I’m Not Coping
I was in high school. I had awesome rainbow metallic ombre hair. Things were very good.
The school was a sky scraper, with many stories. Most floors aside from the entry level looked like the biology floor of my actual old high school, with old yellowing linoleum flooring and no windows. I was in physics, doing an assignment where we had to trace a route through a map of the school labyrinth that never crossed over itself or tread over the same area twice, and then we had to walk the path we had drawn in real life.
Then I went to lunch. I was sitting in this crazy dark, chaotic, and colorful cafeteria on one of the middle floors with my friends. It was more like a food court at a mall than a lunch cafeteria, as there were various stalls you could get different kinds of food from. I couldn’t afford anything, but it looked good. I think my friends were eating mac and cheese.
One of my friends pointed out her ex-boyfriend as he walked by. I chided her for not getting over him. She asked if I knew some popular guy in our grade. I did not.
“Y’know, you’re kind of a dork,” she said.
“Yeah,” I replied, “I don’t know anyone here really. But I don’t really need to; you people think your little high school microcosm here matters when it really doesn’t.”
She ignored me. Anyway, she said, the popular guy was apparently part of a high school drug ring, and her ex-boyfriend worked under him. Their main product was called Cope(?), which actually just slowly gave you cancer instead of having any positive effects. Apparently, her ex-boyfriend was trying to get out of the racket.
Suddenly, I had a vivid flashback of what happened — she’s at home one night, looking out the open front door, as her boyfriend and his boss stop in the driveway and get out of the car. Her boyfriend mentions he wants to quit, to which his boss responds by pulling out a gun and shooting over his head, through the open front door, into my friend’s forehead.
Another flash forward, and both of them, she and her boyfriend, are dead on the ground. This was 100% my brain processing the Midsommar attestupa scene, so there’s blood and carnage everywhere.
And then time stops.
Their wounds heal in reverse-time, as though none of it ever happened.
Back in real time, my friend handed me a letter she got from some mysterious organization, stating that because the reality in which they died was overwritten, they were now conscripted as part of this time traveling secret agent organization.
Anyway, then I had to work on my map, which was obviously the more pressing of those two issues.
I looked for a starting place in the labyrinth to work outwards from and decided, what better place than here, at the BEN SHAPIRO DEBATE MONUMENT (????????).
Then Jhin came along. Jhin was my high school boyfriend, of course1. Apparently the school was also having a contest where students were just allowed to kill each other. Everyone had a score over their head indicating their kill count. For most people, this was zero or, somehow, a negative number, but Jhin had a deeply incriminating 72, and was having the time of his life.
He was like, “I AM SNIPING EVERYONE THIS IS SO GREAT!”
I replied, “JHIN! WHY ARE YOU KILLING PEOPLE! IT IS HIGH SCHOOL”
Then he answered, “I have to kill you too, sorry.”
I was upset by this, but he did promise to make it super intimate. He held a gun to my head, but then someone saved me and I woke up.