{ Saturday, July 16, 2011 }
August. Sun blazing, a sweltering day. The first day. Walking up the stairs timidly, taking a seat at the front of the room. Some kid is trying to strike up awkward small talk, to my relief it fizzles. Sitting down, looking around, wringing hands, looking down, the rest of them filter in. And then came you.
Aware of every atom of my being; every molecule is magnetized. And you were unaware.
Times passes, mental notes are taken -- the usual five minute late shuffle, the shyness. The eyes. Everything processed and locked away in the trunk of my mind.
And then came the glimpses.
Convinced they were fictitious, a figment of the hopeful imagination. But no, no -- that subtle but apparent upward curl of the lip, it gave you away.

Weeks, weeks, months -- no words.

Crisp leaves, slicing-through-your-lungs air. Procrastinating, leaving, you wind up next to me. Hands shaking, eyes darting. Close proximity. Say something. I ask something obvious I already know the answer to, eyes down. Burning. Kindness is returned. Thoughtful, slow words; eyes darting in nervous patterns. The only two left. 'Goodbye,' and I am addressed by name. I leave, heart pounding in my ears the entire way home.

Ice on the ground. Wordless weeks on end, no words -- the last week. The final week. Standing in the hall, fiddling with the phone. Body heat. Standing unnervingly close. You say nothing. I don't move. You make me so nervous. Leaving, leaving, gone.
The first half is over. Christmastime, home bound. "Good," I thought. Writing you off in permanent ink. Praying to never see you again. I don't think of you.

Return, to repeat. The same old routine with a new set of faces. I don't think. I don't wonder.
You surface.
Wait, you know my name? You remember? I turn around, you. Uttering a weak excuse of a greeting. Appetite deserts me -- it all rushes back and engorges my chest.

Pressing fast forward. Wait, you got my number? Corresponding, corresponding daily. Laughing, relating, relaxing. Sitting on the bathroom floor, mesmerized, hanging on to every word. Smiling doesn't stop, no, I fall asleep smiling, and I sometimes wake up that way too.
"No, no -- this cannot be real. For things like this do not happen to girls like me."
Sitting, benches. Talking, talking, more talking. A hand grazes my knee and I am paralyzed.

Fast forward more, more, more. Visits, talking, I breathe you in, magnetism. 3 a.m., and hesitation hangs so thickly.
No, wait, wait. My bed -- on my bed, in my bed, arms around waists, hands intertwined. Breathy whispers. Equal responses. My hand grazes your chest. I am so scared.
I tightly close my eyes.
"No, no -- this cannot be real. For things like this do not happen to girls like me."
Eyes open, you are still there. Pulling closer, stroking my face, my hair. "You're beautiful..." I pull you close and unite our eager lips. Falling asleep happy, innocent.
Wake up, kisses on shoulder blades. Creamy coffee. The sun rises and falls all over again, but the world looks much different now.
Walking in the moonlight, high heels in one hand, the other intertwined in yours.
Repeat, repeat. "You're beautiful..." You pull my hand down, I pull away. The contradictory action stings; you are a fallen god.

Fast forward, zooming onwards. Your place, so detailed, impressed. 2 a.m. "No, no...I should really be getting back." No, no, we're on the bed. In the bed. No hesitations, passionate, heated, urgency abound. Unbuttoning, silky soft skin. Kicking off the sheets, peeling off the shirt. Taking you in blindly, it's so, so dark. Hands memorizing your every contour, like a work of art. More and more, so much compromise -- ignoring pangs of guilt that shroud the room.
Breathing. "I can't, I can't." My faith, "I can't." Kissing me so deeply, "I can't." I wonder where you learned that, "I can't."
"No, no -- this cannot be real. For things like this do not happen to girls like me."
Sunshine burns the eyes. Sizzling skillets, kitchen table banter. Holding, and then returning me.

Days fly to the end of weeks. Talking, talking, talking. It's always repeat, repeat, repeat. "You're so beautiful..." no control, so much control -- so different than what I perceived. Astrological.
More, more, more of you.

Balmy air now, and the songs of birds. Walking to the car, goodbye for now. Plans. Sunrise drives down the interstate, long car rides. Wait, when did we hit the coast? Sand gets in my mouth, my eyes, waves are crashing, fading. The radio plays on repeat, eventually fading. We are fading.


Fast forward; this time it's the last time. Alone. Bitter heart, head down, walking, walking, walking. Past that first place on the first day where the first sight was had. Past the crosswalk I walked hand-in-hand. Headphones blaring, I see a mirage. Yes, it has to be a mirage. I'm praying it is.
No, just you.
Approaching, approaching, close, so close.
Heart pounding. Looking down, side to side, anything but ahead.
For a second time lags, eyes lock, sear into me, weak and half hearted smiles are given.
No words, just like before.
Only a glimpse, just like before.
Strangers, just like before.
"No, no -- this cannot be real. For things like this do not happen to girls like me."