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Dancing Cherry Blossoms
There was a petal on the windowsill.
It was the season of spring, the season of blossoms. Outside, the air would be thick with its frilliness, the pollen, and of course, her brother’s frequent sneezes.
When the bell tolled, she slung her knapsack over her shoulders and her parents gave her their blessings. Immediately, the atmosphere changed from a stuffy, cramped adobe to the vast, open, blooming, green and pink surrounding her. Cherry blossom petals danced in the air while the wispy wind provided the beat from its tender howl. She clutched a journal close to her bosom. Three days before, the book was void, but then, she was afraid the last third of it won’t be enough for both her notes and her heart’s exuberant chatter.
The thought of him was too compelling; she felt like the same cherry blossom petals lingering in the wind had suddenly found their way inside her mouth and spun around in her stomach—not like weightless butterflies but like clay dreidels. His dark brown hair, his tall, skinny stature, the comforting look of compassion his coffee colored eyes would always be guilty of carrying made the petals twist and tango inside her; and that smile—that smile that would let you know when the sun dies, there’d still be a bright light shining over the earth caused them to gyrate and twirl to the rhythm of a rumba. To force her to stop feeling this fondness would be the same as ripping out her heart and running over it with approximately three dumpster trucks.
That day seemed to be closer than ever; a droning honk from an upcoming garbage truck reminded her that she was still walking, right into traffic. She dashed to safety and let a sigh escape from her lips. Her heart beat quickened, but it was nothing compared to when she was with him. Loving him was an easy game she would always win, even if he’d never be willing to play for her love.
The day was aging. Students in uniform attire sat outside with their lunch bags regardless of the cherry blossoms falling from the sky like pink droplets of snow. She stood inside and witnessed the sight from the window. Couples rushed outside with locked hands and found a place to sit under the trees. Some fed their partners, and others locked more than just hands.
Soon she would be there with him. She would be hoisted on the trunk of the tree, and his head would be resting on her stomach, lying down and creating a pink snow angel. Blossoms would continue to fall. She would pluck them from his head, and he’d continue to move frivolously as if he were in Wonderland. She pretended to be annoyed by his childish behavior, but she was more than elated to be his Alice.
A warm sound resonated in the air. It was his voice and it struck her from her fantasy like lightning. Unfortunately, he wasn’t speaking to her. There was a crowd of boys surrounding him a couple of feet away from the threshold and he was laughing. None of them looked familiar to her. Nevertheless, she contemplated on sitting to avoid any kind of embarrassment. As she turned, she could hear him utter something similar to, where is she? She was curious—who was she? Yes, he was more than attractive, but she’d never seen him cuddle up with another girl under those boughs. No, she was sure of it. Sooner rather than later however, her question was answered. A longer-legged boy from the group turned and pointed. To her. She was her.
She was petrified. They were talking about her the whole time. They were making fun of her. Everyone was outside enjoying the sweet spring air and she was just there, inside by herself and some others of even lower status on the high school hierarchy.
She hastily rushed to the nearest table. The occupants at the table were somewhat startled, but they resumed their game of Yu-Gi-Oh, all except for one that muttered something to her. She didn’t hear him so he nodded to the floor. She averted her vision to the cafeteria floor where she had just been standing. The notebook.
There were no words to describe feelings she drowned herself in at that moment. Before she could even blink, she was already on the floor reaching for her notebook. She let out another exasperated sigh of relief, all her thoughts of him coming over and picking it up like every cliché love story blew away like the dancing flowers outside. She wished her fellow classmates would do the same-- each and every one of them with their stupid outgoing characteristics and charming looks she was never blessed with. She curtly grabbed her book and stood with cross eyes. She spun on her heels so swiftly the pollen was spurred in the air and less than half a second later, she sneezed.
Before she could open her eyes, she already predicted whose body would be casting a shadow over her. Her hand which covered her mouth lowered down to accompany her other hand carrying the notebook and she thanked him. “Thanks, Jayme.”
“No prob, Clarissa.” And then she was silent. She didn’t know what to do or say—this had never happened before, nor had she ever dreamt of it happening anytime soon. The silence ripened the color in her cheeks. The feeling as her face warmed up made them even more pigmented.
Finally, in time that seemed like a hundred years passed, he broke the silence. “Hey, I don’t know if you’re busy or anything but…”
She tried her best to conceal her exhilaration and did a good job of doing so. Her nerves calmed and her voice wasn’t so shaky when she replied, as hungry for the sound of his voice as before, but this time it was speaking to her.
“Can you…” Come with me? Hold my hand? Kiss me? Drugging her feelings caused her imagination to over-fabricate, having an imagination of its own. “Yes?” She begged for his body. She couldn’t help herself. She wanted him now, and for the first time, when he’d ask her to go outside with her for whatever apparent reason, she’ll escape from that shell confiding her to a life of watch and wait. She’ll tell him how she feels about him, even if he doesn’t feel the same.
“please…”The way her heart longed for him even when he wasn’t in the same building as her created such lust she couldn’t destroy without admitting to her love. Her own hormones were overriding her every function, and she wanted to let him know. She was going to do it.
“ …see if I have any cherry blossoms in my hair?”
The lunchroom was in an uproar. The red took over. The smile on his face was still genuinely shining in front of her. But around her everyone was genuinely doing the same, but laughing recklessly. She shut her eyes. “No, you don’t!” Then, she ran.
His smile sagged and his face contorted in complete confusion. He glanced at the noisy table to the left of him. One guy with thick-rimmed glasses and a bowl cut screamed in triumph holding a card with what appeared to be a white dragon illustrated on it. He was being hugged by his fellow supporters, and the student across from that side of the table was crying in disbelief, packing his cards and wiping his tears on his sleeve.
He averted his eyes to the actual person that was being pointed at. Tammy walked over toward him, her waist-length hair swaying as her long legs completed short, hip-thrusting strides. The student asked, “What did you do to that girl?”
He replied, “Noooo idea. Hey, did you do Mr. Duncan’s homework?”
“Sure, but get those petals out your hair. You know I hate the smell.”
She scribbled it all inside her notebook that night. The midnight bell tolled. She shut the book, laid it on her table, and grasped the chain to her lamp. Before flicking it off, she gaped at the window black from the night outside which tainted the window with darkness from corner to corner—all except for one.
There was a petal on the windowsill.