Most memorable gift I've ever given


      It had only been two weeks since school started and already she felt his eyes drilling a hole at the back of her neck. Immediately her heart flipped for she knew who it was without having to check. She caught his gaze as he emerged from the science class. Upon seeing him, she darted her gaze away for his eyes made her feel transparent like glass. She stood there for a while wondering what was it about him that she so adored. After a while, she forced herself to look at him so he wouldn’t think he was being ignored. As soon as their eyes interlocked, she saw in them a passion deeper than any she had ever seen. She stared at his gray iris which sometimes turned green. Their eyes exchanged a secret memo one that spoke of the impossibility of amity. So they turned their eyes downcast in defeat, turned away, and pondered about their situation’s complexity.
       Eight months later, the girl’s hand trembled as she licked a red envelope. “Should I give it to him or should I elope?” swarmed the thoughts, like bees, in her head. Ever since the idea came to her, the voices debated it with uncertainty and dread. She held the card tenderly while smoothing its creases. She had no idea whether to send it or tear it to pieces. She made sure no one could detect the twenty dollars tucked firmly  inside the card. She debated how he might see her and with what regard. Her heart longed to give it to him but she feared she might later feel regret. Her mind told her twenty dollars was a lot of money for one who was in debt. After a long and hard deliberation, she closed her eyes and thoughts of dissent and placed the card in her folder. “This is not the time to be shy,” said the girl to herself, feeling a bit bolder.
     It was lunch period before the opportunity finally came. She surreptitiously placed the card through an opening in his locker, after making sure it held no hint of the writer’s name. She drew a deep breath and rushed out of the classroom as kids began filling in. Her heart pounded so hard and sweat pelted her skin. She grew worried after a while of waiting and wondered why the hold-over. When he finally came, she lingered a while making sure he saw the card before she departed, shaking like a clover. It didn’t take long before she heard the commotion. She slipped back into the class, struggling to hide her emotions. Speculations of the admirer’s identity flew about like fleas. The girl hid within the protection of a circle of friends as she studied his face, watching his smile deepen by degrees. He looked up from the card and like a magnetic spring his eyes rested upon her face, which she instantly darted away. Feeling stupid and quite in shame she forced her gaze upon his, wearing a smile that read, “Happy Birthday.”  In that moment it all felt right. For an instant, she wasn't black, and he wasn't white. Just two people in love. A love she still dreams of.


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