She sat on the means outside the cafeteria, the Tennessee River reflected in her Buddy Holly glasses as they slid down her nose. Her dull eyes solidified in focus underneath a mop of Bob Dylan hair as her fingers wrung music from an acoustic guitar. The melody she played was “Include It Up” by Violent Femmes, or possibly “In the Airplane Over the Sea” by Neutral Milk Hotel — it’s been 17 years, so a few things are somewhat fluffy.

I do recall that I arrived late to class that day. As I mounted the means and came into her view, she looked into, favored me with a dashing grin and a wink, at that point restored her regard for her crowd of companions as though nothing had occurred. We’d met a couple of months prior, when she walked into the principal day of ensemble each piece the strange new child with her sticker-secured guitar case notwithstanding playing clarinet. She’d sat down only in front of mine and supported me with a look and an imposing “Hello” before flipping her hair and covering her nose in a book about Radiohead. I became hopelessly enamored with her later, discreetly and without style, nestled into bed at two in the first part of the day on a weeknight, a cumbersome cordless telephone supported against my ear, my voice low so as not to awaken my folks. That minute on the front advances was the point at which I started to like her, or to like her-like her in secondary school terms. It wasn’t until years after the fact that I figured out how to comprehend what we were.


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