I remember when we first met – a rainy afternoon
On a Tuesday, and you had no umbrella. So we
Shared mine, separated from each other by mere
Inches as we walked to the same building. We discovered
That we were classmates in the same three-unit
Subject, a subject nobody really cared for. And so that day
We shared an umbrella, a classroom, and a story.
We were seatmates, not having known any other soul
In that room – we were there by necessity, not by choice –
But we stayed because of each other. We amused ourselves
Through messages on desks, and you kept pressing the button
on mine – a crudely drawn rectangle with the words “eject teacher” –
And I would laugh at the absurdity of the situation. In return I wrote
Bad puns and ironies in her mostly empty notebook.
As the semester passed the button discolored and her notebook
Filled with drawings and scribblings. With each other we somehow
Survived the class with flying colors despite everything and everyone.
At some point I wished to fill not only her notebook; I wanted something
Greater, something more purposeful – I wished to fill her heart with me.
And so I told her, with words in ink on the fifteenth page of her notepad
I told her I loved her with flowing thought and verse.
She saw it and was stunned for words – it took her a day to write me back
Five words, five unforgettable words for what they were worth, written in a scrap
Of paper, perhaps torn from a loose sheet she found and written hurriedly –
“Let’s just be friends, alright?” And as I read it the dark heavens were waterfalls.