Ms. Affinia

For gnarling sorrow hath less power to bite
The man that mocks it and sets it light

(quoting John of Gaunt (part of Ms. Affinia’s
Shakespeare study of the Life and Death
of Richard the Second)

Ms. Affina was Chip’s 10th grade English teacher. She saw such potential in Chip, she loved him. Not with the 21st century vulgar type of teacher-student love. She loved him in that she wanted what was best for him. She wanted to cut out the gnarling weed that was choking him and water what was left and watch it grow.

“Why such a long face, Chip?” Ms. Affinia asked.

“Nothing really,” Chip answered.

“You know I love you and want what’s best for you, right?”

“… I love you, but I never loved this town. This town was always inward-looking. Always looking at itself in a mirror. Afraid to breathe. Afraid that if it breathed out someone else might breathe up all its air. That it might suffocate….”

### Brandon L. Blankenship

It Just Fits

I want to go to Chicago, a city like Chicago,” Chip said.

“What’s so special about Chicago?” Christy asked.

“It fits,” Chip answered.

“But how is it different from here?”

“This place just doesn’t fit me. Doesn’t fit you either. This town fits most people here, fits most people like clothes their momma made ’em. But not us.”

“I don’t know. … It seems to fit me pretty good. What does Chicago have that we don’t got?”

“You don’t get it. You’ve never been there. It ain’t that it’s got this or that. It’s that it fits. It just fits.”

### Brandon L. Blankenship