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SmokeLong Quarterly

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Things You Won’t Tell Your Therapist

Story by Colleen Kearney Rich (Read author interview) October 19, 2015

Art by Brett Levin

The reason you have panic attacks at school is because things move too fast, there are too many people in the hallways, and the bells are too loud. The reason you get confused and have to think for a really long time before you answer a question, any question, is because you are only getting about three hours of sleep. The reason you had good grades in chemistry and don’t now is because J was your lab partner. You were never really good at chemistry; he taught you everything you knew. The reason you didn’t go to the memorial service is because you couldn’t watch those fake people crying and carrying on like they were best friends with him. The reason you can’t sleep is because you keep playing that last bus ride over and over again and how he called your name and yelled bye to you. The reason you didn’t get to say goodbye was you were too busy gossiping about what a ho Ava is. The reason you can’t remember his face, not clearly, is because you waited too long to turn around and only saw the back of his head and his red backpack as he stepped off the bus.

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Notes from Guest Reader Isaac Boone Davis

This story jumped at me. It basically challenged me to fight. It mugged me. We get a lot of stories that do that. But this one, it would win.

About the Author

One of the founding editors of the literary magazine So To Speak: A Feminist Journal of Language and Art, Colleen Kearney Rich is currently a reviews editor for Literary Mama. Her writing has been published in the Washington Post, Phoebe, Minerva Rising, and the anthology Amazing Graces: Yet Another Collection of Fiction by Washington Area Women, among others. She lives in Virginia and is at work on a novel.

About the Artist

Brett Levin is a photographer from Fort Collins, Colorado. This photo was used via Flickr Creative Commons.

This story appeared in Issue Fifty of SmokeLong Quarterly.
SmokeLong Quarterly Issue Fifty
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