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march, 2019

29mar1:00 am1:00 amTHE PARTY.By Michelle Jachna

A blank page, with nothing but the words “the party.” written in an italicized font.

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The text reads: “my face is numb and I’m thinking about you.” The scene is a room full of people talking, drinking, and having fun. It’s a party. Chell sits in the middle of the room, on a couch, staring at the reader. She’s holding a bottle of alcohol with both hands in her lap, but it doesn’t look like she’s drinking it. Her face is blank.

Three panels of different people dancing, drinking, and the final one is an image of people holding hands. The text reads, “my almosts drink and dance and kiss each other’s hands”. A panel of Chell’s hands, as if the reader is looking down at them, empty. In her right is the bottle. The text reads “like I almost did theirs, but I never did theirs.”

The hands, now empty, reach out as if wanting to be held. The text reads: “I’m waiting”, I say. “Until I’ve held yours first.”

 

An image of the girl with straw-glasses. The text reads: “when she asks me to fix her glasses, not real ones with lenses, and not the hipster kind, (the kind you used to wear).” The next panel is the glasses girl with a speech bubble saying “she’s making a joke about liking this thing before it was cool.” Outside the panel it reads: “(and you always looked cool before it was cool)

An image of the straw glasses. The text, which follows the outline of the glasses, reads: “but one of those stupid straw ones, where you inhale and watch the poison travel around and round and past the bridge of your nose, behind your ears,”

An image of the glasses girl attempting to fix the glasses herself. The text reads: “she says her ears are too small”. The next panel is Chell moving her hand up towards the reader, from the perspective of the glasses girl. The text reads, “my hands are moving up, and I haven't been so close to someone in so long I recall,”

A further-away image of Chell leaning over to fix the glasses for the glasses-girl. The text reads: “but when I brush her hair away, and she’s laughing and gleaming and the music is too loud.”

A box, with the words inside: “all I can think about is you.”

An image of Chell staring wide-eyed at the reader, her hand pulling away from the glasses girl (again, it’s from the glasses-girl’s perspective.) The text reads: “my face is numb and I’m thinking about you.”

An image of a younger Chell with someone’s hands around her neck. Younger Chell is holding a heart in her hands. The text reads: “my fingers curl around the neck of my younger self.”

An image of older Main Character putting her hands around someone’s neck, offscreen. The text reads: “strangling out her feelings for some person she’s saving her first kiss for.”

Three panels of Main Character with three different people. The situations look like they’re tense as she talks to them. The text reads: “not before she lies to herself a few times over.” The next panel is of a phone with a call being made to someone. The next panel over is Main Character lying in her bed, hearts around her head as she puts her phone to her mouth. The text reads: “and then falls headfirst into love.”

 

An image of Main Character sitting up in bed, staring at her phone, shocked and worried-looking. The text reads: “and then panics because she’s never been in love.” The next panel is an image of a younger Main Character looking at an older Main Character. The older one has scribbles all over her face, obscuring her features. The text reads: “I haven’t been close enough to myself to know if it’s true.”

The text on top reads: “my face feels so numb and I can’t stop thinking about you.” An image of Main Character back at the party, holding the bottle and staring at the floor. The text reads: “I want to go home,” I admit. But the floor doesn’t reply back.”

An image of Main Character looking at the floor, from a bird’s-eye-view. The words on the floor say: “Even when I’m asking it why you were on my mind when I fixed her glasses, I couldn’t stop thinking about you in your glasses.”

An image of someone holding a book in front of their face. The text reads: “I fell in love with that stupid bookstore girl stereotype.” The next panel is Main Character sitting in a coffeeshop window with the same person hiding their face in a book. Main Character looks up from her own book to look longingly at the person. The text reads: “We fell in love in a bookstore, didn’t we. Do you even realize that it’s gone?”

The words “are we gone?” are faded in the top left corner. “My face is numb” stands alone in the middle of the page. An image of Main Character touching her face gently is in the corner, as her face seems blank. The text reads: “Oh my god my face is numb every time I think about you.”

Panel 1 and 2 - The text: “my eyes are closed. my fingers curl around themselves”. The images match these words. Panel 3 - Two hands holding each other. Text: “and I’m holding your hand between them.” Panel 4 - Main Character opening one eye up slowly. Text: “If I just look up, if I just open my eyes,” Panel 5 - The book girl is holding Main Character’s hand, but her face is scribbled over. Text: “You’ll be real, and here.”

An image of Main Character and the girl kissing. Hearts float up from the panel. The text reads: “and my face will only be numb because you’re kissing me stupid.”

A side-profile image of Main Character back at the party, her lips slightly parted and right hand near her neck. The text reads: “but as I gasp for breath, pulling away my curled fingers from my neck, my face is only numb,”

A front-facing image of Main Character holding her hand by her neck. You can’t see her eyes. The text reads, “only blue, “the same colour of you”, I think, “my favourite hue.”

The same image of everyone enjoying themselves at the party. Main Character is back to holding the bottle, now staring at the ground, in thought. The text reads: “because I’m only thinking about you.”

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