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Updated: Mar 31, 2021

He spots her figure a stone toss ahead of him, but he doesn’t need to see her face to recognize who she is. Her fragrance lingers on the path she took; her hair reaches to tickle at her neck. Glasses are round like an applause—the tails poking out from behind her pinkish ears, and a cleverly fixed bracelet rattles softly in her wake.

The classroom door grudgingly lets itself open, and she makes for a step in. She doesn’t seem to notice, however, the splintered beast attempting to collapse back onto her. With a swift lunge forward, he catches the door as it closes in, ripping those jaws wide open once more—before it could hurt anyone.

Only then does he realize his proximity to her. Yet, she does not. She doesn’t notice how he could almost feel his nose brush the matted edges of her hair, nor does she realize he could almost reach out and comfort her calloused hand. To him, this moment passes like an eternity. To her, it passes like any other.

Her fragrance is replaced by the sad smile of heartache, and softly rattles are drowned out by spiritless sighs.

Like always. Like it has been. Like it forever will.

I wrote this piece for a microfiction assignment in my class. The whole story focuses on a single moment, one that I conjured an especially vivid image for. In my mind, I see an afternoon glow enveloping the rear of a passing period, so it feels like there is no one in the school except the two main characters. To produce an oneiric feeling, I also chose to leave the characters unnamed. Overall, it is a deeply childish story about a quiet, isolated moment of unrequited love.

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