"Come on," I say, pulling him with me, away from the crowd.
I promised myself I would do this before we leave. Graduation seemed like the best choice at the time, because if he would take it badly, I would never have to see him again. But now, I'm starting to regret planning for this.
"Is that a yes?" He asks, smiling a bit. "You know-"
"I know." I sigh. "You've already told me about a dozen times."
He laughs, matching his pace with mine. We arrive at the back of the school. The cheering has lessened, but it was still audible even with the school between us. I was never one for masses, nor shouting, but today, it almost didn't matter.
I walk under the building's shadow and he starts following me, but I stop him. He stands in the light, while I press against the wall, my body fully clothed by shadow. I close my eyes before talking.
"You see," I say, "This is how it's supposed to be. You stay in the light, while I'm in the shadows."
He catches on and drops his smile.
"It can be different." He insists, but makes no move closer.
"It can be, but we both know it won't." I blink a few times to stop the tears.
This is too painful. A month ago, I thought I was prepared and completely planned. I imagined the event at least five times and in my imagination, I was calm and everything turned out the way I wanted it to. But now, it's not going very well.
"No." He finally says after a minute of silence. He walks closer, but not close enough. "I love you. We can't just throw this away just because of that."
I just stared up at him, his face all scrunched up and troubled—it's adorable. How much I want to jump on him and hug him and tell him that I got it all wrong. Instead of doing that, though, I lower my eyes toward the ground, trying to lessen the temptation.
"You're like a bird, you see." I say after a few minutes of silence, the whole dialogue all planned out three weeks ago. "You're supposed to be free and fly in the sky. I'm like a cat, staying on the ground. I could never fly and you could never walk. It could never happen."
He is silent for a while, thinking of what to say. I start to think that he's going to accept it for a few seconds, until he looks up and stares me directly in the eyes.
"But it did, didn't it?" He asks me and pulls me out of the shadows. "Don't lie and say that you didn't feel it, because you did."
I'm in the light and for the first time in a long time, it isn't scorching me. I actually feel something bubble up inside me, even though this is the exact opposite of what was supposed to happen.
He leans in and before our lips connect, he whisphers, "Time to fly."
And then I'm soaring, soaring so high I felt like if I reach up, I could touch the sky. It isn't possible, but what the heck, we've broken all the laws of science in the last half hour.
The clouds feel hot around me, in contrast to what I've imagined they would be. The sun is still shining, but it only adds up to this feeling. Even though this wasn't supposed to happen, I feel like this was the rightest thing in the world.
I'm finally flying.