Leo By Mari
Do you remember the field trip in high school? The one at the museum with the dinosaur skeletons that no one cared about? Do you remember how you snuck away and I followed you?
I didn't know you. No one really did. But I had nothing better to do.
Do you remember how we went outside and found that little garden with the pond and the waterfall? It was definitely manmade, but it was still beautiful.
Do you remember how I accidentally shoved you into the water? Remember how I panicked and you swam up to me and put your face up close to mine?
I was dazzled by your brown eyes, set off in the sunlight. They were no longer brown, but melted golden rays of honey and reminded me of home. I couldn't think straight.
Remember how you took advantage of that and pulled me in with you? Remember how afterwards we sat shivering on the grass, chilled by the cold February air?
I tried to talk to you, but I forgot that you only spoke Italian. I wondered what it was like for you, to be a foreign exchange student.
Was it difficult leaving everything you've ever known to come to America? I remember thinking that you were very brave.
Do you remember how you stole my phone on the bus and added your number? I didn't know how I was supposed to talk to you if you didn't speak English.
I got off the bus and went home.
As soon as I said goodbye to you, I felt like something was missing, but I wasn't sure what.
I couldn't stop thinking about you that night. For some reason, that image of your eyes in the sunlight was forever burned into the back of my mind.
Remember how you found me at lunch the next day and asked me to go on a walk with you via Google Translate?
I remember. It was cold, so so cold. The air felt like a knife on my cheek. I wasn't dressed my best, just sweatpants and a hoodie, but when you saw me, your whole face lit up.
Remember how we talked through Google Translate the whole walk? It was tedious, but worth it, since I got to know you.
You were tense the whole time, I could tell. I wasn't sure why.
Remember how we found that waterfall near the pine trees? You told me you took me there because it reminded you of that day at the museum.
Remember how you grabbed my waist and pressed me up against the stone wall? Remember how you pushed a piece of my hair behind my ear and captured my mouth with yours?
My hands reached up instinctively and entangled themselves in your hair, and I wasn't cold anymore. All I could feel was you and your lips on mine. And it felt so right.
But it was also wrong. Very wrong.
"Leonardo," I said against your mouth.
You broke away and looked at me. "Leo," you corrected before going back in for more.
I pushed you away, though it physically pained me to do so. I pulled out my phone and typed "I have a boyfriend" into Google Translate.
I saw your face fall as you read it. The look you gave me cracked my heart in two.
Do you remember the walk back to the parking lot? We were less than two feet apart, but it felt like more.
You left without so much as a wave.
I called my boyfriend and told him we had to talk. I felt so guilty, so dirty, so WRONG. I had to come clean.
He drove to my house. We talked on the porch. I said that there was something I needed to tell him.
He interrupted me and said he had to tell me something too.
He talked about a girl he'd met. They'd been talking for awhile, but they did a little more than talk.
"You... You cheated on me?" I couldn't believe it.
He apologized, but he didn't seem very sorry. He told me he was ending our relationship.
I ran, ignoring his calls for me to come back. I slammed the door in his face and fled to my room.
I felt as if my world was falling apart.
That following weekend was difficult to say the least. I wanted to talk to you so badly. I stared at your contact for hours, trying to think of something to say. But I couldn't do it.
Not after that disastrous walk.
Leo probably hates me, I thought.
By Monday, I was determined to pretend that neither you -nor my ex- existed.
I could feel your eyes on me all day at school. I ignored you. I was certain you knew about what had happened. The whole school did.
But you were either too polite or too embarrassed to confront me. And I was glad. I thought you would laugh at me.
This went on for the entire week.
Friday afternoon. The end of a cruddy Valentine's Day. I hadn't been single on Valentine's Day since I was 14.
I unlocked my car and was about to get in when someone grabbed my arm. I turned around to find your intense brown eyes looking down at me. The same ones I had been avoiding all week.
I turned away, but you grabbed my chin and forced me to look at you. Your face alone said so much. You were hurt, pleading for an explanation, yet you said nothing.
Everything came spilling out through my fingers. I waited and watched your face as you read the translation.
What were you thinking? Were you upset that I turned you down for a cheater?
When you finally finished, you handed me back my phone, closed the distance between us, and took my hand in yours. You lifted it to your mouth and pressed it to your lips.
"I love you," you said in accented English.
I was speechless.
"But-" I said after several seconds. "-You don't speak English... You..."
You laughed. "I've been here for two weeks now. I've learned a few things."
Do you remember my stupid grin as you leaned towards me?
Do you remember the rapid beating of my heart with your chest pressed against mine?
Do you remember the sparks that flew when you kissed me?
Because I do.
Ok I have ZERO experience with romance, and this was my first time writing it by myself. It was very brave of me to write this. Please don't come at me. I tried. This is for @enchantedink's and @jinxedquill's contest. I hope you guys liked it! -Mari <3