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The long tables in the cool, spacious library support a good fifty students laboriously pouring over Biology AP textbooks and Shakespeare’s Hamlet. Okay let’s face it, most of them flip indifferently through magazines or scan the school newspaper for a familiar face or try to secretly soak up the entirety of Hamlet Spark Notes as the librarian skulks around in disappointment.

But she’s looking at me. She’s looking at me like she knows me. She probably does. Those Dumbo ears have to be good for something; she probably heard about my perfect championship-winning catch last Friday that made the front page of the paper; it even featured a headshot of me kissing the gleaming trophy. Since then everyone has been stopping to talk to me, even people I don’t know. I don’t mean to be bitter, but why does every girl think that one simple “hello” accompanied by a smile equates a sturdy friendship of ten years that’s seen us through good and bad? You know the kind of friendship that destiny sublimates into love one fateful day. Always taking hints that don’t exist, always thinking romance is waiting just on the next bright aisle, hers to simply pick up and throw into that clanking metal basket with a seriously crooked wheel. Do I look like a bright box of Lucky Charms? Last time I looked in the mirror I was a reasonably handsome eighteen-year-old with such dark brown eyes that no one seemed able to penetrate them—too risky, they might not get out. No hint of a green suit or top hat, or fiery red hair for that matter. Okay so I may be a bit vertically challenged, but a leprechaun? Really?

How can she possibly know me? No one knows me, or if they do they don’t understand me. I’ll have to remind myself to grimace and look away next time I see a buck-toothed-forever-21-shopping-wanna-be, for both of our sakes. She’d be much better off not fantasizing about our warm summer nights and cool fall days together, or the big brown teddy bear I would get her for our sixth monthaversary. A girl can dream, just not about me. And I would be much better off not wasting my time figuring out how to not break her heart when I tell her about my “insanely jealous supermodel girlfriend from Iceland.”

“We can still be friends,” I’ll say, hoping she’ll hate me enough to just leave me alone. Ah well, here she comes, sauntering up trying to make that fifteen dollar sale miniskirt look like a million bucks. I don’t think any outfit can look like a million bucks in a busy high school hallway, but she’s actually trying. And that hairdo, who even does that braid thing anymore? None of my girl friends would be caught dead in the bottom of a pond with that hairdo. But she’s smiling still. How can she be smiling like that when she just looks so desperate? Well, at least her smile’s nice, even her large teeth fit nicely between those full lips. Her eyes wrinkle a little bit, like someone just told the most hilarious joke, the thought of which lingers in her mind producing a genuine full body smile—even to that flowing miniskirt expertly accentuating her shapely legs. Okay so her ears aren’t that big now that I actually look at them. Their elongated frames fold nicely against that braid which holds closely to her perfect hairline. Did I say perfect? Just stating the facts. But that small downward point in the middle of her hairline forces my eyes, against my will, to meet hers. Well, this is awkward. Here it goes…

“Listen—“
I suddenly stop as she raises one finger to point to my heart. What is this? I look down at the delicate pointer figure poised toward my heart and notice a huge conglomeration of drool on my brand new Polo shirt, centimeters from her perfectly polished nail. I quickly wipe it away with my bulky, uncoordinated hand and look up just in time to see her settling back in with her friends, enjoying a good laugh, to feel my face burn like the red of her lips whose shape is forever branded in my memory. She knows.





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