I lied over my mattress, reading an invitation from a guy I barely knew from school. His name was Aaron and he was having a few friends over his house this Saturday. He went on about some spiel of his parents being out of town somewhere and wouldn’t be back until whenever. There was also a point about promising not to break any furniture in the house. The consent was later followed by check boxes with the words “Yes” or “No” next to them. I rolled my eyes at his social level of intelligence. No one wrote invitations to house parties, I knew that much.  It was a mystery in itself why I agreed to go.

I felt my phone vibrating in my pants pocket and put down the invitation. I looked to the clock over my dresser; it was exactually four-thirty. Right on time, I thought. I answered the phone and said, “Hi, Aaron.”

“Hi,” he said. “Hey, how did you know it was me?”

I bit my lip, “Caller ID.”

“Right. Stupid question,” he said. “So um, you’re coming to the party right. I mean, you don’t have to come if you don’t want to. But you know, it’d be really cool-”

I moved the phone away from my ear as I heard the loud pounding of his heart. It almost tuned out the neighbors arguing four houses down from mine. I shouldn’t have given him my number in the first place.

“I’m coming,” I nearly shouted. “Relax.”

“Oh, well, great!” he said and then cleared his throat. “I mean, cool-that’s cool.” He drew a long breath, like he’d just run a mile. To my unfortunate fate, his wild heart was all I heard for the next several minutes. After some time, I felt something warm leak out of my ear and onto my shoulder. I wiped at it with my finger and found the tips of my nails covered in black discharge.

“Shit!” I panicked. I could’ve sworn the doc told me every four hours.  I went to the bathroom and searched through the medicine cabinets for my prescription.

“Hey are you okay?” he asked. I could barely hear him over that damned heartbeat of his.

Suddenly, I heard every conversation in the neighborhood over the telephone lines. Immediately, I hung up the phone and went back to the medicine cabinet to find the doctor’s prescription on the top shelf. I looked at myself in the mirror and swallowed three of the blue pills. I waited for the medicine to take effect but my skin shriveled up, exposing the black veins that lie below the surface. My pupils enlarged over the irises, distorting my vision. The doctor said it would work every time. After five minutes, my skin became rejuvenated and eye’s turned back to a deep magenta and violet. My eye’s, I thought. There isn’t a cure for it, whatever condition it might be. It’s just there and I can’t fix it. What am I thinking, going to a party with ears like mine and eyes like these? I shook my head and walked out of the bathroom, entering my bedroom again. I took a seat over my mattress and picked up the flimsy invitation next to me. I knew my place and it wasn’t at some guy’s party. It wasn’t anywhere with anyone. My eye’s watered and a black tear fell onto the paper. The invitation burned in cool, violet flames and turned to ash in my


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