I'm In Love With A Zombie But He Doesn’t Even Know I’m Alive
Look, I’ve been crushing on Armand since the sixth grade. We’re graduating next spring, so that’s pretty much a whole lifetime, in teen years. He’s never liked me back, of course. Why should the cutest guy in the school pay any attention to a geek with pimples? Even if I do have the best brains in our class. Plus I don’t even know if he likes boys.
So I guess I have the best brains except when it comes to crushing on beautiful boys with no brains and 17 girlfriends. I have to admit that’s pretty stupid.
After last month, it’s even more stupid.
You know all about that, of course. There hasn’t been much else on the news besides the virus that spread into every community in North America, turning about ten percent of the people into zombies. Those zombies wander around, looking for the living so they can suck out their brains.
You see now why it’s not so smart for the brainiest kid in the junior class to crush on Armand. Because though I’m pretty sure that being smart doesn’t actually mean I have more brains in a literal sense, what’s a zombie to think? Actually, I’m not sure that Armand recognized the “brainiest” designation as figurative even when he was alive. I’m not in love with him for his brains, just that gorgeous body.
The only thing that’s kept me alive so far is that Armand doesn’t know I am. If you didn’t follow that, it’s like this: I’m pretending to be a zombie. So Armand and the rest of the zombies don’t know I’m alive. Literally.
They shut down the school, of course, after than nasty incident in the AP class. A dozen zombies broke in and went after the top students. Lucky for me, I’d gone to the bathroom and missed the carnage, but they got a couple of my best friends. Anyway, after that the school said they couldn’t be responsible and shut down.
Now most people lock themselves in their houses from sunset to sunrise, and only go out in the day if they have to, because not all the zombies avoid the sun, and cloudy days are always chancy. Everyone sits around watching TV or cat videos on You Tube, which to me is just a long slow way of becoming a zombie. I could only stand it for about a day and half, and then I had to come up with a way to get out.
That was when I realized that zombies only attack the living, not the living dead. They wander around together all the time and never try to suck each others’ brains. If I could learn to look like a zombie, I could go where I liked, night or day. I found my sister’s makeup and practiced for a week before I felt confident, and then I started venturing out.
Of course, the first thing I did was go look for Armand, and I found him with a troop of zombies, wandering around looking for “braiiiiins.”
The movies all show the living dead as half-decayed, hideous things. But the thing is, the virus doesn’t ruin their bodies, only their minds. They’re dead, but the virus keeps the body going. So Armand looks just the way he always did, and I can’t get over that. I started hanging out with his gang just to be close to that gorgeous bod, even though I knew that if they figured out I’m alive I’d be dead.
The hardest part is to remember not to say anything but “Braiiins!” and to fade away discreetly when they find a victim. The first time I saw them attack someone, I barely managed to get out of sight before I puked. That would be a dead giveaway, and I can’t risk it happening again.
I still really, really want to suck face with Armand, but…I’m pretty sure that he only wants to suck brains. And anyway, he doesn’t know I’m alive, which is just what it’s been like since sixth grade. At least I can look at him, and sometimes I manage to rub up against him, pretending it’s just the jostling of the crowd. There don’t seem to be any more zombies forming in our town, but the crowd around Armand keeps getting bigger, which makes it hard to stay close to him, but also gives me an excuse to touch him when I do get close. Zombies seem to like company, even though they’re lousy conversationalists.
My patience finally paid off after a couple of weeks. He spoke to me! Armand turned and looked right at me and said “Brains!” Just to me. I went so weak in the knees I almost forgot to be a zombie. I’ve been waiting for him to see me, really see me, since middle school. I wanted to reach out and hold his hand, but I’ve noticed that zombies don’t do that. I’m trying really hard to fit in, and it’s working better than it did when I tried to join him at the jocks’ table in the lunchroom in 9th grade.
So there I am. I’m spending all my time with the most beautiful boy in the school, and he doesn’t even know I’m alive. And I have to be glad about that.
When you’re in love with a zombie, it really is best if he doesn’t know you’re alive.
©Rebecca M. Douglass, 2016