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Don't Cross the Line

Everyday, they rode the same bus. Everyday, she sat down in seat 13 next to her friend exactly 12 minutes and 47 seconds after he sat down in seat 14. Everyday, she put her frilly pale blue bag on the floor under the seat and swooshed her hair so a breeze of almond flew right toward him. Everyday, he stared at her out of the corner of his eye until the bus reached the campus. Everyday, she picked up her bag, dusted off the bottom, and waltzed perfectly down the stairs and into the distance. Everyday, he was heartbroken.

Everyday, they rode the same bus. Everyday, she sat down in seat 13 next to her friend, laughing as she put her favorite blue bag under the seat. Everyday, she glanced toward him, in seat 14, and saw his eye peeking at her. Everyday she talked about everything but him until the bus reached the campus. Everyday, she picked up her bag, dusted off the bottom, and stumbled to the stairs and into classes. Everyday, she was heartbroken.

This day, though, was different. This was new! 12 minutes, 14 seconds. The door closed. Her barely discernible distraught eyes searched empty seat 13, then landed on his eyes. He quickly looked down, even though he had dreamed of this moment for eons, it seemed. 12 minutes, 36 seconds. What was taking her so long? The driver yelled for her to take her seat. But she didn’t take her seat, seat 13. She took his seat, right next to him. He didn’t look at her. He hoped she wasn’t looking at him.

This day, though, was different. This was new! The door squealed shut behind her. Her eyes gazed across her empty seat, where her friend wasn’t. And then she saw his eyes, his perfect gray eyes, the exact shape of almonds. He looked away, afraid. The pause in the aisle made the driver mad. The driver yelled for her to take her seat. She shuffled to the seventh row, but she didn’t take her seat, seat 13. She took his seat, right next to him. She looked at him. She wished he would look at her.

He smelled like hard work and grape vines. Why hadn’t he thought to bathe before he got on the bus? Now she would hate him for sure. Smelling bad. She wouldn’t want to ever sit by him. She wouldn’t want to come with him home. She wouldn’t want to cross the line.

He smelled like hard work and grape vines. Why was this the best scent in the world? Now she knew she loved him for sure. Smelling beautiful. She wanted to sit by him forever. She wanted to go home with him. But she wouldn’t be allowed to cross the line.




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