he sat in the row of desks next to her and reminded her of a southern gentleman from the civil war,
a handsomely torn expression on his face with an impressive amount of facial hair
and those deep, poetic eyes like small worlds shadowed by a concerned brow
those eyes would sweep across her in moments when she pretended she could not feel them taking her in
she became more aware of how she held her pen, the part in her long brown hair, how her sleeves should be rolled up, all of the trivial matters of attraction.of course during these curious beginnings to a visual flirtation these things do matter. an hour and 15 minutes twice a week was her time to show him and not tell him how lovely she might be. they were in this class to learn about writing and the teacher always told them to do that anyway; show, don't tell! show him.
so she would try and show him that she was not shy to share her opinion, that her arms could be raised and from the calling on of fingertips she could produce an answer that was thoughtful. she could speak with eloquence and add a witty remark. she could wear stylish dresses and necklaces that her grandmother wore once. she could imagine her makeup smeared by an antebellum beard. and verses would circle his eyes and tell you all the lines you could not hear. because he never talked to her, you see. they only passively spoke to each other in class. they watched each other when they pretended not to notice. they softly agreed with each other when speaking in discussions. they created an indirect appreciation of one another. her eyes travelled all across his back and his face in profile would turn ever so slightly to return those intrigued looks.
but it was nearing towards the end of this class, and they still had never said "Hi."
she left class one afternoon with the intention of skipping her next class and noticed that he was walking in front of her. she did not seize this as an opportunity to talk about stupid things that were an excuse to start something between them. but she did not let him walk much farther than she.
she noticed that he was going the same route as her apartment and continued to slowly follow his feet. he glanced back over his shoulder like he had so many times before to her and they smiled at one another. "Hello" they said, without opening their mouths. they kept walking in this formation, with him every so often checking to see if she was still smiling to herself behind him. he did this about four or so times until she had reached her apartment. she opened the gate to the concrete stairway ahead of her and when he looked back to see she was not behind him, she slammed the gate extra hard so he would turn to see her standing on the stairs smiling at him above on the 3rd floor of her apartment complex. they paused for a moment and she waved from her stairs. still never speaking, just shaking her hand left to right and right to left to show him she acknowledged those side glances, that she acknowledged him. and he quickly waved back and then shyly folded his arms back in place and began to walk away. they still had not spoken to each other, but this small moment spoke to her. and she laughed to herself and reviewed what had happened in her mind, imagining how she would explain it to someone else and wondering if they would be able to see it in their minds with so few words.