Girl I Hate

by A. Georgi

LAST year
there was this girl I grew to

I had always heard this expression
and wondered about it
but I really did
grow to hate her like a pair of ill-fitting shoes.

I saw her everywhere.

Once she was next to me in the
elevator, waving her hands
around and taking
up space.
She was talking and staring
up at this guy
and covered in glitter.
She was going on about
some bar she had been to
and she kept using the word
''quaint'' until I burst from
the elevator into
the air
and lay panting
against the snack machine.

Another time she bumped
into me on the street
in the winter.
She was wearing a brightly
colored scarf and she
whirled around and smiled and exhaled
and said ''sorry'' like she was
full of the grace of God.

Maybe I never knew hate until that moment.

The last time I saw her
was in the deli
flirting with the guys that worked there
and hanging up fliers for her band.
On this occasion,
my hands shook
and I actually ran from the store
filled with unbearable rage.

This year I haven't seen her.
People ask,
''Hey, have you seen that girl you hate?'' because
I actually told people about it,
hoping they would sympathize.

''No,'' I say and sigh
and think of angrier times.

It doesn't really matter, really, why
I hated her.
It matters
that I did and still do

and that, right there,
is something I can hold close to me
and cherish forever.

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