“Page four seventy-one…” I murmured, flipping through the massive text book in front of me. Bright red blue and greens flashed by.
“Do you really have to do that now?” Olivia said, glaring at me over thick navy glasses.
“Yes, actually I do. In case you haven’t noticed, this book weighs as much as I do, and I don’t fancy lugging it around school all day.”
Olivia grunted. Ana grinned down at her book.
I squeezed my eyes shut and focused my mind. Problem number thirty-two… graph the inequality. I sighed and leaned back in my chair to examine the ceiling.
Out of the corner of my eye, I saw Olivia pull a book out of her backpack, obviously bored with Ana and me.
X is less than seven which is more than… The rain beat harder down on the windows. It sounded like someone was throwing rocks at us all. Not even the comforting library could make me feel better.
“So I texted my mom and she said you could sleep over,” Olivia said in her high pitched voice.
I rested the legs of my chair back down on the floor and looked across the table at her. But not before I could catch sight of Leah.
She was wearing a navy-purple button down shirt. It filled into the perfect curve of her waist, and flared out at her wide hips. She leaned on one leg, in a very casual position. Her body rocked back and forth, she was never still.
“Um hello?” Olivia was agitated, more than usual.
“Huh? Sorry, what was that?” My mind was completely blank; whatever she had said didn’t register.
“What are you staring at?” Olivia’s face twisted into a snarl.
Leah leaned on her other leg. She rested her slender arms on the main desk where the librarians sat. I felt it an injustice to her to say that I was looking at nothing.
“Everything,” I breathed.
Olivia rolled her eyes. Anything that wasn’t crystal clear bothered her. “Well, you’ll need a bus note if you’re coming over. You know what a bitch my bus driver is.” She examined her nails.
“Yeah okay,” I replied, only half meaning it.
I looked back down at my math homework. Numbers and letters blurred together. All I could think about was Leah. The thought of her was like an infestation, eating its way through the dips and curves of my imagination, leaving blissful rainbows in its wake.
I ran my hands over the blank sheet of paper in front of me. I closed the textbook with a thud. “Math is too difficult for my small brain to comprehend,” I sighed.
Ana laughed, peeking at me over her novel. Her wisps of hair cascaded across her face.
Olivia broke into a wide smile, and started her rant about her latest crush. “So I’ve been waiting all day for him to text me, but now I’m thinking that I should text him first.”
“Text who,” I asked, my eyes still glued to Leah’s back.
“You know…” She gave me that I-don’t-dare-speak-his-name look.
“Oh, right. Go on.” When Olivia is distracted, she stops asking me questions.
“But I don’t want to seem obsessive…” She droned on.
Leah pushed off the front desk and spun around. For a split second our eyes met and her face slackened. Oranges, greens, and violets exploded through my veins. But everything was a torrent and I couldn’t find the words to get her attention, or show that she had mine.
Then she was gone, and the moment felt sour and disgraceful. My small world was shoved back into a tube of black and white. No muscles worked, I couldn’t even raise my hand to say hello to Curtis, who was smiling at me.
“…Even though he has a girlfriend…” Olivia just doesn’t know when to stop.
I heard Leah’s voice echo from the outside hallway. I still had time to go after her. The black was engulfing the last small speck of purple now.
“She’s trying to get your attention,” Ana whispered into her book.
I kicked her under the table. Olivia looked startled but continued blabbing. Why would Leah possible be interested in me? No, no, she does not care for me. If I admit that she does, I would fall right through the thin layers of my defense. I will not love Leah. I will not be in love with Leah. But all the hope I had left seemed to stream out of me. I know it’s too late to backtrack on my feelings. I can refuse to believe it, but every fiber of me knows. I am drowning in a current of passion.