All I ever could muster were shy glances at them, my muddy eyes unworthy to look into her turquoise and lapis treasure rooms into which all the boys I could never be sought audience.
Whenever I saw her in the hallway, I would drop my attention to her shoes, knees, what color hosiery she wore that day. I’m sure I came across as some mumbling fetishist whenever I was in her presence. Floor tiles and I had the eye to eye relationship I dreamed of having with her. Hell, the one I wish I had with the whole world.
But one day, as I turned the hallway corner, my nose pointed to the furthermost frontiers of my footsteps, she and I collided in a mélange of arms, legs and parts hitherto unknown to my virgin, clumsy touch. The whole world turned topsy-turvy. Shamefaced, head-down, I skittered to my knees, gathering books, papers, purse contents and a view of blue tights I’d only previously seen on clotheslines.
I looked up to see her staring into my eyes. Since I’d picked up everything off the floor and nowhere in my hands could I find a pile of courage, I concentrated on the bridge of her nose. Eight, nine, ten freckles’ worth.
“You really should keep those cute brown eyes up when you’re walking, Bashful. And from now on, especially when you’re talking…to me.” she said.
Twelve, thirteen, fourteen, fift…
That’s what it took, you know, when is was fourteen going on fifteen. I had to turn the world upside down to see things as she did, as they probably should be, as they eventually would be for the next thirty years with my blue-eyed treasure.
That was the day when all my looking down began looking up.
This is a very fast — and VERY LONG — free write based on a quote from Joanne Harris offered by my friend, the wonderful writer and poet Kellie Elmore. I never know where Kellie’s prompts will take me. In this case, the journey was a hell of a lot more pleasant than the destination of a completed poem or story. But, write I must, something for every day in April.