23. Sugar: Write something so sweet, it makes your teeth hurt.
She always sat alone, and he always wondered why. She hid behind her hair, trying to fold in upon herself, sliding past people in the corridor, pushing herself into the corners. Her head was always down, her shoulders hunched. He couldn’t understand it.
He couldn’t understand it because, to him, she was the most beautiful girl in the world.
Once, when she thought no one had been looking, he had seen her smile. He was determined to see that smile again.
It had been on the first day of school. They had both gotten lost together on the way to a class, and had fallen in together in a silent alliance. They had been rushing through the halls, their bags attacking their backs, when, suddenly, he had gone flying. It was a comedy gold sort of fall. Every part of his body flew out in ridiculous ways. He couldn’t have looked more funny if he’d tried. Anyone would have laughed. He would have laughed. And not just a hastily concealed chuckle, but a full-on, uncontrollable belly laugh.
But not her. Instead all he got was just one glorious smile. There was no malice in it. It was just sheer joy and surprise. But what fascinated him most was how it changed her entire face, lifted it, transformed it.
And then, as soon as it had come, it was gone. The sun was back behind the clouds. She had never spoken to him, all that time they had been running to their class, and the fall didn’t change that.
But it had changed him. Changed him irrevocably. He had fallen in love in a second and where this would have made others impatient it made him the opposite. He was ready to wait. Because he knew that one day his patience would pay off, and he would see that smile again.