Her nose knew this smell. The people. The men. Men. Men took the trees. Men made them hot and orange. Men would touch the trees to make them glow in the night. The trees began a new life that filled... [+]
I see him. He is across the classroom, always smiling, never dull. One glance my way and my throat constricts, almost choking. I can’t face him. There is a beam of heavenly light wherever he goes. When people step into his reach, they are baptized with purity; when they leave, they reenter the land of the shadow- the sinful- the mortals. His eyes are warm, tender, full of love. My eyes- yearning and glassed over from 3 years of agonizing lust. With just his hearty laugh, comfort washes over me, however, fleeting.
I have to face him.
Hesitantly, I shuffle to his side. One step. My heart is clawing its way out of my chest. Another. My legs are stiff yet weak. A few more. Uninvited tears start welling up inside of me, but I hold them back. I am strong. Step. My mouth is coarse, roughened by sandpaper. Step. A waging battle starts: my thoughts clashing against each other. Turn back. It won’t happen. Keep going. I have hope. Step. My hands curl into two balled fists and tighten until my knuckles burn white. I don’t notice. Step. I feel my mind being cleansed of the drab, bleak thoughts. My body flushes like a radiator turned on, but I know it’s not from the blood rush. I edge nearer to him. Step. We lock eyes. I stop- frozen. My whole body wishes to lurch back, but I stay against the roar that is my trillions of nerve cells all shouting one word: “Abort.” I stay. I stay because someone took two iron stakes and hammered my feet through the cement tiles. I stay as my gut plummets down to bedrock; my stomach- two cupped palms with a hole burned through. I stay as my machine gun heart rapid fires, tearing through clips and clips overflowing with shells, permeating the deafening silence, and threatening to induce a stroke.
He looks at me- questioning. He can do no harm. I stare at him- pleading. My mouth- cracked and arid- part just enough to breathe, “I like you.”