I see you there, now, and there, now, and always gone from me, now. I saw your face in the fogged window back last day, the fogged window of the counselor's cloudy office where you were before. You remember that before?

It wasn't that long before. Before the Lit finals, though, I'm sure.

I said a fat lot of nothing to you that day. Got sent to the counselor's to get something copied when you came in. You had the wettest eyes I'd ever seen. Looking like round stones touched with watered light, warm as silt at the edge of the shore and just as mottled. I couldn't name the color if I had a selection of those same stones and another month to try their light with yours. You walked in like a fish, all in the hips like you'd forgotten all those years of evolution that gave us bones. I hated you for it. Me, I walk like a horse or like I was stuck together all with elbows and knees. The tin man's lucky he's always rusting up - I could lend him a bucket of the oil in my joints.

Why they put the copy machine in that poor woman's office, I don't know. Seems like she'd never get anything done. I was punching the code in the machine and each little beep made that woman jump like it was sniper fire. You, though - you didn't flinch. Did you even say a word? Even when I had to slam the side to scare the paper out of jamming, seemed you just kept your chin tilted up, pinning the counselor at the end of your nose as she sputtering and clicked along with the copier.

You were new, I found out. Could have guessed it, but still: confirmation's a good thing. It's good to know I'm not so very oblivious to the world as I sometimes suspect I am.

I considered introducing myself, but was afraid you'd pin me like you did the counselor, like a frog dead and readied for your examination; or more likely your lunch.

I didn't see you again for three days. Not until the night of the melodrama when I looked up from my Cast list to see you swimming through the crowd. You stood in front of me, searching the bleachers above my head, before your eyes swung down to lay their weight on my head.

"May I secure this seat?" you said.

The End

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