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There's something in my locker again.

I know because my mysterious deliverer failed to remember to shove the small and unappealing scrap of yellow paper completely through the slit. A corner peeps out, beckoning my hand closer. But, like the weirdo I am, I stand there, staring at it, feeling these peculiar little flips in my stomach and tightening of my throat.

To be honest, I'm sick of this. Enough of this petty, I'm-too-afraid-to-tell-you-face-to-face-about-my-feelings-for-you crap. This has gone on long enough. I should just snatch it and rip it to shreds. I gently tug it loose and flatten it before my eyes.

It reads “I love you with my eyes, and that is all that I can love you with. –R.”

Ugh. God, that quote makes me sick. It's the same one every time. And what does that even mean? That he likes me for simply my physical attributes? What a shallow, self-absorbed jerk. I hope my own eyes never meet his; that would most likely instigate a kick to where it would hurt.

In one swift movement – one I'm actually quite proud of – I crumple it into a small ball and toss it directly into the trashcan. (Yes, I am that one idiot who decides to be assigned a random locker and ends up right beside the black abyss of junk.) Something catches my eye as I move past it. I stop and peer down.

There look to be a hundred of them, those meager little scrunched pieces of yellow paper. He leaves one inside my locker, not every day, no – every hour. Every time that bell rings signaling the end of a classes, it signals something else, too – another love note, with the same words, the same initial, on the same ugly paper.

Of course, it's just my luck that the bell rings thirty seconds before I arrive to class.

“You know the drill,” my teacher growls, glaring at me with her stereotypical narrow-eyeglasses-that-hang-precariously-at-the-edge-of-her-nose look. I sigh but comply, dropping my backpack (a little louder than usual – I get The Look again for that), and I stalk over to the wall. For every 30 seconds we're late, that's a minute of wall sits – so, in my case, just over one. Double ugh.

As she continues her lesson, I think about the note again and find myself steaming. No, not just steaming – virtually brewing with an overwhelming anger, the type that makes me twitch while gritting my teeth to the point of physical pain.

What has happened to people these days? Where's the courage, the manners that gentlemen used to possess in order to make a woman swoon? I find nothing romantic about pathetic little love notes. They're so … so … boring. Where's a little flourish of magic?

My minute is up. I take my seat and spend the rest of the time looking between my teacher and the clock. The usual daily process.

The annoying bell, which makes me want to punch stuffed animals, finally sounds. I lurch up and slide out the door before my teacher can give the homework assignment (a strategic move, really). Suddenly, I throw on the brakes.

Was I just walking with a purpose to my locker?

No. Of course not. What am I, in elementary school again? I just don't want to be late. That's all. What is wrong with me? I shake my head, trying to focus on not running straight into the freshmen who still aren't quite smart enough to know how to navigate a hallway.

There it is. There's nothing stopping the rush of relief as I see my locker, and nothing to staunch the bounce in my step as I stride forward.

And nothing to cease the excruciating wave of disappointment that crashes on me as I open my locker and discover no note.

Nothing. Nada.

I slam it shut. Close my eyes. Open them. Redo the combo. Swing the door back.

Still nothing.

I take out all my binders, books, and papers, previously organized to the point where they could have been in a hospital, they were so meticulous and clean. Now, my materials are strewn around me, and my locker is empty.

The bell rings. I stand there.

Slowly, I place everything back. Then I take it all out again. I put it back. I remove everything from my backpack and search it until I feel like I might just pluck my eyes out. I place everything back inside. I stare into my locker and just stand there, leaning against my heels.

Then I start crying.

They are silent tears, which are the worst. It means there's not enough energy to even muster a sob. It means that I am empty, just like my locker. It means I am, simply, sad.

Someone taps me on the shoulder. Startled, I spin around.

There's a boy there. He wears what I would call hipster glasses: wide-framed, '80s style. He has a T-shirt advertising a rock band I've never heard of. His jeans aren't sagging the way most boys think is attractive when it's literally fatal to the eyes. And he's holding a note.

We stare at each other. I'm utterly mesmerized by his eyes; they're nothing special, just dark brown. And yet they're communicating something that I don't think I'm quite mature enough to understand.

He holds the note nearer. I take it.

“Looking for something? –R.”

“You?” I ask. It comes out in sort of a breathless whisper as I glance at this boy I've never seen before. “It was you?”

He nods. He's staring at my lips. I would have thought that would be disconcerting, but for some reason, it doesn't bother me.

“Why?” I breathe.

He doesn't say anything. He just pulls a pen and a slightly ruffled piece of yellow paper from his back pocket. He scribbles something and gives it to me.

Before I can look at his writing, he touches my chin gently and lifts my gaze up. Then, slowly, he moves his hands in a simple gesture.

In one swift moment, I crumple the paper and toss it in the trashcan.

I know enough sign language to recognize that one.

This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. This piece has been published in Teen Ink’s monthly print magazine.




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This article has 6 comments. Post your own!

Lanimal said...
today at 2:43 pm:
Added to Favorites!!! :)
 
LinaOzzie replied...
today at 7:40 pm :
Thanks man ;D
 
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MissOfficer911 This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. said...
Nov. 8, 2013 at 12:50 pm:
This was an incredibly beautiful peice! One of my favorites I've read on Teen Ink so far :)
 
LinaOzzie replied...
Nov. 8, 2013 at 8:23 pm :
Thank you so much - and thank you for taking the time to read my work! :) 
 
im_gailThis teenager is a 'regular' and has contributed a lot of work, comments and/or forum posts, and has received many votes and high ratings over a long period of time. replied...
Nov. 8, 2013 at 10:39 pm :
i loved this so much!!!! i thought it was so realistic and relatable unlike a lot of people who create this fairytale story. this is definatly a new favorite
 
LinaOzzie replied...
Nov. 8, 2013 at 10:53 pm :
Thank you, I'm so glad you enjoyed it! :) 
 
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