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Sparkling Like Stars

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We had just taken an English test the block before. I remember my clammy hands, the static of my brain as I blanked out. Who was I to know all those characters in the Odyssey? On the other hand, he casually filled in the questions and handed the test in – a full twenty minutes early.

Out of the corner of my eye, I see him get out of his seat. He carries an empty plate in front of him, ready to throw it away. But suddenly, he slides into the table where I was eating lunch, “I have some questions I want to ask you about English,” he explains.

“I have some questions, too.” I say as I smile. We chat amiably. Even though this is about English, the conversation is lively.

Meanwhile, I can see my friend gesturing forcibly. Her eyes are wide, her mouth contorted in a knowing smirk.



It’s not my fault that I find his voice oddly endearing. Sometimes he is rambling and suddenly he’s confiding in the English teacher and me about his prior life a world away. It’s also not my fault that it’s oddly comfortable lapsing in silence when walking with him. It’s actually rare that we walk together – but when we do, I mince my steps, dragging the experience. Talk flows between us smoothly, flawlessly.

But it is my fault for sparkling when I talk to him about the nuances of the test, how I completely bullshitted an essay question and guessed on five of the multiple choice. It’s my fault for sparkling when he admits that he had trouble as well, huffing when I tell him I got a different answer for one of the multiple choice problems. I explain to him my thought process, and he nods, getting up to walk away.

My friend smiles knowingly behind his back.

"I ship you two." she says.



“You’re going to get together during junior year, probably. This is going to be amazing! Just don’t get friendzoned.” She rambles, ” I swear, you two are just so cute together! You sparkle so much when you’re near him, and you’re so blindingly perfect, and he’s sparkling too and you two look like you’re made of glittery golden stars!”

How do I explain that it wasn’t him that was sparkling, and it couldn't be him sparking? How do I explain that it was me?

After all, how could he like such a broken, jack-of-all-trades-master-of-all but actually master-of-none girl that sits across the room in English class? A girl that watched as he walked to lunch with a pretty, blushing girl in sparkly pink lip gloss and thick blue mascara.

The faster I admit that it'll happen, the better I will be.



He adores numbers. He can coax a formula from a jumble of numbers and symbols; he is in AP Calculus BC, a youthful face in the sea of seniors. I am merely a spectator. These labels, so binding, make me into a poet, a flutist that cannot communicate with numbers, but only with words.

“I think poetry is nonsense.” He declares one day, while I tell him I am going to a Poetry Slam. He had jokingly refused his friends requests to hurry up, wanting to me to lunch.

I glance at my poem book, and clutch it closer to my chest. It’s a pity. And to think that he had my utter respect. Cracks start to form in my high opinion of him.

But is it bad that I still admire him?



How four words can completely, flawlessly, ruin my day.




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