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What Are The Odds?
The splurge of love songs blasted out of my ear-buds, filling my mind with images of his brown hair and his brown eyes. No matter how many decibels the volume rose, I couldn’t knock the pictures of him off the mantle inside my head.
This stupid infatuation, if you must, has been going on for weeks. Months. It isn’t even like I talk to him. Unless you count that one time he asked to borrow a pencil, I have had no part in conversing with him. Not personally anyway.
I attempted once again to shake him from my mind, trying to focus on my writing homework. Just a simple literary analysis of the sorts. Digging in-depth, through the text to find a topic of deeper meaning, what the author was trying to say.
But I couldn’t. All I could think about was the way I sucked at the human to human, societal ritual everyone seems to call “talking.” It’s completely ridiculous. I talk better with my writing anyway.
The music in my head seemed to muffle the footsteps as he approached my table, surely breaking the calming silence of the library that always wrapped around me like a therapeutic blanket.
He must have been trying to get my attention for some time, because I jumped when a light tap on my shoulder jolted me from my trance.
Eyes, look at his eyes. Turn off your music, there you go. Now, shut up and listen.
“…ey, um, could you help me with this? I know you’re a good writer and all, so…”
I looked at the paper he held, then down at my own blank lines. I didn’t even have a thesis. How exactly did he expect me to help him?
I nodded involuntarily, my throat dry. “Yeah, sit down.”
He obeyed willingly. Pulling out a chair, he sat before me, resting his elbows on the table. I cleared my throat.
“Um, what do you need help with?” My voice came out small, almost pathetic.
He hesitated before saying, “A topic, but that’s it. I know that the book is a metaphor, I th….”
I zoned out, lost in his eyes, the smell of his cologne. Obviously to fancy for high school, but refreshing compared to teenagers who used Blue #7 by T1G3R or something like that.
“….you think that that’s a good start?”
I felt a blush rise to my cheeks, regretful that the one day I tied my hair up was the one day he asked me a question I didn’t listen to. I could feel my ears turning bright red, sure I looked like a deer in the head lights.
“Um... I’m sorry, can we do this when I’m not completely socially awkward, like, I don’t know, tomorrow after school? I need to go, no reason why, not sure where, just… need to go.” I fumbled with the words, hearing them come out quickly and sloppily, surely making me seem duller than I actually am. I gathered my things into one giant messy pile and turned to leave. He caught my arm, and I stumbled forward, spinning on one foot whilst flinging a few papers to the right and left. He didn’t let me go, so I watched as one fluttered over the railing and down to the first floor of the library.
“Wait, please. I actually don’t need help with any of this.” He stuttered as much as I did, but my neck still wouldn’t turn towards him, my eyes fixed on the small space where the paper had fallen, watching the dust spin in the light of the late afternoon.
I finally convinced my stomach to keep my lunch down and turned towards him, his brown eyes apologetic.
“Let me guess,” I paused before I uttered the next words, “You decided you liked me one day, and as cliché as you are, decided you’d ask for help on an assignment.” They burned as they left my tongue. I clenched my jaw, stopping any other speech from escaping my lips. For some reason, I was angry, and that anger ended up coming out as vulnerability. The tears came before I could turn away.
He let go of my arm, and I caught my self before I fell forwards any further. I looked at the ceiling, willing the tears to stay in my eyes. I glanced back to him. He stood a few feet away, staring at his feet.
“I’m sorry, I know it was stupid.”
I decided I’d break the silence of the library, ripping apart my blanket I had loved for so long.
“Well isn’t that just terrible?!” I screamed back. He look stunned. The tears were really streaming down my face now. “You had me wrapped around your finger, because I am completely, undoubtedly in love with you. And I hate it! And then you just waltz on up all ready to admit your love for me?!” Love?
I don’t love him. Do I? No, of course not. I stared at him, waiting for an answer.
I didn’t get one. He shook his head, a smirk flitting across his face as he muttered,"Yeah.”
I added a period to the end of the sentence, smiling at my work. One of my better literary analogies. "The Predictability of Romance.” Amazing. I stood from the library table, looking over the railing toward the door. He would never know that I used him in my example story, and I didn’t want him to. We would never talk, but that didn’t mean I wasn’t allowed to be mesmerized by him.
He’ll never read that story anyway. I slipped my ear-buds into my backpack, lifting my papers off the small table. I stumbled, the chair catching a piece of my shirt. My story flew up from atop my stack of books and binders. I went to grab it, watching as my late reaction sent it further out into the air. I drifted slowly down to the lower section of the library.
Not just any section. That just happened to be the sci-fi section. Which also just happened to be his favorite section. There were a to many impossibilities and improbabilities going on for my mind to register the fact that maybe he was down there, because he comes into this literary vicinity at 4 o’clock after school everyday.
I heard the bell on the library entrance ring just as I lifted my backpack up higher onto my shoulder and sprinted down the stairs, taking them two at a time. I reached the bottom, just as he picked up the paper. His eyes skimmed over it, and my breath caught in my throat.
“This is fantastic!” He smiled at me. I halted a few feet from him, not sure what to do.
“Thank you.” I whispered.
“So,” he raised an eyebrow at me, a smile brushing his face as he glanced over his glasses, “Who’s it about?"