Too Close

Hazel’s Note:

Unbelievably, this was featured in the Teen Ink Magazine. A magazine whose audience consists of people who are NOT my grandmother. Like, an audience with 1 million Hazel’s-non-grandmothers. CRAP. How did my sorry butt get published?!

So, I figured this would be a suitable first post. It sets the bar high, this published piece of virtual mortification. I can’t believe people read THIS. /cringe

They were on the couch, him and her. Watching reruns of old TV shows and sitting the appropriate distance that girls and boys sit when they’re not really dating – but undeniably share the same desire to release the tension and partake in a passionate exchange of facial activity with a romantic chorus swooning in the background.

You know, that distance.

Squashed on opposite ends of the coach, hands clasped tightly in their laps, eyes determinedly fixed on the screen in front of them, and each acting as if there was a man-eating lion between them.

And yet they were still too close. Why else could the girl, if she wanted to, turn her head slightly to the left and see the sweeping contours of his jaw line? The aristocratic slope of his nose? The individual splatters of freckles on said nose? And, if she looked hard enough, the soft brown hair at the nape of his neck; fuzzy and wispy at first, then growing increasingly more curly until it reached the ringlets that fell into his eyes, radiating blue from the television screen in front of him.

The girl felt a flush creeping onto her cheeks. Her eyes flickered back, forcing laughter at the joke on screen. Don’t look at him again, she told herself sharply. Don’t look, don’t look. But her eyes disobeyed her, moving to the boy as if of their own volition.

Furtively, she surveyed the flecks of color in his eyes – eyes that were most certainly looking back at her.

She pushed herself farther into the arm of the couch. Much too close.