We Are All Made of Molecules

We Are All Made of Molecules by Susin Nielsen

Book: We Are All Made of Molecules by Susin Nielsen Read Free Book Online
Authors: Susin Nielsen
of his cover.
    But then other times I look at it and I think,
No. What I’m looking at is real
. ’Cause there’s no way he could fake it for that many years…could he?
    My dad has reached out to me a lot. And once or twice, I’ve tried to reach back. But…I don’t know. I just can’t get past the lie.
    I agonize a lot over whether or not I’m a gayist. I mean, on the one hand, we have an LGBT club at our school and I am totally cool with that, even if I’ve been known to call the president a Tragic behind his/her back because I can’t tell if he/she is a boy or a girl thanks to all the shapeless clothing he/she wears and his/her unhelpful name (Sam).
    But on the other hand, when it hits close to home, it is a whole different story. I just can’t get over the fact that my dad would rather be with men than with Mom.
    Meeting Michael just now made that whole part of it very real. I knew he was the guy who’d dropped my dad off this past weekend. The guy who’d leaned in for a kiss.
    I felt so depressed all of a sudden. All the good feelings from the day just vanished—
poof!
—like that.
    And then, to make things even worse, Spewart knocked on my door. I shoved the photo album under my covers.
    “Go away.”
    “Ashley, I said I’m sorry. Don’t you want to know how I became school mascot?”
    “No, I do not. I truly do not care.”
    “Oh. Okay. ’Cause actually it was Jared—”

SHE HAD THE DOOR open before I’d finished saying his name. “Jared asked you to be school mascot?”
    I nodded. “He told the coach he thought I’d be perfect for the job. The guy who did it last year had a growth spurt. And it’s a pretty small costume, so they needed someone who hasn’t reached his full height potential yet. The only thing is, the head kind of reeks, like maybe the guy last year had halitosis—”
    “Did you give Jared my message?”
    “Yes. I did.”
    “And did he say anything back?”
    “Yes. He did.”
    “What?”
    “He said, ‘Tell Ashley to go on Facebook tonight so we can chat.’ ”
    Her face went all weird and rubbery, like she was working really hard not to smile. “Did he name a time?”
    “He said around eight o’clock.”
    “That was it?”
    “That was it.”
    “Then why are you still standing here?” She started to close her door, but I put my hand out.
    “Can I ask you something?”
    “No.”
    “Why does it bother you so much?”
    “What?”
    “Your dad being gay.”
    “Why are you so interested? Maybe ’cause
you’re
gay?”
    “No, I’m pretty sure I’m straight. All my fantasies are about females—”
    She slapped her hands over her ears. “Oh my God! You are so disgusting! You think I don’t know what you were doing yesterday under that blanket?”
    “Not what you think I was doing.”
    “Oh, please—”
    “I wasn’t—”
    “You were!”
    “I wasn’t! I was breathing in my mom’s molecules!” I blurted.
    She stared at me. “You were what?”
    I tried to explain. “The human body is made up of trillions of molecules, right?”
    “Maybe. Whatever.”
    “Molecules are made of atoms. When someone dies, their molecules break down into smaller molecules as well as individual atoms. So, say a carbon atom is part of a molecule in a person’s leg. When that person dies, that atom could become part of a molecule in something else, like a blooming flower, or even another human being. Or an oxygen atom in your sandwich could end up in a molecule as part of your brain.”
    “Ew.”
    “Right now, as I’m talking to you, you’re probably picking up a few Stewart molecules and vice versa.”
    She slapped her hand over her mouth. “Gross!”
    “I don’t think it’s gross. I think it’s kind of beautiful. Everything, and everyone, is interconnected.”
    Schrödinger wandered up to me and started rubbing against my legs. I picked him up and held him close to me. “Right now I’m breathing in cat molecules.”
    “You are so weird.”
    “I don’t

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