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You and Your...Expression
I'm waiting for you to come pick me up. My car broke down oh-so-conveniently this morning and you're coming to rescue me from being late to school; at least that's what I thought you were going to do. I'm pacing back and forth impatiently. I know I should just appreciate that you're doing me this big favor, but I can't help thinking how late we're going to be for our first class. I play with my rings as I let out a hefty sigh. A noise tickles my ears. Footsteps.
I swing my backpack over my shoulder, rush out the front door, and nearly bump into you.
“Whoa, hey...I'm guessing you're ready?” You whirl around to watch me run to you're car.
“We're going to be late!” I yell from over my shoulder. Goosebumps dot my arms and I shiver in the cold, leather car seat of your SUV. You slide into the driver's seat, but don't turn on the car.
“It's 40 degrees out and you're only wearing a short sleeved shirt...”
“No you're not.”
“Drive, please.” I smile a bitter smile. I'm always cranky in the morning but you take it like a pro. I'm shivering and chattering. I feel as though my teeth are going to chatter right out of my mouth. You laugh and slide off your jacket.
“Here.” You say.
“That's dumb, then you'll be freezing. It's my fault I didn't listen to you anyway.” I shove the jacket back on your lap.
“No, I'm warm. Take it.” I grudgingly take it and put it on. It smells like you- pretty good, I guess. It feels like your hugging me when I put it on. I fidget in my seat. You hugging me? Awkward. I glance at your hands on the steering wheel. They're turning blue. Liar. We pull into the school parking lot after about a fifteen minute drive, and I dash out of the car before you even park.
“Thank you!” I look behind my shoulder and wave. I should have waited for you, I think to myself. Coulda, shoulda, woulda- didn't. I'll probably see you in class anyway.
First class. I run in the room out of breath right before the bell rings. I take my seat near the bulletin board with the WWII poster tacked onto it tightly. The teacher blabs on about a time in history that I frankly do not care about at all. You walk in, but I don't really notice you or the teacher scolding you. You take your seat across the room. I get that uncanny feeling. You're watching me... I timidly glance to my right and-- nope. You're reading that WWII poster behind my head. I lean forward a bit so that you can see it better. I peek over again at you to see if you're satisfied. Our eyes meet briefly. You look uncomfortable and swiftly turn your head away. Strange.
Class ends, and I'm waiting for you. You smile at me.
“How did you do on the quiz?” You ask as we advance down the crowded hall.
“75.” I frown and crumple my paper. “I'm stupid when it comes to history.” I toss it into the trash can. Your brow furrows.
“No you're not. You're smart.” I sigh. I look up at you and you have this look on your face. I can't describe it, but I you've been giving me this certain look since about a year ago. It pops up every so often, and it always surprises me because I can't read what it is you're trying to say with that peculiar look. What is going on with you lately? Rather, why do you look at me like that? It bothers me. Annoys me. Not because it's ugly- no,no. I can't read it, that's all. I've known you for so long, I can read every expression on your face, every sigh you breathe, every laugh that escapes your lips- I can read you like a book. Except this one face you make. It fuzzes up my mind and makes it turn blank. Everything I was previously thinking of freezes, short ciruits, blows up- whatever you would like to happen to it- and I forget everything. The world's greatest mystery. That's after chocolate actually. Chocolate is first; nobody can explain the wondrous effect it has on humans. Then your... expression, shall I call it?--that's next. You talk the rest of the walk to the next class. I'm thinking about an island far away. It's pretty there. Sorry, I think you're still talking... Uh, what was that, again? Oh well. I guess I should have paid attention. Coulda, shoulda, woulda- if my attention span wasn't one like a squirrel's.
School breezes by. I'm waiting at your car. Where are you now? I tap my foot up and down. I hear someone approaching. It's funny how I can tell right away that it's not you. A guy I know comes up to me and leans against your car. He's talking, but I'm not really listening. My mind is wandering to and fro in my own little world. A world full of chocolate... I nod occasionally to make what's-his-face buy that I'm listening to him. I wonder where I can get a good chocolate bar....
“So is that a yes?” My attention snaps back into place. What did he just ask me? Oh dear, this is embarrassing...
“I'm sorry?” I ask him and blush.
“Friday night good for you?” He looks squeamish. Wow. That was unexpected...hmm, what to say?
