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Something about him
The sad manner in which he gazed outside the glass window made me want to stand up and put my arms around him. I’d then show him the other end of the dark tunnel to the light. A light that would take away the gloom. And he’d smile.
A wide gap separated us. A large cafeteria with about a thousand students. Even then, his brownish curly locks stood out. The sight of them flipped my insides.
He then turned and stood up. He grabbed his tray, almost untouched, except the open carton of chocolate milk. His head was put down as he staggered to the nearest trash can. A couple of people snickered when he almost tripped with a backpack. His face didn’t turn red but a stern look took over. He didn’t seem the least pleased with the incident.
The sudden sift in moods in him pushed me even more to discover what troubled him.
After throwing his tray away he passed right by me. Our eyes locked on each others’. My face flushed. He looked down and continued his path.
A couple of days later, I stood by Annie’s locker as she searched for a paper.
He then appeared out of the crowded halls as if by some magic trick. The sad look in his eyes wasn’t there like the other day. Instead trouble filled those charming eyes.
I noticed a purple bruise on his right arm. His shirt outlined the shape of his muscles on his arms. And I imagined myself huddled in them. A little more up and there was his tan bare skin, revealed by an open space where two buttons were supposed to be closed. He’d lean down to face me. His lips would gently brush mine. We’d pull away and he’d look down at me. My breath would be taken away. He would then hold me tightly and smile.
“Who are you looking at Laura?” Annie inquired loudly.
He turned quickly to glance at me. Something deep in his eyes sparkled. My heart lit up. I smiled at him. He blinked and looked down.
“Are you going to answer?” Annie asked impatiently.
I turned to face her but right then and there the bell rang.
My phone rang. It was my mom since I had designated her a specific ring tone (an oldies song.) That way I never talked to her with my usual “slang.” She hated it.
“Yeah Mom” I answered.
“I’m going to be back at 8’ so just heat up your dinner,” she declared with an almost demanding voice.
I sighed. “Ok.”
Then she hung up. Our conversations were never that long. She didn’t like talking to me since I reminded her of my dad. She despised him ever since he left.
“That’s a nice ringtone,” someone said behind me with a sarcastic tone. The voice sent shivers down my body.
“I turned to face him. Him. It was actually him and not some type of dream. I looked around to make sure he was talking to me. Apparently he was.
I smiled nervously. Something about him made me dizzy. Butterflies fluttered in my stomach. A sudden rush swept through my veins. A whole new person took over me. I wasn’t my usual confident girl who could talk for hours. He dominated me with his stare. I couldn’t think clearly with him at a near distance.
He shifted his weight to his other foot. I couldn’t help but notice a hole in that shoe. I wondered how he got it. That insignificant hole got me to start conceiving about him.
His eyes noticed me staring at his raggedy shoe and tried to hide it.
Then, he left without any explanation and didn’t look back. He faced up and gazed into my eyes as if he could se beyond them.
I stood there watching him go farther and farther until he disappeared in the crowd.
A week went by and he didn’t show up at school. He probably had withdrawn from school. Never again would I see his face again. His eyes looking deep into mine like if they could read my mind. The gloom and anger that appeared in his eyes.
My heart fell into an endless hole. I never imagined the huge pain one could feel when someone left. I didn’t want to think of never seeing him. Of never seeing his eyes again. Or his breath-taking smile. My entire body hurt. I didn’t want to think about that anymore.
By the end of the day I felt sick. The headache from the morning grew in intensity. I had to drag myself to keep going. Nothing made sense anymore. My eyes focused on my feet to make sure I didn’t trip on my steps.
BOOM! My head went against something. I thought my head was going to explode.
Someone’s arms wrapped around my waist and held me from falling to the ground. Those muscles in his arm rose. His body pressed against mine.
Then, I noticed a hole in this shoe. I didn’t have to tilt my head up to know it was him. My heart raced uncontrollably. He had this strange power over me no one else had. I didn’t know how he managed to create this wild feeling in me that I couldn’t even control. It was this urge to go near him.
“You need to go outside,” he said worriedly.
He led me outside.
As soon as the door opened to outside a gush of chilly wind struck my face. My body shivered uncontrollably. Goose bumps rose on my arms.
He pulled me against his body to transmit heat.
A warm feeling entered my body. I didn’t know if it was his effort to keep me warm or how close I was to him.
“You sure are cold Laura,” he said. The fact that he knew my name struck me. How did he know I needed someone at this moment and my name?
I cleared my throat in an effort to pronounce some words. “How …how do you know my name?” I asked.
He gave me a half-chewed smile. “I once heard your friend ask you in a pretty loud voice who you were staring at.”
I felt my cheeks burning a hot red. “Oh.”
The blizzard-like winds had stopped by now. There was a sense of tranquility. Snow began falling gently around us. A snowflake appeared out of the darkness of the clouds and twirled and danced in the thin less air till it hit the ground.
He breathed in the fresh air, still not letting go. And I didn’t want him either.
“So…who were you staring at?” he inquired, turning to face me.
That something in him caused a rush of feelings to run through my body. I slowly melted to the ground.
I looked down at his shoe. The one with the hole.
“I…um…I had noticed that you had actually gone to school,” I said almost whispering.
This time, he looked at me intently. I felt dizzy.
“You had seen me before?”
“Yeah. It’s not like I don’t know the people I walk by every day.”
He smiled widely. His face lit up completely. “I had seen you before, too,” he confessed.
“I had meant to talk to you but you seemed kind of angry sometimes,” I said wishing my face wasn’t as red as it felt. I didn’t know what had gotten into me that I was now confessing.
He looked down at his torn shoe. “Things have been rough at home,” he said in a quiet voice.
I shifted uncomfortably. As much as I wanted to know what was happening I didn’t want to put him in a tight spot.
“I didn’t mean to get there,” I apologized.
He smiled. And I just loved the way he did. It gave me this tingling feeling inside. His hand held mine. It was like this connection we both felt was finally complete. That was all I yearned for.
It was like this connection we both felt was finally complete. That was all I had yearned for.
“It’s just that I’ve had to work all afternoon and part tight to help my mom out,” he said while caressing my fingers.
“What about your dad?” I asked. He couldn’t let his son do all the work. And I knew that I was being nosy with his personal life.
“He passed away two months ago.”
The gloom in his eyes broke my heart. He wasn’t vent through his teenage years and he had lost his dad. He was probably the oldest one and had to work. To help, he left everything behind. And no one bothered to see that.
“I…I…I’m sorry,” I choked out.
He held my hand tighter. “It’s okay. Things are working out better. My mom got a higher position with real good money so I don’t have to work anymore.”
Suddenly, I hugged him. I gave him the hug I had always wanted to. I admired everything about him. There was no doubt that he wasn’t those type of jerks that only cared about the party Friday night where they could finally dump their girlfriend. He was someone special that had caught my attention since the first moment I spotted him sitting outside on a bench, staring at a field. That urge of wanting to be near him had grown stronger every day. It was something in him that was unique. Maybe no one saw it but the important thing here was that I did. He made my insides jump every time I caught a sight of him. And now here he was.
“I’m glad things are better at your house,” I said, actually meaning it and not just for compassion.
“Me, too. That way I could finally talk to you,” he admitted. “I had been waiting to talk to you for a while but things just kept coming up.”
He held my hand again. He knew in some way that we both wanted that.
“Now, you and I are going for a walk. And you’re going to have to stand me for a very long while.”
“I’m up to that.”