This week’s prompt is Mamihlapinatapei, defined as:
“The wordless, yet meaningful look shared by two people who both desire to initiate something but are both reluctant to start.”
High school. Angst and hormones. Cliques and unwritten rules of conduct. Imaginary lines not crossed.
Between the two wings of the building was a “green space,” I use the term green cautiously.
Allowed to gather there before and after school day, and during lunch periods. Cigarettes and giggles. Half-stoned and flying. Plans to skip rest of classes, or not report to “home room” at 8:30 am so never officially there.
There was the group I “hung with.” We held the left corner. I tried to be as cool as Janet or Annette. As experimental as Theresa. As adventurous as Athena. Didn’t always pull it off, but still a sense of belonging. We met up with the “guys” of the group on nights and party weekends.
In the right hand corner, hung another group. As if line drawn, a fence erected to separate. Don’t remember now why no-one crossed that imaginary line.
I do remember him. Dark hair, darkest brown eyes. A warm, embracing smile. A contagious laugh. We shared no classes, only the moments in the “quad.” One day, standing a bit apart from his crowd, he turned that smile on me. It was like a beacon. I was only partially in this world.
I know I would have blushed, and perhaps returned a shy smile. For the rest of the term, we smiled. Secretly. Longingly. We never stepped directly or intently over that invisible line. Only moved slightly closer.