“Oh...I'm sorry. I can't. I'm busy.” I rub my wrists with my sweaty palms. He nods and walks away, obviously crestfallen. I kick your tire. It hurts, and I hear you chuckling. You ask me how my foot feels. I glare at you. Then you ask me about ole' what's-his-face who was talking to me earlier. I tell you the story, even though I can barely tell it considering I wasn't quite 'there' when he was apparently asking me out. You listen. You don't give a response when I finish talking. You murmur something inaudible for me to hear and hop into the car. I follow you. You're crabby. It's funny when you're crabby. I take advantage of the moment and poke fun at you, but you shoo me away as if I'm an obnoxious fly. I fold my arms tightly and pout. No fun. I guess you're literally in a bad mood. I don't know why. You were fine till after that stupid story I told you. I shrug your mood off my shoulders and hop out of your car when we arrive at my house. I wave good-bye, but you act like you're distracted with something in your rear-view mirror. I stick my tongue out. Crabby pants.
It's eleven o'clock at night now. My mom calls me down. She says you're here. What? Why? I was just about to travel to dream land, too. I shoo her away and step outside. You're sitting on the porch steps with your back facing me. I shut the door behind me gently. I take a few timid steps forward. Strange tension builds a bridge between us. I stop. You turn your head and smile at me. A fake one. I can tell. I can read it perfectly. I come forward a bit more and take a seat next to you. We sit in silence. I sigh. One minute later. I sigh again. Another minute. I heave the largest sigh that I can muster. You stand up and face me.
“Tell me something.” You blurt out. I jolt at your sudden outburst. I blink. “Are we...friends?” You ask me. I blink again. I say, “of course!,” and laugh. You don't laugh. I cough. I wipe the smile off my face. “Ok.” You breathe before you start. “I can't take it anymore. It's come to the point that... are you listening?” I look up from my shoelaces. I nod. I'm scared. You seem so...tense, apprehensive, sweaty. Ew. I nod again for you to continue. You clearly need to get something off your chest. I decide to listen intently. Very unusual for me.
“It's come to the point that I don't care about our friendship anymore.” My eyes widen. What?! You don't let me butt in. “I can't take it anymore.” You already said that. Not to mention you say 'anymore' too much. “I really can't.” This is getting redundant. “I care about you. I care about you so much. I hate when other guys look at you and... ask you out.” Ole-what's-his-face? He's nothing to me. “I hate it because someday you're going to say yes to one of them. It kills me to know that. It kills me to watch you walk by and to see a whole bunch of guys' heads turn in your direction. You don't even notice them.” You're right. I don't. “When you're next to me, I go insane. I can't concentrate.” There's something we have in common... where is this going? “I know we've been friends since the fourth grade, but I can't hold this in. I don't care if it ruins our friendship because I need to tell you. I need you to know.” You pause. My eyes dart around, trying to avoid your gaze. Please don't. Don't do it. I get sweaty. Just like you are. You breathe heavily. “I'm in love with you.” My mind falls apart. The world as I know it crumbles before my very eyes. I watch it dash to pieces unblinkingly. My mind is swirling and swirling. You're waiting. My mind zooms back in time- your jacket, your expression, your crankiness- everything makes sense now. I focus back on the current situation that I'm tangled in. I can't tell how much time has passed. A lot, I'm guessing, because you bite your lip in a frustrated way.
“Did you hear me?” Your voice cracks a bit.
“Yes.” I murmur. I pick at my finger nails nervously. You're glaring at me now. Stop it! I can't think straight. You notice that it's making me uncomfortable, and you relax your stare, but something changes in your face. Oh no. I watch as your face becomes painted with hurt. Hurt, hurt, hurt. You look away. I want to hug you. To make you feel better...and I don't think I have ever felt this way.
“I get it.” You take a hammer to my heart. “Forget I said it. I shouldn't have come here.” You take a swing and my heart shatters. I watch as you climb into your car and step on the gas. You speed away. I sit. I hurt. I feel different. I want you here with me. I feel empty.
I'm lying in bed. I start thinking... and thoughts swarm my mind, inundating it. I shoot up. I realize that I made a huge mistake. I need to fix this. I will do everything in my power to bring you back to me.
You don't answer your calls. You ignore me in the halls. You don't offer me rides to school. I've been taking the bus. I hate buses. I guess I deserve it.
I was cold today. I wore your jacket.