“Today, in the hallway, a boy made me nervous with love. I do not know if I made him similarly nervous.
“For months the days had been short and cold. Hurrying, everyone tucked themselves into their jackets. Outside it had been as abandoned as the simple diagrams of perspective in my art textbooks. I was a hastily drawn two-dimensional figure on that flat emptyness divided into segments by a grid. But today was warm. I saw where the grass was. Where it had always been, because it hadn’t left. Bare shoulders, arms, and legs greeted me in congregation with one another. My heart, which had become cold like the weather outside, filled up again, or seemed ready to. The tenor of my life hadn’t changed, however, even if in that moment I thought it had.
“In the hallway I was waiting with one textbook pressed against my chest. I stood near the wall, by the garbage bins. The tutorial before mine ended. The boy came out. I recognised him. He made as if to pass me. There wasn’t any room. I was standing in the most inconvenient location. But instead of brushing past me without thinking, he looked at me. He looked me right in the eyes and saw me as I was, just standing there. We looked at each other like that, silently and not saying anything. He saw me for the first time. He recognized me. I could tell the way I looked back at him astonished him.
“‘Sorry,’ he said. A bit worried.
“‘It’s okay.’ I tried to re-assure him. He left.”
“I said I’ve seen the boy from the other day before. We’re in the same class together. I’ve seen him sitting in the rows around me. Now I watch him as he shuffles in and out, and of course nothing has really changed between us. And my body has already grown used to the warmer weather.”