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248 pages, Hardcover
First published August 4, 2020
They were girlfriends, yes, but who could they even go and say that to? And if you didn’t tell other people, was it real or was it just something the two of you were telling yourselves?
It was impossible not to miss him when I was with her; it was as if someone had driven a shovel into my chest, then levered it out again, taking up all it could hold, leaving a screaming mess behind.
Somto swiped a fingerful of icing from another and licked it. "You don't have to eat the whole thing," she said. "She still hasn't learned how to put a normal amount of sugar in them."
I put the cupcake down and shook my head. "I can feel my teeth rotting already."
Olunne leaned over and picked the sugar dragonfly off the cupcake, popping it into her mouth. That was how we found each other again, in a blocked-off room filled with yellowing light: two bubblegum fairies there to drag me out of my cave, carrying oversweet wands. I don't know how deep I would have sunk if not for them. I wish I'd told them more often how much that mattered to me.
Rest in Peace
Vivek Nnemdi Oji
And every day it was difficult, walking around and knowing that people saw me one way, knowing that they were wrong, so completely wrong, that the real me was invisible to them. It didn’t even exist to them.
So: If nobody sees you, are you still there?