He’d heard her say the words. She’d repeated herself after a long pause as a few other students strolled by. The electric glow of the generic vending machine reflected from her glasses when she had started talking, but his eyes dropped to her mismatched socks before her sentence was complete. Twice she’d told him and all he could focus on were two socks–one yellow, the other perhaps a fuchsia. It bothered him that he didn’t immediately know how to spell fuchsia. When she asked if he was okay and if he heard her, his gaze rose a bit and found some new delight. It wasn’t her hair. Nor did the earrings he’d bought her arrest his attention.
He was being let go by his first fuck and he could only focus on the Braille script on the men’s room sign behind her right shoulder. Perhaps this meant that being suddenly single and only a year into college was not going to be as disastrous as he’d thought.
They were that couple well past the beginning stage. The ones who call each other MCM and WCW week after week. The ones who quote shitty amateur poets’ words they found on Pinterest. The ones who create insanely long hashtags that we must assume are inside jokes that a grand total of each other gets. Senior year in high school they had matching shirts made at the spring carnival.
One time, I saw them both go into the girls’ locker room about ten minutes before gym class ended. He came out just seconds before old Mr. Tipton stormed in after we once again disappointed him with our immaturity and lack of respect. They say she miscarried just weeks before prom, but those types of rumors swarm high schools like ours.
So yes. I was one of the passersby that fateful Braille day. I passed once and neither said anything to me. They hadn’t really much all year. College is so funny that way sometimes. It’s so crowded constantly around campus that the people you see who went to your high school seem to just meld into the mix. You know it’s them, but since you don’t really talk much (then or now) it’s like you’re seeing their Doppelganger and you just want to move on with your day.
So I’d passed by them and could feel something was up. Human interaction is so consistent in that regard, isn’t it? Two people I don’t really give a fuck about are breaking up, and even though I didn’t hear all the words she’d said, I’d realized he was getting shit-canned. Right there outside the commons during finals week. I suppose it was a dick move to circle back, pretend to peruse the vending machine for something then stroll away, but I had an opportunity and I took it by God.
So I saw what he saw–the Braille–and shuffled away. I had my earphones on, but I do that most of the time even though the cord is stuck into just my pocket so I don’t have to fucking deal with any bullshit from people around campus during this time. Finals week sucks. Everybody knows it. Hell, the teachers probably hate it just as much. We all just want to go on vacation, but these tests or whatever projects have to be completed in order to justify them handing us certification of some sort. I’m over it. And I’m over every other person from my classes sharing their stressfests.
In a way, I felt a little bad for the guy. He was getting dumped by a very (physically, at least) attractive girl. She was one of those girls who you knew didn’t have a lot of girlfriends.
(more to come….maybe)