Meet Charli (#31 of 365)

I drop the pen when thoughts of my phone blanket my mind. Why won’t he reply? His last text was five days ago.

What did I do wrong?

Where is he?

“What are you doing in here?” My boyfriend, Travis, leans against the door of the classroom. His shoulders broad and arms folded. His chocolatey hair a mess. How many teachers have gotten on his back today about improper uniform? His tie is unravelled, shirt untucked, and blazer sleeves rolled up.

My eyes pan over the empty desks around me, to the blackboard with scrawled notes, and down to the phone in my hands. I drop the phone and slide a hand under my cheek to rest.

“It’s lunch time.” Travis walks between desks. “Why are you still in the classroom? No way you got detention.”

I smooth over the open page of my textbook. Guilt swells. Most of geography I texted Dad or wrote poetry. “Just catching up on work.”

Travis pulls out the chair in front of me and sits backwards on it. “We’re only a few weeks into school. There isn’t anything to catch up on.”

“I mean, get ahead.”

Travis takes my hand. “Don’t put so much pressure on yourself.”

I sneak a peek at my phone and Travis notices.

“Your dad? Still not heard back?”

I shake my head, frowning at the phone.

“Hey, what’s this?” he says and tugs at the notebook underneath my elbow. I lift my arm so he can turn the book and read the poem. I can’t remember a time I haven’t written poetry and it’s always super private. But Travis is my rock. I know my words are safe with him.

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