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The Mystery of Julian Bower

Violet eyes follow him around at school, never spoken words to accompany the constantly repeated action of following his movements. Those violet eyes are mine, eyes that are so odd in a world of blacks and whites and grays. Violet eyes that see only for him, sparkle only when they are trained on him.

Julian does not seem to notice the ever-present violet eyes that await him before school, between classes, and after school. He is too lost in a world I long to know, that I ache to visit. I often wonder if it is filled with music and reading, printed words and notes scrawled across a clean sheet of paper, or of knives and guns and adrenaline, or perhaps of cars and motorcycles and high-speed chases. The possibilities are endless, and I never tire of dreaming of a world too far away to truly imagine.

Julian is quiet, never speaking unless spoken to. Sometimes when my watchful violet eyes fall upon him as by habit I notice a wonderful shimmer of amusement in his green eyes, as beautiful and natural as a green leaf in the spring sprinkled with morning dew. Violet and green have never looked so fine together as when our eyes meet for a fleeting instant on occasion. Slightly quizzical green, but never suspicious or unfriendly, and ever-wondering violet, full of curiosity for the quiet boy with the land of fantasy in his head glimpsed only through his eyes, dance together, spinning about as Julian and I lock gazes.

I spend class after class sketching his eyes on my notebook, unable to get them quite right, never able to capture that shimmer, but never ceasing my efforts. How can I stop trying when such beauty should not go unappreciated? A nagging sense of urgency tugs at my concentration, and somehow I know it has to do with him. He who has the blond-brown hair that has never seen a comb, he who wears the designer jeans, the brand covered deceivingly by a baggy sweatshirt as if he’s ashamed. He who walks around with earbuds plugged into an ever-present iPod, listening to music I can only hopelessly guess at. But the mystery of Julian Bower is an object of my affection, not something of bothersome annoyance. It keeps me up at night, staring up at a blank white ceiling, the white transforming to silently laughing green eyes, quizzical green eyes, polite green eyes, Julian’s green eyes.

I am so lost in the mystery of Julian Bower that I almost don’t notice the loss of the precious sparkle in the dewy leaf-green eyes. Sharper cheekbones cut through the careful, softly sculpted face, and I’m sure that if I could only see through his sweatshirt, his hipbones would protrude with almost cruel jabs from his shirt.

I have only one day to evaluate this new development, only one day to add this to my carefully filed information on the boy with the green eyes. The next day, Julian is not at school. He is not lounging against his locker, silently observing, earbuds plugged into his ears. He is not in the parking lot, not in his classes, not in the cafeteria. Every trace of Julian has been wiped free from my radar. It is almost as if he has vanished from my life, leaving only vague memories and hopeless wondering behind. By the second day Julian has not appeared at school, I am in a state of distress. Where is the boy with the laughing green eyes? Where is the boy whose green balances my violet?

Everyone looks at me oddly when I ask about Julian, panic hidden just beneath the surface of my pale, freckled skin, my violet irises, and my brown hair. But as person after person looks at me blankly with incomprehension, the panic gnaws painfully through me until it is evident in my stormy eyes.

The counselor tells me that Julian was never here. She tells me that he was in my head, living within the confines of my own imagination. I do not believe her; she does not understand. Perhaps Julian killed himself and everyone is too afraid to tell me for fear that I may break down. I wonder if the unhappiness, the sunken quality of his face, the shadows around his eyes that cast an even more mysterious aura about him, were warning signs that he would disappear.

Or maybe the counselor is right and he never existed in a form anyone else can see. I take pleasure in thinking that perhaps Julian was mine and mine alone, that he existed only for me.

What do I think? I think the mystery of Julian Bower and his fantasy world will never be solved. Perhaps Julian Bower will stay with me as a wonderful dream I’ll never awake from, a mystery I can never crack.



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