Before he wakes up I run to the bathroom to see what I look like, and I actually look pretty good. Flushed and fuckable. I go back and he’s still sprawled out on the bed and I fold my body into his and think about how I want to look to him when he wakes up. I want to be sleeping in a casual sexy way, to make him want me again.
I remember, especially in high school, I was so good at this kind of fake-out. I rehearsed thoughtfulness, I appeared carefree—and how many guys did I trick? As I sat there, hair tucked behind my ear, supposedly lost in a book, thinking this exact monologue, rereading and rereading the same paragraph, waiting for them to see me and want me, caught in this image of myself as a reader. What about staring at ants, wanting to seem close to nature and whimsical? What about staring into space, wanting to seem expansive, trying to find the thoughts that would fit my self-portrait? I fooled so many guys! I was found mysterious so many times, oh that girl, we don’t know what Susie thinks, and all I’m thinking is what do I look like, and all I’m thinking is that I own their thoughts.
from “Fell This Girl,” by Aimee Bender