I was sitting at the edge of her mattress. We barely looked at each other. She would have been in Chemistry if we hadn’t skipped third period. I would have been in English II.
Finally, she said, I’m happy we’re here.
I said, Me too.
We’d talked a lot before this. On the phone. Text messages only. Sometimes I felt bad that I couldn’t appreciate her voice.
She said, What was that?
I said, Nothing. I didn’t say anything.
We were quiet for ten minutes. I thought, This is weird. I thought, What is happening? I thought, I probably shouldn’t kiss her.
Then she stood up. She said, I have Accelerated Algebra II.
She grabbed my hands. Her hands were soft but cold. I didn’t want to let go of her hands.
She said, I hate math. I zone out in class a lot.
We walked out of her room, toward the front door of the house. The front door was in the living room.
She said, I changed my mind. Let’s watch a movie instead.
I sat on the couch and she put on a movie. I remember there were guns in the movie. The guns made me uncomfortable. I put my head back against the couch and looked up at the ceiling.
She looked at me and said, Are you okay?
I said, I don’t like guns. Guns scare me.
We watched the rest of the movie. I didn’t pay much attention. I’m terrible at paying attention to things. The movie ended, and she said, Did you like it?
I said, I had trouble paying attention.
She said, Oh. Sorry.
I said, Why do you apologize for stuff that you have no control over?
She said, I don’t know.
I said, A lot people do it. I do it sometimes. I never understood why.
She said, Oh. Sorry.
I felt sad. I felt bored and sad.
She asked me what I like to do when I’m bored. I said, I write stuff. She asked what kind of stuff I write. I said, Poems, prose, music, short stories, novels. She said she didn’t know what prose was.
She asked how I write.
I said, I don’t know. I feel like I don’t have a personality when I write.
She said, But you have a personality.
I said, I probably do, but I can’t tell sometimes.
She said, Oh.
I said, I used to think in an Irish accent.
She laughed. She said, What the fuck.
I said, My brain talked like an Irish person.
She said, We could climb on the roof right now.
We went outside and climbed up on the roof and I picked at the broken shingles. I started throwing the pieces from the broken shingles at cars that passed by. She started doing the same thing. This went on for an hour and a half. Then we got down and walked back to school. Halfway to school she stopped and said, Can you hold my hand?
I held her hand for the rest of the walk to school. I felt nervous. I thought, We should be in sixth period right now. I thought, We shouldn’t even bother to go to school. I thought, School is out in twenty minutes.
We got to school and I walked her to her class.
She turned to me and said, I love you.
My head felt numb. I said, I love you too.
I leaned in to kiss her. Her lips were dry. I hadn't kissed anyone in six months. It felt good.
I walked to my class and sat in my desk without saying anything to my teacher about why I was late. I thought, She said she loved me. I thought, I said it back. I thought, That was weird.
The final bell rang and I was the first to leave the classroom. I considered walking to her classroom to see her again, but I hesitated. I thought, Maybe she didn't mean it. I thought, But maybe she did.
I thought, I love you too, and walked toward her classroom.