To THE “French boy,”
We didn’t speak two different languages, but we honestly might as well have.
The silence was immense during passing period; we glimpsed each other and walked down the hall just to enter two different rooms. Maybe it was symbolic. That even though we “met,” life would take us on two very different paths to two different destinations.
I turned around and walked away that night out of fear of the unknown. We had never spoken. I didn’t think that we would be anything more than strangers, even though I secretly wished that I had the guts to prove otherwise.
There was also the day when you entered the room and we made eye-contact; I was stunned. We realized that our daily schedules after all this time weren’t that different.
I also saw you at prom. We passed each other and never exchanged a single word.
On the first day of finals, I almost ran into you before we entered the building. My courage failed me and I scrambled up the stairs. I lost my chance again.
There was also the last day for us to return books. You were a few people ahead of me in line and we stood inches away when you came over with your friends. I don’t know if you were too shy to look in my direction, but I knew that we both knew that the other was there. I signed their yearbooks and they signed mine, but our yearbooks were never exchanged.
On the field, we stood just a few feet away. Neither of us dared to approach the other and instead hovered around mutual friends waiting for the chance opportunity to present itself.
I didn’t see you again until a few days ago. I don’t know if you knew ahead of time, but we ended up on the same bus. Maybe it was a last-ditch attempt for us to cross paths. We certainly did, but neither of us made a move.
On the bus, I saw you smile and sink into your own thoughts as the excitement around us mingled with the afternoon sunshine. The end was near, but it wasn’t here yet. We had time.
At dinner, we saw each other again. What are the odds? But nothing happened. The hope in my chest dimmed to a weak glow.
Silent nights. Weary bodies and aching shoulders. Throbbing feet. Exhaustion.
Dark nights. Street lights and shadows. Movement.
A clock. Ticking.
The words in my head that were lined up behind my closed lips crashed into each other like a chain of dominoes as the bus got off the freeway.
The end was almost here.
You left without a word.
As silently as you had entered.
I wish things were different.