Though it may sound purely ridiculous, my life, or what was important about it, began when I was sixteen. Before then I was a prepubescent teen full of middle school dramas, and before then I was a child who couldn't care about anything other than getting to swing at recess break. I had, up until now, a rather dull, uneventful existence. It was my second last year of high-school, and I was caught between slumbering and slumping in my seat while a teacher droned and Sylvia tattooed my hands with ballpoint scribbles.
The important thing to know about Sylvia is: her name should have never been Sylvia. Sylvia makes me think of silver and cool lilac tones and flutes playing soft notes. Sylvia was brazen and rash, wild and fiery. She loved to argue, loved to cause chaos. Her name should have been something short and in your face, a one syllable declaration. I called her Dare, in my mind, though Dare isn't even a proper name, I believe Sylvia would have suited it perfectly. She was always pushing me to do things I'd never dream of, and I let myself stumble in her chosen direction. I was passive, Sylvia, aggressive. If Sylvia's name was Dare, mine would be Shy. Mine would be Hide.
The sharp nib of Sylvia's pen snagged my skin, jolting me back into conciousness. I straightened my back and half heartedly attempted to absorb some piece of what the teacher was preaching. "You young people don't know true trials and hardships," he accused. Sylvia bristled beside me. "How dare he make a comment like that?" she hissed, and then I was yanked out of my seat. "Come on, let's get out of here." As I was dragged out of the classroom to avoid a teacher who proclaimed I had no real problems, that was exactly what I received. The first flick to the domino effect would collapse everything.
"I can't believe this." Sylvia seethed, and slumped beneath a bookcase. We were in the library, the best and only hiding place in the crumbling high-school we attended, as if anyone would care about us enough to force us back to class. Sylvia was a tyrant and I was silent. Who would miss us? "I cannot believe this!" Sylvia declared again. "What?" my vacant reply. Sylvia was scrutinizing the bookshelf. She furrowed her eyebrows and wrinkled her nose. "They have no decent books here! All these stories from adults about adults, so pathetically dull," she caught my blank gaze, and shook her head. "Oh, never mind." she sighed, and smoothed her face, exhaling exhaustion from her ranting. She reclaimed my hand and continued penning her designs, leaning her heavy head on my shoulder. She drew spirals and stars and hearts. "What would I do without such a boring friend as you.” she smiled, and as I considered a comeback, Luke flew into the room and crashed into me.
The important thing to know about Luke is: he is the image of high-school beauty. He is a stereotype. He is the guy that should have cheerleaders hanging off his every word like flies sucking honey from a jar. The thing is, our school is oblivious to stereotypes. Our school doesn't have cheerleaders or football team captains because there is no football team. Luke is like a character from a fantasy movie, an alien among the earthlings. He should go back to his own planet, yet he unwittingly remains, because he is smart, because he is gifted, because he's going somewhere beyond adolescence. His name Luke reminds me of luck, which makes me smile because Luke is the most unlucky guy I know. He is about to trip over me right now. If I hadn't left class, if the teacher hadn't offended Sylvia, if young people truly had no real problems, then I would be sleeping on my desk right now, Sylvia would have completed her doodles, and Luke would have continued crusing, completely unaware that he escaped the most fateful day in his existence.
But of course, I was sitting on the library floor, and Luke turned a corner too fast and tripped over my extended legs and tumbled down upon Sylvia and me, and through the apologies Luke looked at me, held my gaze for a second too long to forget, and hurried off, and through Sylvia's mocking laughter, I felt my heart ache, and though Luke had tripped, I was falling.