this piece appears in Slice Magazine. yay for me.
I was cold and carrying about 400 sheets of still warm from the printer school handouts. A flyer to resell one of my old science books was on the top of the stack. I rushed to the science building, my blue winter coat with the ultra thin lining, not doing much to keep my body from going numb.
I had planned on just putting up the flyer and not walking by his office to see if he was there. Even though I wanted to see him, I convinced myself that I shouldn’t because we would have nothing to talk about. There would just be that awkward silence there often is between strangers.
I rushed in the bathroom to see if I looked okay. I cautiously walked to the bulletin board. I lingered there, about five steps away from his office. After about a minute, I took a push pin and pushed the flyer onto the wall. I stared at it, my teeth digging into my lower lip as I worried that my flyer didn’t compare to the fancy-looking flyers beside it, cramping it.
I heard his voice from around the corner. A smile tugged at my lips. When he saw me, he smiled.
“Hey, what are you doing here?” he asked. “You started school this week right?”
I nodded. I couldn’t get my hopes up too high that he remembered that I was starting a new school. How could he forget? After all, he had written me a recommendation for the school.
Even though he had been my professor for four months, I still consider him a stranger. I only saw him on school campus. Who knows how he is at home with his family or at the bar after six tequila shots.
He was one of the most fantastic strangers I had ever met. He was kind and extremely funny. He was always in the same upbeat mood. His sweet encouraging presence motivated you to try harder and give more of yourself. He’s the kind of person who when you say his name, everyone who knows him smiles, the kind of smile that lights up their eyes.
My crush on him, overwhelming as it may seem, is completely nonsexual.
My definition of a nonsexual crush: Strong admiration for someone which does not include thoughts of a romantic candlelit dinner with the person, kissing or any naked skin on skin contact, holding hands with the person while frolicking through the forest, or any other romantic/sexual ideas. This admiration often is accompanied by the same nervousness, giddiness, and clumsiness associated with normal crushes.
After a few wonderful moments of conversation, we said our good byes. He wished me luck in school and said that he was sure that someone would buy my book. Who knows when or if I’ll ever see him again.
I wish I could set him up with an older friend of mine, so that he would always be around. It’s not as though I can tell him, “I think you’re so cool. Lets be friends.” In the meantime, if someone buys my book back, perhaps we will meet again.