He tucks his hair behind his ear, and smiles flirtatiously, an act designed to make me weak at the knees, and fall into his arms. I can practically hear the cogs in his head turning; can imagine the thought process behind each and every action he perceives to be 'hot' or 'sexy'.
I know in my heart that this boy would be considered somewhat attractive, and heavily ogled by another girl in my position, one who wasn't so female-inclined in the romance department, should a department even exist in this head of mine. When it comes to romance, my brain is more of a store closet than a department. A small room tucked away for the right moment. Cobwebbed, dirty, and somewhat depressing.
Realistically, I know that I could get it over with right here and now; my first kiss. There's less pressure attached to a peck when you aren't interested in the person giving it to you, and a lot less hurtful when that person disappears without a trace, or even a text goodbye.
The air between us both is shallow, and I'm taking smaller breaths than I'm used to lest I not let a gust of wind out onto his face.
And then I get to thinking...would I even care if I did?
This kiss would be in vain, and dare I say on par with kissing a brick wall. Displeasing and...simply wrong. False. And probably just as pleasurable.
I picture fireworks, my hand around a head full of hair, grasping desperately between heavy pants and longing sighs. Soft skin and full cheeks.
A redness reaches my face, and suddenly I'm letting out the gust of wind I swore I would keep in.
"You're blushing, " he says, grinning, under the impression that his gaze has caused such an effect. The gust of wind I just created clearly not a talking point of conversation in his eyes.
If only I could tell him it was because of the fact that I am barely present in this moment, thinking about someone else, a girl who could never feel the same way as I do about her.
A girl by the name of Sterling Wesley.
"You're right....I am..." I manage to muster, short of breath with awkwardness or anxiety, or a common concoction of the two. A vicious cocktail of nerves.
I know that he's about to move in closer, empty the space between us with his muscular body that I cannot bring myself to find even remotely inviting.
And so I consider my options.
I could kiss this boy, here, now, and forget the name of Sterling Wesley. I could marry this man, have his stupid muscular children, and live in a quiet suburb with an apron and a baking pan in my hand at all times and pretend I'm attracted to something that I will never be attracted to. Or I could run, now, and leave my lips un-kissed for another, whether it be Sterling Wesley or otherwise.
My hand reaches over his muscular chest, and then, I push.
He is somewhat taken aback, and who can blame him? This music room has most likely seen many a couples making out, among other more non-christian activities. However, I refuse to be another notch on the bed post of a boy that I will never care for.
Now if Sterling were in this music room, legs crossed on top of a classroom chair, her body atop a table, her hair band keeping her somewhat messy ponytail intact begging to be pulled out, this might just be another scenario. Alas, it is merely me and a boy. A boy that dare I say, I have forgotten the name of.
Andrew, Chris, Samuel, Mike? It escapes me.
A game of 'guess the guys name you were about to marry and have 2.5 kids with in your head' is redundant at this very moment, and a game of 'lets get the hell out of here now and not look back' seems much more appropriate, and so, I do just that.
Andrew-Chris-Samuel-Mike utters not a single word as I make my way out of the music room and into the hall. I hear a simple sigh, and know that in this instance, I have won this round.
'Won' being a loose term in this instance, as I am still the only person I know in my grade that has never been kissed.
When I slam the music room door behind me, I feel like a lost girl being chased by a serial killer, a serial killer with no form or body, only presence. An attacker that has no name other than shame, fear, embarrassment. Idle words that feel less than trivial.
I’m not ashamed for being gay, and I’m hardly embarrassed, but fear is at the forefront of everything I do, everything I say. I’m terrified.
If word gets out that I might possibly be in love with Sterling Wesley, and by possibly, I mean I would literally walk through fire for her, I’d be over. My life would be over.
And so the knife is constantly at my back, digging in, drawing blood.
I can feel it as I press my body against the door, as I picture the door as her.
Debate team, that’s my life, is that why I am debating with my own brain every minute of every day?
Tell Sterling, don’t tell Sterling. Kiss Sterling, don’t kiss Sterling.
And there she is. Not a mirage, not a non-existent entity like the knife at my back begging me to keep a secret.
In the flesh.
Her steps are somewhat graceful, somewhat clumsy, a rarity. She is a rarity. Her hair is down today, straightened, beautifully kept, and her eyes reflect the ceiling lights above her. If I wasn't already breathless from my previous altercation, I would be now.
She's approaching, closer, closer still, and suddenly my breathing finds a way to escalate anyway despite the harshness of my lungs already filling, deflating, filling, deflating. The knife at my back silently begs me to slow it down. And so, I do.
When we're face to face, she looks at me with no distinguishable features, nothing to tell me what she's thinking on the inside. I probably wouldn't want to know, anyway.
"I need to get into the music room, Luke left his guitar in there, " she says, her words as empty as the kiss I almost shared with a stranger I will never care for.
Now it's time I play my part, the part I'm so accustomed to playing now.
"Maybe it's time you actually learn some manners, Sterling. The bible does teach us not to be spoiled brats you know, " I practically spit her name like fire, despite feeling like a dragon with nothing but smoke.
I push her shoulder with my own as I take my leave, and pray to god that the feeling of her body against mine lingers for the rest of the day.
Despite this, I know that it won't.