She stared at him, letting the grating voice of the English teacher float away into the background. She stared at him, as she'd been doing all year, since sixth grade. For a second, she wished were an accomplished artist so she could record every perfect line of his face onto canvas and stare at the portrait all day.
She'd left for two years, her excuse being that she needed to escape the cruelness of her peers, the bullying. But she knew the real reason why she'd left. To get away from him, to let this spell he cast over her fade into the past. That's why she came back: because she craved him like a drug.
To her, he was a drug. His very entrance into the room made her heart race and her cheeks flush. She nearly exploded with happiness every time his gorgeous sea blue eyes flickered in her direction. She longed to run her hands though his slightly shaggy orangey-red hair, to stroke every tiny freckle on his face and ears and neck, to kiss his perfect lips. To own and to belong solely to him.
It was so ridiculous and hypocritical how much she liked him. She felt repulsed by herself. She knew better than to fall for someone she knew would never reciprocate her feelings. She laughed at people on TV whenever they would do so, and now, here she was, doing the exact same thing.
It was so pathetic. She actually had a diary at home where she'd written little fantasies she had about him and her together. The sickening cutesy stuff she would dream up made her honestly want to puke.
She stared at him, wondering how she could be so magnetized by one so different than herself. There he was, surrounded by his jolly bone-headed cohorts, jabbering about sports and other such mundane stuff. When she looked at him with a cold eye, she had to admit that he was about as vapid and air-headed as his dumb friends. Sweet but dumb, like a dog. But then she remember the darker years of her childhood, how when everyone hurled insults at her, he'd always greet her with a friendly smile. Not necessarily enamored with her, but at that time, his amiable greeting was enough to evoke the crush that she developed.
Now, two years later, she realized that her crush had mutated into deep wanting, a love so true, it was devastating. She realized with horror how much she really liked him as she witnessed another girl, prettier and more glamorous than herself, approach her love and strike up a conversation with him. She turned absolutely green with malevolence. She felt like dying as she watched the cheerleader bat her eyelashes and twist her hair. She'd never known she was capable of feelings like that.
She remembered the first day she saw him upon returning to school. Around her, people she barely knew were filling the air with mindless chatter. She cautiously took one of the two remaining desks in the classroom, the only other directly in front of her. Her stomach fluttered with the normal first-day-at-the-new-school jitters.
Then he walked in and her nervousness intensified.
Her muscles fell limp as the godlike creature entered the classroom. He was taller than her, she noted. Then again, she was about five foot four; everyone was taller than her. However, he only was taller by about three or four inches. Just the right height. His button down shirt, adorned with a tie, was tucked into his jeans, and she couldn't help but notice the rippling football muscles beneath. Then she remembered to breathe and ripped her eyes away before he caught her staring.
He began to walk in her direction and she realized with horror and thrill that he would be forced to take the seat in front of her. She began to shiver anxiously as he sat down.
About three seconds later, the bell rang and class commenced. She didn't pay any heed to what the wrinkled old teacher had to say as she just sat and stared at the back of his neck. She cursed herself for not wearing something nicer than the white casual blouse and army green cargo pants she was dressed in. The outfit was nice and summery, but not at all enticing.
As class progressed, she just sat staring, wanting, craving, needing. In that moment, he was everything. Now the year was nearly over, and nothing had changed.
And so she sat there, staring at him. And as she did so, she realized that it was all she'd probably ever do.