“I think I fell in love with you when called me an asshole. Crazy, right? And I very well could be an asshole, depending on who you ask. Anyway, everyone always said you were the sweetest person. You got along with everyone. You helped our classmates out without ever appearing annoyed. Somehow we ended up sitting close by. There were few people I talked to and you were the one I wanted to talk to the most. You were so cute! You fidgeted with pens all the time and your smile was always small and slightly crooked. You hunched over your desk laughing when something was extremely funny. You didn’t do that too often, but you did it around me the most. ‘I’m special’, I thought. I was 100% delusional, I know but, could you blame me? I liked you so much and I didn't even know it! One day, I said something, something you didn’t like. I made your shoulders tense and your eyes hardened to a deep chestnut from its usual soft caramel. “You’re an asshole,” you said and turned your body away from me. I remember my jaw dropping in shock and my heartbeat building in intensity in time with my breaths. I was scared yet enlightened at the same time. ‘I’m special’, I knew. Because you cared about what I said more than other people. You showed a side to me that none of our classmates had seen. I was special and the need to keep that place in your life outweighed any overdue assignments I had. Priorities, am I right?
We didn’t talk for the rest of the day or a few days after that. I knew what that empty feeling in my chest was. You were missing. We still sat near each other, what were we supposed to do? Change our unassigned assigned seats? Head spinning and ears ringing, I gave you a note crumpled and damp from the unyielding grip I had on it. I remember it very clearly. It wrote: ‘I’m so sorry for what I said. I crossed a line and made an awful ‘joke’ about something I really had no business speaking about. I’m sorry that I upset you. I just want you to know that I truly am sorry.’ It’s not really a great apology, but I was 17–I hadn’t apologized for much at that time and I didn’t really know what “accountability” was. But by some miracle you read the note and started talking to me again and you never stopped talking to me. And since then I’ve never stopped loving you.”
She’s done it again. I’ve fallen under the captivating spell found in the endless depths of her eyes. I’m transfixed by the mirth, dark brown that dances on the edges of the iris. I know I’m being teased, but I can’t help but laugh along. She places her smiling face delicately within the palms of her hands, dark skin and gold jewelry catching the sunlight. “I love you,” I say without preamble. Her charmingly intense eyes widen slightly the same way they always do when she hears those words. Someday soon, I pray, they’ll soften in understanding and acceptance.