The Truth Board

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The Truth About the Fact: An International Journal of Literary Nonfiction

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Location: Los Angeles, California, United States

The Truth About the Fact: A Journal of Literary Nonfiction is an international journal committed to the idea that excellence in the art of letters can play a vital role in transforming the planet we share.

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

2nd Grade Secret

When Ms. Ekelof has us do group work, I become bad. While everyone focuses on their coloring, eyebrows furrowed and thick crayons in hand, I walk away from my group’s cluster of desks and sneak behind the bookshelf that hides our cubbyholes. My small, padded hands sift through each cubby’s collection of sweaters, backpacks, and papers until I find my classmate’s lunchboxes. I grab mine first, quietly unzipping it, and pressing it between my stomach and the cubbyholes. Spencer Metheny and Brittany Roche’s moms always pack them Twinkies and chocolate milk, so I look for their lunchboxes next, softly tossing their treats into my lunchbox. I make my way through each row of cubbies, quickly re-zipping healthy lunches with brown bread or vegetables and not bothering to go through paper-bag lunches- they never have anything good. Once my lunchbox is piled high with treats from my classmate’s lunches, I push my over-stuffed lunchbox back into the cubbyholes and tiptoe back to my desk. No one notices I’ve been gone because I’m new here and my only friend is Rebecca, who everyone says is special and doesn’t talk, only giggles.
Mommy drives me home from school and usually talks on the phone with her attorney while she makes food. Dinner is usually something soy that makes my nose crinkle and that I’ll give my dog because Mommy only eats healthy now; she is reinventing herself now that Daddy doesn’t live here. I throw my backpack on the couch and run to my room, my dirty, unlaced shoes stumbling over the carpet. I close my door and pull the dollhouse that Daddy made me away from the wall; it’s pink and turquoise and the attic on its third story is the perfect hiding place for my treats. I get onto my knees and crawl behind the house. I unzip my lunchbox and eat my favorite sweet of the day, usually Gushers. Once I’m finished, I place the rest of the snacks in the dollhouse attic, savoring the saccharine corn syrup that the candy leaves in my mouth. Each treat has a special place in the attic; I line the back wall with pudding cups and scatter piles of the rest of the food- goldfish, ding dongs, fruit rollups- throughout the rest of the attic. Once everything is organized, I sometimes pick up the snacks and rub them in my hands because I like looking at the colors and listening to the plastic crinkle. Over the sound of crinkling, I can hear Mommy yelling at Daddy over the phone and I smile because neither of them knows my secret.


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