Author : Duncan Shields, Staff Writer

When we were both sixteen, we made a pact. We said to each other that we would never race ahead without each other. Now we’re eighteen and I barely see you.

I’ve had a whole arsenal installed in my arms and head. You cook the food in the cafeteria. You weren’t picked. Something in the genes, they said. I pleaded your case but they didn’t listen. We drifted. I got the full scholarship.

I stand in front of you and there’s an awkward pause after you’ve squeezed the ice cream scoop of mashed potatoes onto my plate. You’re looking at me with an eyebrow playfully raised. I scan you and I can see that while you’re acting nonchalant, your heart rate is triple what it usually is.

One of the reasons we drifted is because it became obvious to me after my augmentation that you were in love with me and you always had been. I’m not a good actor so it became obvious to you that I knew how you felt and didn’t feel the same way.

After the classification process terminated and we were put in different categories, I didn’t have a chance to explore how I felt about you. I might have loved you back, given time. Well, that’s kind of weak, I suppose. If you know, you know. That’s what I hear in the pop songs. So I guess I didn’t love you. Luckily I was too busy to ever have ‘the talk’ with you.

I heard you’d decided to stay in the school and major in science. You’d never see any field work but you’d probably design weapons I’d be using one day.

Now here you are. Working in the cafeteria so that you can pay the bills and looking at me and you still want me. All of a sudden I feel like I’m standing in a soup line.

I guess neither of us were very smart.

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