by Chris Eldin
Track practice is over.
I pretend to look for the coach. A friend. Some flyers about an upcoming meet. I go to the water fountain and drink until my stomach hurts.
I wander outside and sit on an equipment storage bin. No sign of Tom. Anywhere. I’m beginning to feel…. ummm. I’m feeling Ummmm.
People wave ‘bye’ as their parents pick them up. I’m one of the last to leave. I pull the ponytail holder out and shake my hair loose.
Tom walks out of the school, surrounded by friends. He laughs and jokes and teases and is so full of life and he makes living seem so easy. That’s why I love him.
My daydreams make me blush. I get ready to leave, but…
TOM IS STANDING IN FRONT OF ME!
“Your parents late?” he asks. There is sweat in his brown hair. I want to touch it.
“Yeah,” I lie. I always walk home.
“Mine too.” He hops on the storage bin and sits next to me. His leg is about two and a half inches from mine. I freeze. My toes curl inside my shoes.
He talks about yearbook photos. He talks about cars and drivers’ licenses and what he wants to do when he’s a senior. My heart won’t slow down.
Tom asks me something. His face is close. His eyes are looking at my lips.
I can’t help
tilts his head and
closes his eyes
takes my breath away.