It's been weeks.
She follows behind him, shamefully memorizing his stride. The slight bounce in each step. Hands tucked in the well-worn front pocket of his jeans. The slight hunch to his shoulders against the windy mornings.
Her jeans hardly fit, tight in the wrong places. The over-sized raincoat drowns her curves in material. Chin buried in an obnoxiously pink scarf, she is reminded why they could never be.
He hardly looked her way during their previous years of schooling. There was a time of friendship, years before. But that was wiped away by the immature teasing.
It's another brisk morning.
She has an early morning class, as does he. For five minutes, they walk the same path. Then he splits off, heading left while she continues straight.
She has contemplated, several times, following to see where his class is. She can never garner the courage, to follow him and miss her own class.
She begins her path, glancing to the right, frowning. He isn't there.
Dismissing the bitter disappointment burning the back of her throat, she continues on.
Her fingers curl beneath the jacket cuffs, wanting to escape the chill. The key chain attached to her backpack's zipper clangs against her bottle with every step.
The right path merges with her own. She glances up at a sound, wanting to pass out.
His piercing eyes, which she hasn't seen in so long, glint from the first rays of sunlight. A school hoodie and the same, lightly washed jeans reassure her.
It's him. And she can't believe her dumb luck.
"Oh! Ah, hi. Hello. Good morning!" She greets crazily, gesturing with her sleeved hands.
He seems just as shocked that she actually spoke to him. His steps falter as he nods, throat working.
"I know this is weird because we never talk. Even though we have been in school forever together. I mean, not together together. Just that we have gone to the same schools. For years." She chatters, wanting to disappear from the humiliation at her inability to talk to him.
He nods again, offering a smile this time. There is a pregnant pause, causing her lips to screw tightly together in an effort not to spew more stupid bullshit.
A gusty wind plays with her curled hair, unattractively sticking strands into the lip gloss she had applied in the car.
He begins looking around, sending her the signal he's looking for an escape. From her.
"I couldn't help but notice you go this way. Every morning. I do too. For my class." He nods again and they go silent once more.
She glances down, cheeks coloring in realization. She quickly adverts her gaze, almost snapping her neck when he clears his throat.
"How...how have you been?" He asks slowly, tightening his grip on the straps of his bag.
"Good. Really good. Good." She bumbles, her smile having to be classified as certifiable.
Another pause. She steps forward to avoid the skateboarder weaving on the sidewalk, entering his personal space.
When she hears his intake of air, she looses it.
"Your zipper is down." She blurts, stepping back to catch his blazing cheeks as he glances down.
'I am such a fucking idiot. This is it. This is how I remain a virgin for life.' She cries internally. Without another word, she turns and wills her legs to walk as fast as they can to class.
She'll need a new route. ASAP.