The Rules ~ A Monologue

ANNE: He's worn that exact shame shirt for the past three days. I shouldn't be noticing that. I'm not supposed to be noticing that--I'm not even supposed to be looking at him.

But still, the same shirt, for three days? The armpits must be black by now. Does anyone know what man-hormones smell like? Probably like his hair: Cheap hotel shampoo, peppermint dandruff conditioner.

I haven't smelled his hair or anything. I'm not supposed to. It's in her rules. I can't look at him, or smell his dandruff-peppermint hair. Or notice that he's worn the same shirt for three days. I can't tap him on the shoulder, watch him smile, or melt when I hear him talk. It's in the rules. His name can't exist anywhere on my binder or in my head--she'll know. And I definitely, definitely can't sneak out to the choir room at seven o' clock Wednesday nights, press my ear to the glass, and listen to him sing.

It's in the rules.

Still. Three days?

The rules don't say I can't give him money for a laundromat.