“I can see you naked.”
“What?” yelped Karen, throwing her hand over her cleavage.
“I can see you naked,” I repeated. “See? It’s working already. I was scared of speaking in front of you, and now you’re the one that’s uncomfortable. It’s in this speech book – one of the many ways I can get comfortable in front of a large crowd.”
Karen hoisted her tank top up to her neck. “Jeepers, you’re only reciting a poem in front of Dillon and the class! Is it that big of a deal??”
I dropped my page on the desk. “It’s only Dillon?? Karen!!!”
“FINE! Dillon is the most gorgeous guy in the whole school and this is your message to him,” she droned. “Okay, I get it! Just seduce him already!”
“Oh, I plan on it girlfriend.” I raised one recently plucked eyebrow and wiggled my right hip in her direction. Despite the fact that our school skirt wouldn’t attract a rodent, we both laughed hysterically. Crushes do that to you.
The hour of possibilities arrived -- English class. Mr. Clifford scanned his list, lifted his glasses in my direction, and curled his little finger at me. “Gina, you recite your sonnet first.”
I stood in front of the shrubbery of learning minds, fingers gripping the sheet of paper that had all of my emotions but nothing of his name on its side. It trembled mockingly as I raised my eyes above it before the class….and Dillon.
Out of the corner of my eye I could see Karen’s upraised thumb encouraging me on. For some reason, it made me think of the speech book. A smirk wriggled across my lips and a snicker galloped through my nose. The ensuing noise was far more hilarious to the class than my nerves could react to politely. Without even thinking I shouted, really loudly, “I was only laughing ‘cuz I could see you all naked.”
The instantaneous uproar was uncontrollable. Bobby had tears coming out his nose, Sarah was holding her ribs so tight she could have stopped breathing, and Dillon, my Dillon, was looking at me with a huge grin on his face and he was clapping! Like instant strawberry pudding dissolving in milk, my face turned a velvet shade of red and I ran to my seat. Beside me, Karen’s head was lost on the desk in her folded arms. If she wasn’t my best friend, I could have sworn she was laughing too. My life, as I knew it, was over.
Mr. Clifford shuffled up and down through the rows of desks, waving his spectacles up and down, saying, “Settle down now class.” He turned to me and lifted one eyebrow. “Ms. Fry? We’ll get back to you later.” I slid farther down into my chair.
After the bell I waited in my den of self-pity for everyone else to leave before I uncurled from my fetal position…at least... I thought everyone had left. I lifted my head to see Dillon standing right beside me, that stupid grin still on his face.
“Hey Gina,” he whispered seductively, “I can see you naked. Rrrraarh!” and he laughed like he was the funniest alpha male in the world. Then he left me there, alone.
I glazed over the words of love and desire I’d written and rewritten, night after night, daydream after daydream.
How can I stop my self from loving you?
Almost a god, so muscular, so kind.
A supernatural love so strong, so true
makes heaven’s thoughts weave patterns through my mind.
You’re like the Greek god, Adonis, enthroned.
Charisma, looks, physique, they conquer me.
All thoughts of single life have been disowned.
This heart of mine can no longer be free.
The gods carry the world upon their back.
They conquer every heart of all their realms.
The way you look in my eyes leaves no lack.
All normal things your deep gaze overwhelms.
As much as my heart feels this love for you,
I pray that your heart feels the same way too.
A sickness rose up from within, and with many tears I scribbled out the last two lines. Under the inky blackness these words belched out:
I thought your heart was something I desired,
but all that’s over after what’s transpired.
I crumpled up my heart on paper and threw it, with an angry sob, into the trash can.
Somehow, imagining people naked wasn’t quite so funny anymore….
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