Cruel

Remember when we used to edit those submissions to the literary magazine? We would call out the best-worst lines of the big x-ed over pieces to each other melodramatically and fall apart in giggling.

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Unbalanced

She always had her heart broken by genius men. She couldn’t get it through her head that all of the time spent cultivating that intelligence often translated into less time spent developing their emotions and relationships.

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Verbose Papa

He didn’t quite know how to advise his daughter: “It’s one thing to mock a ‘no alarms and no surprises’ mentality; but then again, no one wants a bad surprise.” She looked a little bewildered, so he added, “I guess all we’re saying is that fears shouldn’t prevent you from taking risks.”

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The Swimmer

He spent every summer swimming on his neighborhood team, cheering at the meets, and sharing awful concession stand food with his friends. Even now, he gets a little nostalgic over slightly soggy nachos.

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Last Breaths

After watching people in their last hours at the hospital, she concluded the lungs were the stupidest organs of all. She could never figure out why they insisted on struggling ahead long after the rest of the body seemed to have understood what was happening and given up.

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Withdrawal

When her doctor informed her she must stop eating sugar, she followed his advice immediately. For months afterward, she would dream of an imaginary grocery store aisle with nothing but refrigerated cakes as far as they eye could see.

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