Fiction | January 05, 2015

The school where Kyle and Meg taught was a ’70s-era brick and concrete sprawl, the work of an architect who, the students took a perverse satisfaction in discovering, had made his name designing penitentiaries. It had four floors and fourteen stairwells, but Kyle and Meg’s particular cubicles opened onto the same communal office, which meant they shared a fridge and a microwave and the usual banalities. She regarded his lunchtime runs and fist bumps for students who attended office hours with a mixture of envy and skepticism. She thought he was like a commercial for something, though she couldn’t say what. When the students swooned over him—boys and girls alike; or rather, the girls first and therefore also the boys, all of them equally, ridiculously awestruck—it made her slightly nauseated, not least of all because she didn’t think that he would have used the correct adjective for her gastric state, although he taught English. It made her feel old, resenting the carelessness with which adolescents bestowed their affections. Most of the time, though, she didn’t think of him.

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