MUSHROOM m i n d

By Steph Raymond All Rights Reserved ©

Other / Poetry



“I totally knew that he would be into you

as soon as I saw you guys were hanging out.”

Gemma looked at her friend in disbelief,


“Those pictures from that party…

it was near Christmastime.”

“You couldn’t have, we were barely friends then.”

“I just knew he would like you.”

Cassey says matter-of-factly.

“And p.s, huge dick.”

Gemma spits out a bit of her drink and laughs,

“I know.”

“You know?!”

Nora, who’d been silent up until now finally chimed in.


Her friends looked at her with worry written all over their faces.

Gemma joined Nora for a weekend trip in the city to visit Cassey;

this was the trip which Gemma planned on confessing her new relationship to Nora,

as she and Caleb dated briefly before Gemma knew either of them. \

She wasn’t the type to take anyone’s anything…



she was never interested in crossing that line,

until now.

She supposed it felt easy to do it

because she hadn’t known them when they were together,

and also because they were still friendly acquaintances.

But she couldn’t help but carry a bit of guilt

for not having asked permission first.

“You sure you’re okay with it?”

She asks again and Nora nods her head.

“I’m honestly just worried about you…

he’s a player, I don’t want you to get hurt.”

“True.” Cassey adds,

“he’s the reason Nora and I weren’t speaking for a while.”

“I know.” Gemma says,

“It’s not serious. We’re just having fun.”

Cassey looks relieved.

“Good. That’s what he’s best for, just fun.”

Gemma felt guilty for indulging their views on Caleb.

It was true that they’ve known him much longer,

but she couldn’t help but feel they might be wrong about him…

that they didn’t truly know him.

He was not like the others-

not someone everyone knew how to understand.

His mind was different than most people’s,

and while Gemma held a deep appreciation for it,

she knew not everyone did.

But she’d been the fool too many times in the past

to allow herself to become part of another game

without knowing.

“So, Kevin was pretty into you at dinner,”

Cassey changes the subject,

“He asked me for your number…

If you and Caleb are just having fun,

you should text him. Kevin is a really great guy.”

“Who we talking about?”

Nora’s boyfriend comes into the room.

“Kevin.” Nora answers.

“Yupp, good guy. You gonna go out with him?”

Gemma’s stomach sinks.

How could she tell them that she has no interest in anyone else

without seeming a fool about the whole thing?

“I don’t think so.”

“Why not?”

The boyfriend asks and Nora tells him that she’s seeing Caleb.

“Caleb Caleb? Like that Caleb?”

Nora rolls her eyes,


“Go out with Kevin,

he’s a good guy for you,

and I bet his dick’s bigger.”

Cassey laughs,

Gemma stays quiet

and Nora’s eyes widen.


Like Caleb’s got a huge dick or something?”

Nora tries to keep a smirk down but can’t, which makes them all erupt in laughter.

“Awh, fuck that.” He says and leaves the room.

Gemma couldn’t tell if he was joking or not,

and decided she didn’t want to talk about any of it anymore.

The truth was, this time away from Caleb

was making her understand what he meant to her..

.what his presence did for her

and his a b s e n c e too.

She realized quickly that he’d been the first person outside of Kylee to give her the

s p a c e

to be herself.

With others she was always in her own head,

but with him she was here

and real


a l i v e

She was used to wanting space—

to solitary ways

and a

- d e t a c h e d –


The more she knew Caleb,

the more the world around her changed

…colors were brighter and life felt exciting.

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