Smooth, calm pond

Smooth

Smooth was how I would chance glances at you in ninth grade Biology, hoping not to make eye contact, but melting – really, just freezing – when we locked eyes. It was smooth how a mutual friend of ours worked on convincing me to talk to you, pointing out how you were really something. I couldn’t resist imagining you when our Biology teacher mentioned he would not be surprised if two people in the class ended up married, even though I wanted to resist that image so much. It felt wrong.

A blush would always smooth over my face when I met your eyes – I don’t think I would have been cold in the dead of winter it warmed my body so much. Was it smooth that I held out for you in the face of my shyness? I remember an opinionated, disliked classmate confessing to me in what seemed to be a statement: “I like you the most, but I know you would say no.” I didn’t know what to say, and so I didn’t say anything. They were right, I would have said no.

It felt like a smooth transition throughout the years, my infatuation that is. It went from a wishful longing to a calm acceptance of the status quo: I wasn’t going to make the first move. There were others who pulled out my sweet gaze, but none paralyzed the way you did. You were a siren pulling me away from any other. Ultimately, I know if was my choice, but why did it have to be. I remember 11th grade, your friend saying, “This is you in the picture, and that is changefulseasons. You like it, don’t you?” They knew I was in ear shot, and is it the romantic in me that imagines that drawing as naughty? Perhaps it was the tone, but I always felt there was something there. Long gazes and coy smiles.

At years end, our final year, I did get asked about you by a few. It seems those observant few could tell, or perhaps they had heard it through the grapevine – that’s what the confessor had said. That one had been aggressively mean about it, but most were sweet and I liked that. There were a lot more hugs that year, I was more open. Somebody said the blushing was hormones, and I liked that. It felt like a stepping stone. I do hope your well, and there is no bitterness in my heart. I smile sweetly, and it was a smooth path to this smile. To those others, it would have been nice for things to not have been smooth, for a bit of entanglement. My heart was a smooth, calm pond. It would have been nice for another to swim here. That’s how it goes though, and I can only look forward, forward to what is to come and to what is.

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