Blood trickles to my cheeks, flashing ruby, soaking across a pale surface. The throbbing vehicle behind my ribs deafens me and I redden further as the sound fills my ears, as I’m sure it does his. Breath fails me- my lungs quiver in frantic intakes of panic desperation. Words fall away to the most basic reverberations; a string of sound clouds in my throat, but my tongue stiffens stubbornly. The snarl-smile attempt curls back into its gum-lined cavern, expiring into a flat-lined face.
Moment passed. Compliment paid.
My reflection contracts, twists in sky around formidable black holes. It stares back at me as he does. He. Him.
Classroom politics dictate that I must not speak first. But moments ago as he sauntered in, casually late, with his feather fair hair swept effortlessly back and his backpack unaware of the concept of two straps, I found my eyes were not my own. His tall frame was perched so close to mine, I felt him radiate towards me, as if we were trapped in our own little vacuum. I couldn’t help but splutter: “Hi.”
‘Hi!’ What a fool, what a simpleton I was!
But the words breathed into our enclosure next are the reason my lungs feel like sandpaper… “I like your hair,” he said.