I laid my backpack down gently as to not disturb the soda and books inside. Without missing a beat I dropped to the ground beside it, sprawling in the grass like a lazy cat. It felt like a scratchy, fragrant heaven. I stretched for a few seconds but ultimately lay on my back. If I only had twenty minutes to relax before biology, I was going to enjoy it. I turned my head away from the sun, placing it in the shade of one of the many saplings spread about the courtyard. It felt good to relax and lounge about. Classes were getting harder by the day, and I couldn’t afford to miss another day or even be late to another class. I sighed heavily and opened my dark brown eyes in exasperation.
That’s when I saw her.
To be honest, it was her hair I noticed first. Her hair looked like fire. Like wires of copper twirling around a tanned heart shaped face. Her hair was long, perhaps four inches below her shoulder blades, and wavy, not curly. It swayed and flipped in the wind, a beautiful dance that only she could do. It was bright outside so she wore her hipster sunglasses, you know the kind, so I couldn’t see her eyes. Her nose was sharp in an aristocratic manner that gave her a scholarly air. (That and she carried about heavy looking text books, but that’s beside the point.) Her lips were shapely and plump. Not look-at-me-I-got-Botox plump, but a don’t-I-look-kissable plump. And she did. She did indeed.
She too was lying on the ground, book in one hand and organic milk in the other. The milk should have been a turn off, but with beauty like that, how could I stop looking? This unnamed beauty pulled off her sunglasses and quirked a fiery eyebrow at me. She knew I was looking! ****! I flashed an upside down smile that I hoped would disarm her and flipped around, brown curls stinging my eyes. As nonchalantly as I could I pulled out my current reading book and my daily soda. Avoiding eye contact, I opened them both. The soda fizzed onto my hand and I subconsciously licked it off before it became sticky. It took a few seconds for me to find the page I left off, and for my embarrassment to die down, but I managed to avoid contact for something akin to a minute. After a few more, I could still feel her eyes on me. I took a sip and watched her back. She quickly turned away.
I looked back down at my book and stared at the crease in the middle. Either she was checking me out, as I was her, or she was sizing me up to see if I was a girl that would put up a fight. I hoped for the first one desperately. Too shy to say anything, however, I kept looking at the center crease. That’s what happens when you’re unsure of what to say and too inexperienced to know what to do. So, I did what every diligent socially-inept fool would do…I read.
“Miss, may I ask a few questions? We’re gathering information for a societal experiment.”
And just like that I heard her speak. Her voice was full and midrange. She spoke neither too low or too high. This girl was just right. I looked up from my book and watched her through my bangs. A brunette man was talking to her and she was laughing at what he had to say. Curiously I watched her mannerisms. She didn’t talk with her hands much and, instead, chose to speak only with her face. Her body was lax as they spoke. A spark of jealousy ran though me. Why couldn’t I be brave and bold like that? I ignored my foolish thought and went back to reading, not to be disturbed.
“What sexual preference do you identify with?”
Okay, maybe I would be disturbed.
“Well I—” she took a second to think about it and looked down. Drums rolled in the background. My ears inched forward, grasping with nonexistent hands at the words I so desperately wanted to hear. “I suppose I have to identify as lesbian.” My head went rigid.
But that mean—
And if that was true—
I, Heather Ibsen, stood a chance! My heart leapt with excitement. I decided that when that tool—play nice, Heather—that gentleman was finished speaking with her, I would make my move. I was a cat waiting to pounce, a vulture waiting for the right time to zoom in and steal the prey, I was—a college student already late for her next class by a good ten minutes. I swore silently and shoved my book in my bag. I began walking towards the science building but turned back. She was looking at me quizzically with the most beautiful face that I have ever seen. I bit my lip and tore my psyche apart.
Class—girl—class—girl—class—Oh who was I trying to fool?
I dropped my heart to the floor and powerwalked as fast as I could away from what could have been.
Her sapphire blue eyes followed me for a bit and dropped. I was a lost cause to her as well, a could be that wouldn’t be. A ship lost at sea.
© Copyright 2016 Katherine Hisenberg. All rights reserved.
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