Mona Lisa

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Her name was Mona Lisa. She never smiled or talked, yet she captivated me. She could’ve been the most popular girl in school if she wanted to. Mona was definitely not lacking in the looks department. She had porcelain-white skin that made her seem delicate and breakable. Her dark red hair made Mona look paler than she actually was. Mona’s fine, dainty features never showed any expression at all.

When she first came to this school two years ago, the boys chased her all the time. She had this way of blowing them off that left everyone stunned. Mona would give them one cold look with her otherwise expressionless gray eyes, then turn on her heel and walk briskly yet gracefully away. Everyone’s mouths would drop and they would be dead silent for a few minutes, then go about their business.

I never went near her. I never even flashed a grin. I was always afraid she’d give me that cold stare and I’d be banned from her life forever.

“Lucian?” Mr. Greene asked, sounding irritated. I snapped back to reality.

“Yes, sir?”

“Did you hear the question?”

I blushed slightly. “No, sir.”

“What’s the atomic symbol for gold?”

I racked my brain for an answer, staring at my closed science book as if it would suddenly appear.

“Au,” a soft, musical voice whispered so that only I could hear it. My heart skipped a beat. I turned to look at the person who spoke. Mona. She gave me a look that made me turn back to Mr. Greene and repeat her answer. He nodded and went back to his review of the periodic table of elements. I only half-listened, still stunned that Mona had spoken to me.

When the bell rang for lunch, I slung my bag over my shoulder and walked to the cafeteria in a daze. I went through the line and got my tray of food before sitting down at my usual table with my friends. That’s when I noticed Mona sitting by herself at an empty table in the darkest corner of the cafeteria.

“Hey guys, I think I’m gonna sit somewhere else today,” I said, a bit distracted.

Mike looked up. He was my closest friend and also one of the people who had been snubbed by Mona. “With whom?” he asked quickly, narrowing his eyes. I always told him about every crush I had. Except the one on Mona of course. I hadn’t confided any lately.

I shrugged. “I dunno. Just somewhere else for a change.”

“Okay then,” he said warily. I could feel his eyes on my as I picked up my tray and crossed the room to Mona’s table. She didn’t look up from her book as I sat down across from her. I noticed she only had an apple and a soda.

Twice I opened my mouth to say something and twice it closed. I was still afraid I’d get blown off. “Um…. Hi,” I finally managed to say.

Mona looked up at me now. I couldn’t tell what she was thinking. She lowered her book slightly. “Hello.” Her voice was still soft, musical, and expressionless.

I was relieved and surprised that I didn’t get the look I feared. “Th-thanks for helping me in science class. I don’t exactly pay as much attention as I should.” I thought I saw the corners of her mouth twitch but it was just my imagination.

“I know,” she said simply, looking back down at her book. “Your friends want you to sit with them.”

I was surprised but looking back at the table I had just come from; I saw that she was right. I blew a stray strand of black hair out of my face as I turned to her. “Well I don’t want to sit with them today.”

Surprise and another emotion I couldn’t recognize flitted across her face but she hid it before she thought I could see. “You’re nuts.”

“Probably.”

“Why?”

“Because I want to know you.”

“Why?”

“Because you don’t want me to. Or anyone else for that matter.”

She took a deep breath as if to keep herself from showing any more emotion. “What do you want to know?”

“Who are you?” I asked. I really wanted the answer.

Mona paused and closed her eyes for a moment. She opened them again and looked at me. “I’m not sure.”

“Okay. Then there’s one more thing.”

“What?”

“Do you want to hang out at the mall after school?”

Mona Lisa smiled. “Yes.”





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