Zoology class. Patricia pays attention. Pays attention like she’s got credit cards full of it. All the plastic attention you can handle.
The rest of the class pays attention to Patricia, the tight American Eagle t-shirt even more tight over her melon belly. Chatter over her shoulder, food chain chatter at the front of the room where Mrs. Evans explains and explains. Chatter in Patricia’s head so that she can almost hear her thoughts in her throat, real words vibrating downward.
She raises her hand and Mrs. Evans calls on her without looking away from the caged boa propped on the edge of her desk.
“Can a baby inside of you hear what you’re thinking?”
Mrs. Evans says nothing and does not call down the kids laughing at the back of the room. Instead, she takes a white mouse from a box the class prepared the day before. Tiffany stabbed holes in the sides and top so the mice could live long enough to die.
Patricia raises her hand again but Mrs. Evans and the rest of the class watch the mouse and the snake. She writes a note instead and resharpens her pencil.