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My Head Has Thoughts Ed sits on a pull out mattress, which acts as his every day bed, while staring at the number that just popped up on his phone. He sits there while Lil Wayne’s Lollipop plays on repeat. The delightful tune just won’t stop. I scoot myself closer to him in hopes of catching a glimpse of who he is obnoxiously texting while in my presence. It reads Sophie. Followed by a bagillion kissy face emojicons. “Dude, you talk to her?” Stunned to say the least. Ed puts his phone to silent, the look of regret takes over his suppressed face. He flips his phone open once more, waiting to feel the vibrations and song pop on. He then retracts his past move, and sets the volume to a high. “I honestly forgot about her existence,” I say, lying a bit. “I mean, it is shocking. Sophie Kolster is talking to you -- Edward Elan Folds III!” I abuse him till he falls in between his pillow and radiator. “Wait we are talking about Kolster, right?” “How could you forget her? She was the prettiest girl in high school.” He wisely, once again retracts his move. “I mean besides you, obviously. I mean you will always be my favorite girl from Woodrow. But, you know what I mean.” And I did know what he meant, Sophie was beautiful. I definitely had had a double take moment once or twice with her as she passed by me in the hallway. I’d even triple check the yearbook to see if she was homecoming queen five years ago. Yeah she was one of those girls. And I just happened to be one of those girls that kind of just plays volleyball and is only friends with guys and gets that reputation of being the school’s dyke. I don’t think I would change high school Hannah if I could, 14 year old Hannah is actually a lot like 23 year old Hannah to be honest. However, I got new nose, which I definitely don’t regret. “We ran into each other the other day at the deli up the street,” he slowly began after a stilled silence. “She looks better than ever. She brought back the bangs from middle school. I’ve always gone crazy over those bangs.” He was basically drooling looking out the window to the left of the brick house behind his place. “Remember?” He said whispering, “She lives right over there.” I did remember, he had mentioned it once but probably more. “Oh yeah, remember that time she had that massive party at her place senior year and well we just sat in this very room watching Earth Girls are Easy?” He shook his head in disbelief, but with a smile. He went back to the window and looked out for more. “If you keep doing that she will see you eventually.” His droopy oval eyes widen as he relived the memories of his stalker days. The flashbacks, one after another, flying at him, reflections almost visible through his retina. After an intense shrill, he ran and tackled me onto his bed. His embrace was smothering; he hadn’t much practice at ball. Our eyes met amongst the hustle bustle. Ed’s eyes twitched as his tongue got stuck on something. He quickly stood up and brushed his hands off and then on the side pockets of his cargos. “Eddy?” He was no longer facing me. His eyes were red, dilated at best. Eventually Ed moved towards his banister which held all of an undergrad’s necessities: pens, checkbook, textbooks, and the iPod nano. He grabbed his nano and started to blast some Breaking Benjamin. He outstretched his arm and excused himself to the bathroom. Ed’s room is so filthy, I mean filthy. I would define it as a doghouse. Boredom had struck me after checking my phone once then twice and I start to fold his clothes. Organizing one hoodie after the next.

Under one hipster Aztec sweater I found our Woodrow high school yearbook. I immediately flip to my picture. God I was so fucking weird. And it doesn’t help that after the eight prints that they had taken, they picked the ugliest one. I wish someone had told me that bleach blond hair does not look good on girls with ghostly skin. And right beneath my photo I signed my name with something along the lines that I never wished to see his face after graduation. I’m just that nice. On the page beside me stood Morrison, the hottest guy at school. Morrison is one of those guys that no one found attractive but was the kid with the most potential. He had these crazy cheekbones and black eyes. His eyebrows could easily spilt someone’s self-esteem in half, and they did. Ed is on the next few pages over, He looked really handsome. He had his hair in a comb over, all gelled back. I remember we had the option to vote for prom king and queen, and Ed and I made a pact to win, but we got a total of three votes, the additional vote was from the janitor, we gave him a cupcake. “What the hell Hannah?” “What?” his sweatpants have wet streaks leaking down the center. “Dude that’s so gross.” “It’s from me washing my hands, you smartass. Something you don’t do.” “It’s funny cause it’s true.” We both laugh obnoxiously loud. Instead of continuing to question why I was bringing up more of our high school careers he sat down on his fluffy pillow pet beside. We sat quietly reminiscing over our personal experiences with each and every person within these pages. We fingered past kids we used to consider our best friends in our clique but now we can’t even recall if they are still in town, still alive for that matter. Ed would look across to me as I would look to him as we passed pictures of the potheads and now just feel like assholes. “Dude – we’re worse than Robby ever was. Remember when they checked his locker that one time? His parent’s were so pissed that day. Ha thinking about it every time I see his folks they give me that typical ‘shame on you’ face, like I’m the one who peer pressured him into the thug life. Oh no honey, it wasn’t me. The thug life chose your son.” He kept flipping pages without acknowledging my chronic laughter. Maybe it’s because we’re in his house talking about pot, which I comprehend but his parents won’t hear about it, they’re not even home for God’s sake, at least I think. Oh no the poor little boardwalk hermit crab might hear that little Eddie like to smoke a bowl once and a while. But I think I got the full picture once he slowed the page turning upon hitting the Ks. Kolster knew how to work the platinum blonde hair unlike me in high school. Which you wouldn’t expect from ginger born child, or at least I didn’t expect. She has the best of both worlds, a Jewish father with an Irish mother. If I could be able to drink on a budget I’d be a happy twenty two year old. The pearls that hung from her neck looked like a vintage piece from the archives of Gallway, a very nice place I hear. The pearls shimmered over this beautiful black laced probably couture gown from Milan. “That’s definitely the most coverage her breast have ever witnessed. Do you guys feel smothered?” I elbowed him in the rib and he hurled forward, eyes remaining microscope focused on Sophie. “Stop being envious that I am going to tap the one and only.” His eyes closed and he looked freed. Possibility kept our friendship a float. Ed could talk to me relentlessly for hours about how he might one day win the quick pick and what his intentions would be at the age of let’s say forty seven and how high the damned democrats would have made the tax rate at that point in our lives. And it went on, high winded, like that, for hours. “I’m going to go find her in about a matter of minutes and tell her she has a stalker on her hands. Dude, you guys don’t even hang out! Wait – do you?” He smiled with his eyes still closed. Rolling from right to left, ten left to right. “Good luck Hannah.” He said laughing out of pure bliss. “North Carolina is a long way from Rhode Island.” “Excuse me, what?” “What? Yeah she left for Myrtle Beach this morning. She told me she would call me before she hit up this Drag Club they have there.”

