You Don’t Know My Name
I love Malika and Harper. They make me happy. They really do. But there’s something about being with them that makes me feel lonely too. I can never really be myself with them. I can’t really be myself with anybody. It’s ingrained in me to lie, to stick to the cover story and blend in no matter what. And I feel guilty about that. Because they think they know me so well. They think because they can finish my sentences they know everything about me. But they only know Reagan MacMillan; the quick-talking, tough girl I created. Sometimes I wonder which parts of my personality are really me and which ones belong to the pretender.
But with Luke, it’s different. There’s nothing forced or strategic about our friendship. He’s gotten to see glimpses of the real Reagan. And that scares the shit out of me. Because I know how quickly it could all be torn away from me. How quickly I could be torn away from him. There’s no such thing as a happy ending for a girl like me.
“Come on, Reagan,” Harper says quietly, glancing over her shoulder to make sure Luke is still out of earshot. “You guys are so cute together. He broke up with Hannah months ago. I don’t know what you’re waiting for. I can just tell by the way he looks at you he—”
“Harper,” I interrupt as her words compress my lungs, making each breath labored and painful. I don’t want to hear this. “He doesn’t look at me like anything. I don’t want to ruin our friendship.”
“You know some things are worth ruining,” Harper replies, reaching out to touch my arm with her fingertips, her nails painted darker than my gray cardigan. “You can’t tell me you haven’t at least thought of starting a relationship with him or maybe—”
“There is no relationship,” I cut her off again, pulling my arm away a little faster than I meant to. I snap new gloves onto my hands, pick up the scalpel, and slice into the frog’s heart. “Next stomach.”
“Next stomach?” Harper repeats, scrunching her forehead.