wonderful, happy, silly morning.” She brushes her hair off her neck. “Have fun with the children today, let me know if you need anything.” She pats my metal arm and walks inside the building. I wonder if killing her boyfriend would make me feel better.





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