Before I Leave

June 30, 2011
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“Uhh, Maddie?” I wasn’t expecting to hear that voice and was startled despite its rich and velvety resonance.
“John?” He stood before me just outside the door to my bus.
“Hi,” was all he muttered.
“Hello,” a slight laugh escaped my lips, “What are you doing here?”
“Going home,” he looked at his hands.
I lifted an eyebrow, “Oh really? But don’t you go the other way?”
“Actually, I was hoping to see you.” His cheeks were suddenly covered in roses.
“Well here I am!”
“I know…I…um,” he looked at his hands again and the blush got brighter and spread up his neck, flushing his ears. “I’m really not good at this.” He looked at me with his lucid blue eyes, pleading for understanding.
“Go on, just say it,” I encouraged.
“Maddie,” he paused, “I like you.” He seemed shocked at his words and his expression clung to the small bit of inspiration he had. “A lot.” He desperately added, blue eyes widening frantically.
Now, it was my turn to blush.
“John,” My heart was beating thunderously in my chest and I spoke his name quietly with apprehension. By the look on his face he seemed to be expecting disappointment and I took a step closer. “I like you a lot too.” I whispered and took his hand it was slightly shaking because of his obvious trepidation.
For a moment, he was unable to speak but the beaming smile on his face told me everything. It must have been contagious because before long I was smiling too.
The silence was broken by the rumbling of the bus engines as they started. They would be driving off soon and John was nowhere near his.
Before I could give him my farewell, John cupped my cheek in his free hand, bringing his face close to mine. I allowed my eyes to close as I felt his warm breath on my skin followed by the soft wetness of his lips as they pressed against my forehead.
“Thank you,” his barely audible whisper sounded close to my ear.
All too soon it was over. He turned to leave, his hand outstretched where his fingers still laced with mine. With a slight brush of skin our hands parted and his back faced me. It took all of my strength to unlock my muscles from my reverous trance and climb the stairs to the bus.

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