Hidden Feelings

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Class was too boring, too dull, too ordinary. But he wasn’t.

I lay my cheek in my palm with my elbow propped up on the desk. I had a window seat, lucky me. I could have looked out into the courtyard of that school and gotten lost in my own thoughts, counting blades of grass or making guesses on where the squirrel would look next. I could have made shapes out of clouds and imagined putting pranks in the courtyard but I couldn’t. Because he was there, scribbling furiously into a notebook with anger you could taste on your tongue as you sighed with pure boredom, the etching and scratching of led and paper hand and eraser rubbing over and over, it drowned out Mrs. Hawkinsons voice to a hum in the background. The beginning of a symphony or a band as the first few instruments lead us into… him. Him with his pencil making music, art onto the stage of his spiral notebook, a stack of lined paper. I watched his aggressive strikes slow and ease, bringing soft edges and delicate detail on a small house. The classroom goes silent, the teacher returns to her desk. The conductor bows in my head and he puts his pencil down, staring at the page as if he wasn’t sure how it got there.

“It will fall.” I murmured, eyes on the house he drew teetering over the edge of a plain building that resembled a prison, or our school.
“no,” he shook his head, “It won’t” he closed his notebook and shoved it into his backpack.
“How could it not? It’s hanging on by a thread! One blow of wind and you’ve got a fallen house, dead at the bottom of whatever is on the page below it.” I rambled, feeling the tips of my ears get hot.

He turned back to me and I expected him to laugh, but he didn’t.

“It won’t, not unless pushed.” He explained.

He didn’t look away for a while, I didn’t either. I didn’t know how to react or what to say so we sat in silence, staring at each other until he blinked and looked down at his hands. His expression twisted and I looked at his hands too. They were big, darkened with led and strong, strong enough to lift me out of the chair I was in. But they trembled.

“I hope it doesn’t.” I waited for him to hear me, look at me, smile.

But he didn’t.


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