Throughout the entire school year, he only had one desire: To meet her. To be in the same room with her. To stand or sit near her so that he could talk to her or hear her speak. Now that that desire has been fulfilled — they are sitting directly opposite each other in the jeepney — he discovered another desire: To get as far away from her as possible. For he found her both utterly beautiful and utterly frightening.
He dared not look straight at her. Instead, he turned to face the window. He looked at the people and cars passing by. His neck started to hurt. Then, as casually as he could, he turned his head and glanced in front. Her eyes were closed. She was holding on to the railing on the ceiling. He stared at her long, white arm and elbow. Somehow, he had the feeling that she wasn’t really sleeping. He had the suspicion that she was just pretending to be asleep, and that, in reality, she was only avoiding him. Her eye lashes were long. He admired her nose. He marveled at her cheeks, chin, and lips.
Her other hand was resting on her bag which rested on her lap. Her fingers began to gently move. She stirred and he looked away again. He feigned interest in the things they were passing by.
That was roughly 9 years ago. He thinks about it every day. Even at night, just before he drifts off to sleep, he finds himself asking, “Why didn’t I speak to her?”
*As I’ve explained in previous posts, I am in the process of writing a collection of extremely short stories or flash fiction. My goal is 33 stories. This is perhaps number 1.