Brown eyes, brown eyes—actually, yours are gray.
The vestige of laughter wore off any traces of fatigue in the dimly lit classroom. Loose bonds knotted from the previous day's testing bound this small triplet in the corner together. Nothing, sans the chatter of the classroom detracted my attention from delight of the conversation. From the side of corner of my eye, you weaved your way past the musicians blocking off the entrance. An array of pink, brown, and turquoise flank the desktop. Thud. Our trio, still enraged over our individual, yet equally fastidious, essay prompts, roared over our meek responses.
From the corner of my eye, something caught my attention. Future plans were touched upon during our trio's hour-long wait drenched as sprawled figures on the floor, sure, but all recollection of such a jovial time shut under lock and key. Maybe it was the good mood of the morning or my sleepiness, but when I glanced into your expression, I saw you don the exact expression I wore nearly three years ago where our roles were reversed.
I inhaled sharply. Fear, with a pin of uncertainty rung your eyes, your lips, your snarky remarks silent. For the first time in a while, my eyes directly contacted with another's, and my body ran cold, even as our teacher tapped at us to look to the whiteboard.
Our minds cower away and filter our perceptions to what we wish to see, yet as clear as day, the first day of growing up flared in my mind. There was you, wearing a pink flowing shirt with skin as tan as the coconut oils of Hawaii. I, vesting a gray shirt resting snugly on my shoulders. Us, both cackling away at a sanitizer joke. This was before the ranking, before intellect was prioritized over friendships, before the underlying scintillating, scathing scorn strained our ties for they had chosen you, before our positions into moving forward in the next step had us locked with little leeway in movement.
Both of trajectories were both for success, but yours was a straight path, while mine zigzagged its way, straining to grasp the top. Over the years, we sat across the table, indifferent to the individual sitting across from us. Genetic makeup may dictate otherwise, but our struggles mirrored each other as if placed on opposite sides of a mirror.
The days flow murky as we swam (you could swim—you were a fish) in the sea of school. Locks clicked lightly into place. Colorful lunch boxes slapped the hallways to and fro. Your snappy comebacks stood as a usual medium for sleepy mornings in the classroom. Life dictated for years to us to eschew, separating into our respective groups of friends. Yet somehow, conversations sprung from our parched mouths, sometimes one-sided on both ends, but still a conversation. "The test was hard." "Oh, she said..." Banality blocked the roads, and we clawed our way past, nails bleeding and functions etched in our hands.
Time had not been good to us. From hindsight, your sass did not stand on par with my earnestness. Sentimentality? A foreign word not spelled out in your nearly impervious armor. We hardly know each other! We hardly know the other's personalities or eye color!
Our minds cower and filter a perception we wish to see, but now? It is time to step out and meet you in the day's light, and I honestly cannot wait.
p.s. A small thought piece, with some elements of fiction & nonfiction weaved in. Which parts are which, though, is up to you to decipher. Something I wrote last night before panicking over Declamation forms. Check out my Guestbook & Survey, anyone?