Before that first moment, the moment that would inevitably lead to my bitter demise, I had known only two things of love:
Love was a phenomenon that occurred at first sight.
And yet it was blind.
And so, that day, instead of learning more lessons, I shortened my list. Love at first sight did not exist.
But there was something else, something about him that could not be described. From the first second my feet drew me to into the circle of his presence, I knew that he existed on a plane that intersected my own.
He never even saw me that day.
And it did not matter. Not to me.
I passed him as he sat on a bench and read. Such a simple thing to catch my eye. No one read at school - it was almost unheard of, a social suicide. Even I, awkward as I was, had more sense than that.
It was an occurrence that deserved intimate mockery. It deserved hidden whispers and secret giggles. More than anything, I wanted to give him the punishment he was due. But I could not.
And it was not his image that stopped me. It was not the short waves of chocolate as his locks swept across his bowed head. It was not his hunched shoulders or the long, masculine fingers he used, with fierce intensity, to grip his novel. It was, and even then I could not deny it, the feel of him. It was the chemistry, the spark, the click. I looked at him, glaring angrily at whatever injustice had been dealt to the characters he obviously loved and became instantly, and completely, intoxicated. Though I wanted to laugh at what was a pitiful display of genuine emotion, I could not. What a faux pas it was, to actually care about something in this dog-eat-dog school ground. We lived in a world that demanded callously and greed - who was he, to think he could break the trend? And yet, there and then, I loved him for it.
In a way, I hated myself. I was an embarrassment and I should have made more of an effort to disguise the fact that I, too, might feel emotion. Popularity knew only alcohol and lust and I did not want to be the kind of scum that fell in love or thought about the lives of others.
So I turned. And I walked away.
And, for my sins and my cowardice, I never saw him again but for my memories and the secret guilt of my attraction.
Copyright © 2011 Samantha Rouse
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