“Are you now a Drag Queen? Wait how did you even get a hold of her number?” Across from me was a man who looked like he was high off of ecstasy fondling a liter worth of Bacardi. For your information we have yet to break it open. They both felt the need to be used, one I felt bad for. Leaning forward to light the Wedding scented candle, Ed glared at me and simply stated “no.” as if he was being accused of not picking up his beagle’s shit. “And to answer the latter part of your question. Remember I ran into her at the deli? While I was happening to pour myself some French Roast coffee when she snuck up behind me and asked if I could fill up hers as well.” A match made in an emo girl’s fantasy we both telepathically thought. “And the rest is history.” Transparency was something more than a rare occurrence in our relationship. We once had a heart to heart after my term paper wasn’t going to be accepted because my laptop crashed more than half way finished on the day prior to deadline. Ed tried to convince me everything would be alright, which hadn’t been the case, but also that procrastination was something that needed to be mended in the future. Ed soon became occupied with his Nintendo leaving me alone at his desk. I skimmed through his Wells Fargo letters, and American Express cards. Both of these letters might contain the paradoxical nature of why he is single. Looking at the numbers on that Wells Fargo bill made me want to run home and hug my mother for not making me study hard every night so I could get into Providence. My public education in comparison to Ed’s almost-ivy school education both have us working at a dollar above minimum wage, in a work setting accompanied by teenagers. The only perk I could assume is that his degree laid him a job at a market instead of like me, in retail. My Facebook app kept staring me in the eye. ‘Come. Open me up.’ The amount of time I stay on that damn site is ridiculous. I peek over my shoulder to see that Ed now has a sea foam green sweater on and is lying on his tummy, the opposite direction of me. On the clear to stalk. But Sophie’s Facebook is private and since our friendship is still Pending I hack onto Ed’s hoping they are really that tight. Once I type in our favorite pizzeria I am in the system. He has three notifications which is pretty staggering knowing how deceased Facebook has become this past year. I go straight to the tab and as soon as the ‘SO’ is typed, her name and face is top priority. She hasn’t had any action on her page for a few months which is shocking. Maybe she doesn’t hate me, maybe she just hasn’t had the opportunity to view the beautiful friend request on her dashboard yet. But upon further ninja work I noticed she has been active on the site. She’s on now, right this second. I click her picture on the chat tab. She looks adorable in the photo which has been tampered with. Do you really need to put a sepia effect on each one of your photos in the twenty first century? We all know you are taking that selfie from your MacBook Pro darling. On a less mean girl’s note I began to scroll up the descending words of conversations between the two. After about 30 seconds of scrolling through awkward first interaction type of conversation my phone is dragged to the bottom. New Message: Sophie Kolster. It’s as if it’s a major hurricane warning is being sent. Grab Your Children and Scram, Now! Sophie: Hey boo. Oh my God. Is she that ditsy or are they actually that progressed? I’m going to assume it’s the first but I can imagine Ed exploding, both figuratively and physically after reading that. Instead of being a proper human and signing out of his account I decide to respond. After all, if Sophie saw that Ed saw her message and then decided to log out she might become suicidal, that’s speaking from previous feels. Ed: Sup Yes that’s exactly how Ed would reply to such a sweet message, he and all the men in Woodrow to be exact. I need to move. After a slight pause another message appears. Sophie: Still at the club. It’s so much fun and you were right they really are the best at lip syncing! I tried to call you earlier but I don’t know what happened. I look over to the big bozo and he is still in the same position. As he lays there, his legs spread apart forming a large X, I think of him in his secret drag clothes. He would be one of those to jock Beyoncé and say his performance name has been Sasha Fierce way before that cum stain stole it from him. “Alive over there?” I yell as Mrs. Folds walks by and peeks her gaunt figure within the doorframe and shrugs her shoulders. Wow, she is home. She waves to me without making a single noise. Her smile is so contagious, she and Ed both share the same infectiously cryptic face. Ed: I’m with Hannah from High School. She’s the best.

