As usual I was watching Jane.
We were sitting in
a cubicled area, shielded from the others. We were alone.
She was working on the maths
problems that I had solved earlier while she accepted the
adoration of another; her friend had
stroked on layer after layer of blood red
nail polish in supplication. I noticed Jane's
She wrote neatly but ornately, using a circle to dot her
while I scrawled rapidly for fear that the flow of ideas
would outpace my writing speed. She had a plethora of
coloured pens and pencils
to my single chewed biro. Her folders were
brightly decorated altars to various icons; mine were plain.
She was concentrating hard, her head low over the desk, intent
on her work.
Her long brown hair kept falling over her notepad
and she repetitively swept it away with
an irritated gesture. Each time she seemed
annoyed afresh that the hair was still there.
As she inhaled and exhaled the sweater clad foothills of
her breasts rose
and fell, rose and fell, rose and fell.
Absently she slipped her necklace over her chin and
arched, so that it caught there, a rigid curve.
I think she enjoyed the taut feeling.
She checked an answer with me and when I told her it was wrong
she beckoned me to sit by her,
intoxicatingly close. I hastily acceded to her wish, and mine.
Now I was near enough to inhale her clean girl scent.
She took the luteous chain between her lips and I could almost
taste its metallic tang.
My thigh brushed hers and I involuntarily
She impatiently tap-tap-tapped her pen on the page and I refocused,
quickly spotting the sign error and it's
consequences. I didn't immediately reveal this, though.
I wanted to extend the moment, glorying in
the feeling that for once it was her eyes on me. But intellectual
egotism soon triumphed and I imperiously
corrected the errors with swift, confident pen strokes.
She was bright,
the only one
worth talking to, so she was entitled
to a suspicious frown, as she checked my
working. But yes, this time the terms cancelled
and she smiled her assent.
I breathed in her aroma, felt the warmth of her
exalted in her approval. Certain that
she must want me, I said
"Jane...you know I...like you?"
Immediately I knew it was a mistake.
I felt the horror of the "Halloween" teen
the instant before he is butcher-knifed to the
wall. I silently reproached myself
for believing she
could be interested in me.
I awaited the sharpened steel blade of my fate.
She smiled and took hold of my head with both hands. Her palms
were slightly damp on my reddening cheeks. Hope sparked in me
as I dared to believe that this was important for her too.
She tilted my face so that I was looking directly
into her eyes. I could feel myself dissolving into them as she
me toward her. She was going to kiss me. She was going to kiss me.
At the last moment she planted her moist lips just above my eyes.
Her wordless message was clear: you're sweet but I don't want you.
I felt unbearably exposed. Now
I couldn't wait for her
to leave me alone.
She collected up her books. She collected up her folders.
She collected up her pencils. It seemed to take an age and all the time
I burned. Then she walked away. Her hips undulated beautifully as she moved,
or at least
I imagined they did, with my anointed forehead on the desk.