It’s a year after it was revealed that the aformentioned Decathlon captain had been the daughter of acclaimed criminal “Vulture,” the news broadcasted like a mouse dangling from a wire to the press. Branded with shame and grief, Liz’s mother removed her daughter from her district-assigned school. It had been rumored that they were moving to Oregon. An empty locker is left abandoned with a magnet mirror on the inside door, the sticky white paper leftover of a scraped-off sticker, and there will be a yearbook picture without a predecessor.
Liz and her mother relocated promptly after the end of her father’s hearing—him requesting that neither be present during; whether it be by shame, regret, dignity, or all is unknown. Liz will be tranferring to a different school, she told, her mother working to maintain a clean professional slate, and dodging peeving journalist, hooded, skeptical eyes, the awkward, heavy pauses once discovering her last name. The woman is in the process of legally changing her daughter’s last name to her maiden one, and getting new documentation to match.
Vulture’s trial had been all over the news, because of course it’s worth the spot of the eleven o'clock news that New York’s own spider superhero had been the one to take down the vicious Vulture.
Because of course.
Michelle knows she should feel bad—she does feel bad. Partially. She had known of Liz, but the two had never been close. Never in the same social crowd. Never in the same vicinity actually, because of class, because of clubs, because of popularity and types—sometimes Michelle thinks that Liz might have felt piteous for her once—
Well that part’s a lie, probably.
Because of mixed emotions, she couldn’t force herself to feel too bad.
That, and other motives Michelle would rather not talk about because reasons. Most times, she prefers to not think of it at all.
There’s something cute and harmless and sweet about having a crush on your lab partner.
It’s almost like a rite of passage—there’s the crush on the sports player, the crush on a celebrity, and your school’s most popular, and then comes the lab partner. It’s like wearing thigh-high socks to gym class, and one’s first plum-purple hickey. It’s getting a triple ear-piercing at the mall. It’s seeing one’s first PG-13 movie unsupervised, or attending a social dance. It’s mulled aspirations of mistletoe kisses on pink-nude blushed cheeks, senior-year sleepovers that turn into valentines cut out of spiral-bound notebooks, shaped into hearts, and, words permanent, written in ballpoint Bic pens by sweaty palms. It’s a two-for-one birthday wish daydream happy ending. A reverie. It’s fun. Flirty. Innocent.
There’s nothing innocent about Michelle’s crush on Peter Parker.