If I wasn’t already going to be in trouble I was now. She answered within seconds after I had placed the phone on the desk to take a sip out of my Blue Moon. Sophie: Of course! I remember her. You guys used to eat together. Cool Noodles. Okies I’ll leave you two to your thing, tell her I say hi, ttyl. I would like to think she was envious of me but I think that would automatically makes me seem weird for thinking of her thoughts. Instead of just responding simply txt you later or talk to you soon I immediately log off. Ed’s form expands extensively over the queen sized mattress. The hair on his legs are erect and since he is still a boy at heart, he has no covers on him nor on the bed. No sheets, no down comforter, nothing. His silhouette engages. Silhouette is such a feminine word to use to describe such a man, mental note taken. I slowly glide through the unkempt mess, trying to avoid any bottle caps that could have possibly been left there over the past few years. As I approach his scruffy profile I see a twinkle in his eyes. Ed contorts his body till he can directly look at me. That isn’t just a twinkle but a few tears. He sets out his arms to capsize me into his bed of tears as he makes his accurate (up for debate) pirate impersonation. ‘Aargh!’ He smiles but is sobbing. He is giggling while letting out this anger. What is happening? His arms pin me to the corners of each end of the dry mattress. His armpit is shoved into my nostrils pushing them forward which if I could see from above this scene I would imagine made me look like the real deal Voldemort. I let out a gag from the lack of both deodorant and oxygen and as I do this he let’s go of my arms and is left in a cowgirl position. The tears are heavy now, looking as if no end is in sight. “Dude?” I can only say this. The only other time I dealt with Ed’s crying was when he dropped his phone into the middle of the Rockin’ Rollercoaster during our senior trip. And even then I was shitty friend and kinda just patted him on the back and told him that his phone was pretty shitty and Mrs. Folds would understand. I’m not the best at these type of things. I just quickly try and resolve it within a minute then revert the conversation to some previous topic. “Please Stop.” I beg him among his tears, and soon to be mine. He lays into me making my breast feel squished each taking its own destination. Now I at least have a solid reason to tell Ed why I am flat chested. I push him off me in fear of his mother passing by or worse his little sister seeing what could totally pass as a rape scene. But as I push he enwraps my legs with his. A uniting form is made. At least now I can breathe but Ed seems to be lacking the rhythm of his own heart. With my index finger I push his chin up to look at me. His eyes look a genuine hazel when filled out the water. I tell him this and he is unresponsive. “What’s the matter Eddy? Please talk.” He shuts his eyes tight and the waterfall ensues one after another. I see a tissue behind his head soaking up some unknown substance. I grab the beige Kleenex and begin to wipe his soaked tears to sloppy nose. He mutters something under his breath. I pull back in wonder of what I think I just heard said. But as I try he forces me in again. All I can keep saying is his name, at certain points sounding demanding and brute but within seconds wanting him to come closer and tell me what this is all really about. And as I was just about to give up on hope, Ed opens his mouth. “My head has thoughts.” As I try to understand what that even means he pulls me in closer. There is no privacy between us any longer. He feels me and I feel him without even using our hands. His lips move to move ears “That’s such a stupid place to start with Hannah I’m sorry.” He babbled on. I didn’t think it was stupid place, I always wanted to hear something like that, especially from Ed. “I have ears that hear” I say just to mock him. But then it hits me, “I have a heart that has thoughts.” I start to giggle as I think of what I’m doing and what he is about to do. What are we doing? His fingers are starting to go through the remainder of what is left after I cut my hair. His lips start to move across my face to the uniting factor. I meet him half way there. As the connection ignites he moves on top of me to where our hips become one. He collapses on me once more. “You know I have always loved you Hannah.” As he spits out these sentences one by one my legs become further entangled. “I never want to lose you.” I can feel all of him now. “You will always be here when Sophie isn’t and I love you. Hannah I love you.” Sophie. It all makes sense now. He doesn’t find me attractive what so ever. This is all about Sophie. Sophie will now be his number one female and this is his way of telling me. His lips continue moving and I can tell my non-movement has become prevalent on his side. “What’s the matter baby?” He

stuttered. He was looking at me with those eyes and as mine rose up to them, I was the one with the tears. I leave it and tell him nothing. And it continues. A kiss is the hit or miss point of a first date or the outcome of how one’s night is going to end up at some fraternity party. But in our case it is the defining zenith of our eight year friendship. Although now there is a third party who is responsible for both my happiness and deterioration. Ed could have never made this simple move, inclination of flirtation without the confidence which Kolster had instilled in him. The high school princess wins once more and I am left alone to walk home. It comes down to the fact that I am and always will be the one left. Never desirable unless needed as the fire beneath one’s sheets. Sophie Kolster, you win.