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The Walking Stick
Meela applied the red lipstick to her boring lips. This would be the day he would notice her. He would see her red lips and want to kiss them. Walking to her last class, Meela was jittery. This is the class where she saw him, and today he would see her. She walked in and instantly her eyes went to him. He appeared to be looking in her direction, but Meela wasn’t sure. His eyes were hidden behind a pair of midnight-black sunglasses. She had never seen him without them, and Mr. Warner never told him to remove them. No one did.
Predictably, Vannah Colt was emphatically moving her head as she talked so her waist-length mane flowed in every direction. She looked like she had done a Pantene commercial before class. Keisha Jones sasayshed to his desk. Her voluptuous buttocks moving as if it had a mind of its own. Carla Rogers, desperately, sat on his desk. Her kiwi-green eyes twinkling. Isabel Sanders sucked on a grape lollipop, over emphasizing the use of her lips and tongue. Meela watched as they crowded around him. He kept them all entertained. He must have said something funny because Carla almost fell off his desk, laughing and Isabel choked on her lollipop.
“They are all pathetic.”
Meela turned to see Lea-Ann Walters standing over her desk. No one liked Lea-Ann, and with good reason. Lea-Ann was an arrogant, know-it-all who said and did what she pleased. Meela assumed that Lea-Ann must have liked the taste of butt because she was constantly kissing their teacher’s. Meela ignored her.
“They are so hungry for attention; they would try and get it from a blind man.”
At first, Meela thought Lea-Ann was making some kind of figurative expression. Lea-Ann was known for that, but something about Lea-Ann’s tone of voice sounded literal.
“Leo is... blind?” Meela asked in a whisper. Lea-Ann’s face held a “duh” expression.
“You thought he wore sunglasses to shield his eyes from the fluorescents in the class room?” “And...” Lea-Ann didn’t finish the sentence with words instead she pointed to a spot by Leo’s desk. Meela’s eyes followed Lea-Ann’s finger. There was a white stick by his desk. A walking stick. Meela’s red lips parted and hung open. Lea-Ann walked off with a smirk. Just then, Mr. Warner walked through the door.
“Sorry I’m late, my meeting ran over. Go ahead and take out your homework. Someone put number one on the board.” Lea-Ann got up hastily, tripping on her own Converse to get to the board. Of course. Meela heard nothing in class that day. She kept sneaking peeps at Leo. A few times, Leo’s head was cocked in her direction. Although his dark shades curtained his eyes, he seemed to be watching her. Meela’s eyes kept dropping to the stick, she was sure she had never seen it before.
The final bell rang. Meela took her time gathering her things so she could be the last one to leave. She hitched her bag over shoulder, and headed to the exit. Meela didn’t realize she had tripped until her lips smashed into the dirty, cold linoleum floor.
“S***,” she spat out the word and blood. Meela ran her tongue over her teeth to make sure they were all present.
“I’m so sorry,” someone said.
Meela saw the white stick first. Then, she saw him. Leo. Meela immediately felt self-conscious. She had just got punched in the mouth by the floor. Meela could feel old lipstick smudges and drying droplets of blood on her cheeks. She dismissed her embarrassment. Something told her Leo wouldn’t judge her. He strategically lowered himself and felt around too help her up. In the process, his black shades clattered to the floor. Meela couldn’t help staring at the murky blue-gray color of Leo’s eyes. Meela’s goldfish’s eyes had looked that way after it had been dead for three days.
“Are you hurt?” Leo asked.
“Uhh yeah, but I’ll be okay.” Meela stammered.
Despite his eyes, Meela still found him unnervingly attractive. She handed him his glasses and his stick, and hoisted herself off the floor. Awkwardly, they began to walk down the hall together. The sound of the stick treading the floor echoed off the lockers. It was the only sound that could be heard, that and the silence.
“I rarely use this thing, so I’m not use to it yet.” Leo offered.
“Oh” was all Meela could manage. Besides, her puffy lips were growing more and more swollen by the minute, she was tongue tied. Meela had fantasized about talking to Leo since he had transferred to her school a couple of weeks ago. She had never planned on what she would say. More treading. More silence.
“I am glad you fell.” Leo chuckled. If it wasn’t for the fact that she liked him and that he was blind, she probably would have made his lip look like hers.
“Why?” She demanded.
“Thanks to my stick, I finally got you to notice me.” Leo smirked.
Meela smiled, tasting a combination of blood and lipstick.