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I stood behind the icy metal doors of the high school. Through the foggy rectangular panel of glass, I watched him climb gracefully out of his father's shiny black Chevy and sling his bag over his shoulder. The frigid mid-winter breeze swept his thin midnight black hair to the side of his face. As he walked toward the school, a pair of bright forest green eyes studied a small, flat object he held in his hand. He flipped it between his fingers and sunlight flashed off of it. I silently wondered what the mysterious reflective object was as he slid it into his pocket. Suddenly he smiled, looking very amused at something. His smile widened and he glanced up and met my eyes.
My heart skipped a beat. I smiled back, probably blushing as red as the brick walls of the school. I looked away, breaking the eye contact.
I hadn't noticed how close he was to approaching the door, until it pushed open with a loud metallic clank. I looked up and met his eyes again and smiled.
'Morning, Heath,' I said quietly.
'Hey, Ivy,' he replied. Then a look of confusion took the place of his smile as he quickly glanced around the small empty room. 'What are you doing here?'
I paused to think for a moment and then said, 'Well, I guess I came here to learn so I can go to college and get a degree in psychology or''
'No, not what are you doing at school. What are you doing in this room and not talking to friends in the hall or something? It's freezing in here.'
'Oh,' I said. I had understood what he meant when he asked what I was doing there, I just honestly had no idea what the answer was. Why was I randomly drawn to the coldest part of the school at the exact moment Heath's father would pull into the parking lot? I had just suddenly felt like walking down there alone, carrying nothing but a romance novel my friend, Paige, recommended. Heath slid the strap of his messenger bag off his shoulder and lowered it to the ground.
'I, um, like to read down here. It's the only quiet place in the building before homeroom,' I wasn't completely lying; it was quiet there.
Heath rolled his eyes and smiled the crooked grin that I love. 'You and your books. You would voluntarily catch pneumonia, if it meant reading in peace.'
I shrugged. 'So? You're like that with drawing. You have your obsessive interests, and I have mine.'
That made him laugh, which made me laugh. His emotions were contagious to me.
'Yeah, I guess,' he agreed. 'But if you're going to sit in below freezing temperatures, at least wear a jacket!'
'I'm fine!' I said defensively.
I hadn't noticed. I was surprised when I realized I had my arms wrapped around me and I really was actually shaking from the cold. How did Heath notice that when even I didn't?
He was already unzipping his hoodie, which was black and red and lined with soft, thick fleece. He pulled it off and took a step closer to me to drape it over my shoulders. I looked up at him and smiled shyly.
'Thanks,' I mumbled, blushing.
'No problem,' he said, smiling back. Then he reached behind me, grabbed the hood, and brought it over my head. It covered my face down to my cheekbones.
We both laughed and I sat down against the wall. I tilted my head to look up at Heath and he sat down next to me, our shoulders just touching.
Heath reached into the pocket of the hoodie and pulled out his iPod. It was at one point, simply black. Now the screen was covered in scratches and little doodles in silver sharpie. That's what I loved about Heath. The world was his sketchbook. He drew on whatever surface he could find: binders, napkins (sometimes of the cloth variety), shoes, soda bottles, gum wrappers...
Heath started to unravel his head phones and handed me one ear piece. I wondered what kind of music Heath liked. Not rap or mainstream I hoped. He seemed like an alternative rock/ soft rock kind of guy. Both mellow and intense at the same time. I held the ear piece to my ear. A slow song that was vaguely familiar played softly. I tried to recall where I heard the melody before.
'Do you like this song?' Heath interrupted my thoughts.
I nodded. 'It's really pretty. What is it?'
''You and Me' by Lifehouse. It reminds me of...' Heath hesitated. What could it have reminded him of? Or who? A few seconds passed and I looked up at him. I realized he had no intention of finishing his sentence. Why did he have to be so mysterious?
'What?' I asked quietly.
Heath looked uncomfortable and the song continued playing. He turned his face away but his neck gave him away; he was blushing.
'Nothing, Ivy. Doesn't matter,' Heath looked down at his hands.
It suddenly became very obvious what Heath was about to say.
The slow song came to a close with a soft guitar riff and memorable words.
"I can't keep my eyes off of you"