What if it happened

July 9, 2016

Once a spark catches a dry patch of a field, the fire spreads quicker than bare hands and a cotton mouth can catch. The moment I saw you, my eyes watched the flames envelope my body without ever feeling the burn. You, with your thick black hair swishing shyly above your plastic glasses that made your squinty brown eyes become bug eyes in their own adorable optical illusion. The moment you strode into my life with your jawline of a god, I knew deep down that jawline would haunt me for the rest of my life, I just didn’t care to admit it.
It was mid December, eighth grade year, in my favorite class of the day: technology. I had just sat down and begun creating a powerpoint about the psychology behind colors when I caught a glimpse of you in the hallway. At first I thought you were some idiot that had failed several grades and was actually supposed to be a senior... perhaps it was the leather jacket. Hillary, the girl that was assigned the seat next to me, noticed where I was staring, “Helloooo Hotty. Lucille, that is your future boyfriend. He looks perfect for you!” Despite my utterly helpless attraction to you, I scoffed aloud at such an aggravating declarative statement. I told her you looked like an experimental badboy Harry potter, which made her laugh, but I felt cheap for mocking you before ever meeting you.  However, that feeling of guilt was quickly erased once I did meet you.
Being the nerd I was, I was bestowed the honor of helping you get logged onto our simple computer server. At the time I didn’t know you were a fellow technology lover, so I understand your use of sarcasm looking back. However, in the minutes spent retyping your last name and double checking your password as I was repeatedly denied access to the server, your sarcasm about how well I was doing made me essentially hate you. This hate was the feeling that lasted for several months, until a boy that had a crush on me (your best friend) texted me that you had gotten a new kik. This lead me to feel obligated to message you, which I did, and the coals simmering in my stomach erupted into beautiful butterfly flames. It’s odd how quickly someone can fall in love, and then just as quickly forget they had. A week passed without communication, summer started, and I forgot all about you.
Then came along freshman year. Our short moments of circumstantial communication made me smile a smile i suppressed due to years of embarrassment of my crooked teeth. But you had the kind of wide genuine smile that burst over your face and crinkled up to your eyes that made me forget about my braces that lingered over my childhood insecurities. I felt happy around you, and I didn’t feel that often, or ever so freely. I wanted to make you feel the way you made me feel.
I’ll never truly know if those moments of borderline flirting, or personal memories, or long silent stares were signs that you had ever felt for me what I had felt for you or merely exaggerated moments of my personal fantasies. If you had ever silently fallen in love with me, you quickly forgot it. You moved away a year ago. I never kissed you. Never went on a date. Never said I love you. But  you still linger in my mind as a third degree burn that welted right where my eyes meet my nose. It’s funny how love works, maybe it has more to do with what ifs, rather than it happeneds. Everyone deserves a love story, but not all stories get the same ending.

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