Judith! I went past you during class. Your head bent down over the desk, your slender neck and the tendrils of hair escaping from your ponytail.
Judith! I am totally in love.
Your knees are tucked up under your legs, and I can see how supple you are.
You raise your hand and say something and I get a feeling of how kind and calm you are. As though wherever you go you would feel at home. Really at home.
My hand on the back of your neck. I have this utter longing to have my hand resting on the back of your neck. A craving.
I can actually feel your skin under my hand. Though I’ve not made the slightest movement.
From your neck I go further, down to your curvy shoulder. Coming back up I stroke your cheek.
My fingers on your lips. My mouth on your eyes.
We would leave together, Judith. One night. A really cold winter’s night. I’d wrap you in a big soft coat. We’d go away together.
No one will understand.
Stop. Please. You get up and I can barely breathe. You turn round and say something and I am going to collapse. I’m about to faint. There’s not enough air, I’m suffocating. It’s not just my longing, you see. It’s much more than that. Look at me. I’m on fire.
Judith, you’re making eyes at me. Making eyes at me? You’re looking right at me, much longer than normal and you say “Can’t be bothered to work”. And smile. But you are never flirty. Then you laugh. Oh God, your laugh!
My voice: “Falling in love? Never going to happen”. Familiar smiles from everyone who is looking on. “Not going to happen because I don’t give a toss about girls.” Yes. There, I said it. More knowing smiles.
You were singing today. In the hall with the other girls, screeching away like a toothache and there in the middle was your beautiful, clear voice.
I smiled to myself and waited for our class so I could look at you as much as I wanted.
But then today, as we came out of class, you went over and held hands with that great lump Pascal. What on earth? What are you doing? Couldn’t you find a more pathetic, more boring guy than that jerk. That nerd with geeky specs who’s never seen daylight. Today after class you left together and you didn’t even glance at me. I’m going to die Judith! You’ve killed me.
Mathilde! I’m sitting beside you. Your hand is gliding over the paper, classy and adorable…
Mathilde, just look at that hand of yours!
Translated by Hannah Charlton