She sketched out a faint drawing of a heart with an arrow in it.
He peered over her shoulder.
The arrow was sharp as their words, she claimed, and when it pierced her heart, it stuck.
He always stood in awe of her meaningful artworks from scribbles to masterpieces.
She quickly tucked away her drawing pad when she caught his eyes on her.
“Why do you hide your work? It’s beautiful,” he said softly, reaching out to tuck her hair behind her ear.
“Leave me alone!” she said as she pushed his hand away.
“Wait,” he called, but it was too late, her sunshine hair was already flowing down the hall.
She ran and never looked back; she couldn’t look back.
He sighed as he stuffed his hands in his pockets and turned the other way.
She leapt down the stairs at a frightening pace, hot tears streaming down all the way.
He slowly shuffled his feet as he gathered his load.
She came to an abandoned corner, and softly whispered, “I’ve found my place.”
He let the crowd shove him about as they all flooded to lunch.
She sat in the corner alone and resumed her drawing, making the arrow sharper.
He got his cold lunch from the cafeteria and sat alone at a blue picnic table.
Tears came back to her eyes as she remembered many words, no, the words spoken to her.
He lifted a forkful of noodles, and set it back down in the cold bowl.
You’re such a dork!
He sighed once more.
Nobody cares, Loser!
He laid his head of brown hair on the table.
“Why won’t she listen to me?”
Sorry, no jerks allowed, Jerk!
“I was just admiring her drawings.”
Teacher’s pet! Teacher’s pet!
He played the thoughts over in his head.
Tear-stains covered her sketch pad.
A voice called to him.
She turned the page and began on curvy silhouettes of trees and shadows.
“Hey, you alright?”
She was so engrossed in her creation.
“No, not really.”
Her brow furrowed and her steady scratch of her pencil ticked on the paper.
“Need to talk about it, man?”
It was coming alive inside her, she could see it clearly.
“Well, it’s a bit complex…”
A big towering tree stood tall and proud.
“Go ahead, we got all of lunch to talk.”
A valley of broken bones and dead trees stood begrudgingly beneath the tall wonder.
“It’s about my friend.”
That’s me someday.
“Go on, what about them?”
I’m a leader, just like my mother said.
“She’s been kinda toxic lately, kinda keeping her distance.”
Those bullies can’t stand up to me if I don’t let them.
“She wouldn’t even let me see her drawing today.”
I’ll break their bones and scatter their flesh over the earth.
“Well, why do you think that she’s avoiding you?”
I’ll stand up to them.
“I’m not too sure. I never really understood women-folk anyway.”
She clenched her pencil hard enough to crack it.
A small chuckle escaped their lips.
But then, she lessened her grip, easing her temper.
“Any guy that can understand women at all is a smart guy.”
I’ve made a mistake.
“Ain’t that the truth!”
She gulped down regrets and lies.
“Now, onto the reason, why?”
She hurriedly packed up her stuff and ran back up the stairs.
“I told you, I don’t know.”
She bolted out the doors into the noisy cafeteria.
“Maybe something’s been going on in her family life?”
She scanned the room, honing in on one suspect in particular.
“Maybe...But I suppose all I can do is ask.”
She walks over to the table, nervously messing around with her backpack straps.
“And you’ll get your chance, here she comes now.”
She nodded shyly at the boys, and she was appreciative when the stranger left.
“Hey. Are you doing okay?” he asked.
“About that...Look, I’m sorry about my behavior. It was childish,” she said quickly.
Taken aback, he quickly searched for words, but she was ahead of the game.
“No, don’t apologize or say something pitiful like you boys always do,” she said sternly.
“Wait, I wasn’t going to say any of that. If you will just listen to me…” his voice wandered off.
She took a deep breath. “I’ll listen.”
“I love your artwork,” he blurted out as his face reddened.
Now it was her turn to be taken aback.
“It’s just...so meaningful and amazingly drawn,” he said, shifting his legs under the table.
“No one’s ever commented about my art before. And never nice things. You really like it?” she said.
“Of course I like it! Why wouldn’t any guy in his right mind like that beauty?” he said.
A smile grew on her face.
He returned the gift.
“That’s really sweet of you. Thanks for caring,” she said halfheartedly.
He took her hand and gazed into her crystal eyes that reminded him of the ocean, stern, but gentle when it chose to be.
Her smile became genuine.
“I really meant everything I said. And also, I think your eyes are very pretty. Reminds me of the ocean, stern, but gentle when it chooses to be,” he said.
“Your hair reminds me of the forest floor, dirty, unkempt, and full of life wherever you look,” she said with a wink.
His wild laughter spread as an echo over the tables. “Now you’ve got me. Say, may I see that drawing you were working on earlier?”
She shyly handed over her notebook.
And that’s how he and she became they and them. They lived a long happy life, she as an artist, and he as a writer. They made many friends along the way, always savoring the small moments and special times.
Life is too short not to laugh, so laugh while you can. -Unknown