I Love You, Beth Cooper
by Larry Doyle
Behind her. Behind her. Be-hind her," Rich incanted, like a poorly written television attorney. "She never saw you."
Rich stepped back for his close-up.
"You don't exist."
This was a persuasive argument. Denis knew what it felt like to not exist, and didn't much care for it. He doubted it would hold much sway with Dr. Henneman, who existence nobody doubted. He scanned his memory again, for even the slightest scrap of logic behind this monumental blunder, and there was Rich again.
"If you don't do this," Rich said, pausing to imply quotation marks before croaking out of the side of his mouth in a quasi-tough-guy voice:
"You will regret it, maybe not today, maybe not tomorrow, but soon and for the rest of your life."
"What?" Denis said.
"Instead, she bowed her head and whispered, Drugs?"
"Oh? No," Denis flustered, "not drugs. They're whack," quoting a health education video that could use some updating. "No, by influence, I meant my thinking process was influenced, negatively impacted, by which I mean....Rich Munsch."
Dr. Henneman smiled. This would be perfect for her blog, The UnCertainty Principal, the twelfth most popular high school principal blog in the state.
Dennis watched horror-struck as, across the cafeteria, Kevin was introducing Cammy and Treece to two of his army buddies.
Beth and Kevin were being officially inducted into a social circle. Soon they would become Beth & kevin, then Beth'n'Kev, and eventually Bevin.
It did not look good for Deneth.
Denis took a calcaneus to the temple. He staggered backward into a corner, trapped. So this was it: boned to death in his own room. Not exactly the tragedy he had always dreamed about. He thought of his mother finding his bloody pulped remains, and then he thought of that copy of Celebrity Sleuth: Women of Fantasy 15 on the floor, lying open to topless shots of Kristanna Loken, the Terminatrix. Embarrassing. If he had time, he would try to eat the magazine before he died.