I thought it was just another day. Just another boring day in another boring class where I was forced to waste brain space on equations that made no sense. The lines were starting to lift from the page for the 4th time this class period until my steady train of thought was broken by the ever tyrannical ring of the bell. Algebra 2 was thankfully my last class of the day which meant I was able to leave this godforsaken building with demons masked as angels which had appetites for the naïve. I made a mad scramble for my locker and threw all my teacher’s expectations in and shuffled large masses of paper to find my portable tranquility. Once found, I put the books in my backpack hoping they would survive my backpack unscathed and slammed my locker closed.
Once I was free from the social chains casted upon me from my “peers”, I sprinted. I didn’t run in hopes of leaving what I had behind, but just for the sheer idea of being at peace for just a little bit longer than usual. I ran and I ran until I made it to my favorite spot, a giant oak in the middle of a forgotten park. I sat down with a lack of grace and laid against the rough bark I had come to love. I closed my eyes and listened to the beautiful silence.
After a few minutes, I removed my bag from my back and pulled out one of the unharmed books. I opened to where the poor excuse of a bookmark held my spot and got lost in a world I could only wish to live in.
However, the ecstasy I felt enraptured in the pages was soon blown away with the wind as it swept in a person. At first I hadn’t noticed them sitting on the bench that was inconveniently under the same tree as I was, but the scratching of their pencil on the paper just a mere 8 feet from me began to eat away at my patience.
After a mere seven minutes, I could take no more. I stood up and gathered my belongings in haste. However, as I was about to leave, a quiet voice stopped me saying, “Won’t you stay?” I looked over for the first time to see who had destroyed my beloved quiet time. I turned to give the person the worst verbal lashing I could muster, but stopped short when I saw what could have been the victim of my verbal slaughter.
He was a boy. Well, not just any boy. He was a person from my class. He was known as being the artist. He has created portraits and scenes that rivaled the detail of nature itself. His work inspired my pursuit in reading and writing in the hopes my writing could be just as beautiful and graceful as his hand creating his masterpieces.
In that moment, I softened under his tender gaze. He was sitting on the edge of the bench facing my way, his arm draped along the back of the bench, pencil in hand. His other hand moved from the sketch pad laying on the ripped jeans he wore often and moved to sweep his dark hair from his warm and equally dark eyes.
¨Won´t you stay? It would be a shame not to finish this.”He turned his sketchpad towards my view. On it was his interpretation of me finding my tranquility. I was stunned by the amount of detail that he was able to portray. I locked eye contact with him and answered, “Certainly.” I placed everything as best as I could in the way it had been and then started to read. However, I could not return to my state of peace. In fact, I could not even read the words on the page. I could feel his stare tracing my features and taking in every detail.
My thoughts drifted from his stare to his eyes. His beautiful eyes that shone like broken glass, showing different hues with different movements. They glanced from me to the paper with such haste I could not pinpoint a time when they had moved.
After an eternity that in reality was only about an hour, he put down his pencil and sketch pad. “Would you like to see it?” he asked.”I would love to.” I answered timidly. I stood up and walked over to him to view his work. It looked like a black and white photograph of the scene. I was utterly astonished yet again by all the detail he could put into his work!
“It is beautiful…” I said half in a daze. His response was a smile that rivaled the sun in its brightness. It overtook my senses so that the only thing I could do myself was attempt to echo it.
He went to say something but he was cut short by the ringing of my phone. I glanced at my phone and found an angry text and a single call from my slave drivers for not being home at the time they demanded I should be. I should have checked my phone before I came here, but in my rush to avoid the demons, I provoked their masters.
“I have to go.” I said. His expression dropped significantly. I packed up my things and before walking back into the lion’s den, I offered a goodbye. “Will you come again? Perhaps this time tomorrow?” he asked as if I did not answer, all would be lost.
“Yes.” I answered quietly. His demeanour immediately changed from that of a kicked puppy to a more confident creature. I turned to leave and he grabbed my hand in protest. He then moved to whisper something into my ear. As soon as the words left his mouth, my face turned a violent shade of scarlet. As I departed from the scene, I thought of how the short phrase he said had been what I longed to hear from him. I answered him as we both walked our separate lines saying,
“I like you too.”