Untitled by Lynley Shimat

I’m walking down the hallway to meet my friend Dhara for lunch. I smell wind and leaves. I pass classrooms, people spilling out into the hall, I see tan lockers, I hear the sound of lockers opening and closing. I feel footsteps, I hear people moving echo down the hall. I walk fast, I feel my muscles, strong from track team practices, the angular slant of my hips. Fluorescent lights follow me down the hall into the geometry room. Berkeley grey cool morning slants diagonally through the window into the class, which smells of chalk and desks and math smell. I smell the cold. And I hardly walk into the room and he’s there, luminescent brown eyes. He’s standing with Dhara, looking at math books, and I don’t even see him cross the room and he’s asking me about a geometry final. I hear him say, “Are you in first period?"

"What was on the final?” and I don’t know if I should answer that. I have no idea what to tell him, I don’t even remember what was on the final. But brown eyes, reflecting light that doesn’t come from these fluorescent lights or the grey light outside and his voice in this low range, I can feel the vibrations, it has its own color, deep brown, I would like to paint it, to shade it, and I add my own soprano lilt to the grey air, which he’s lit up with sound and a sort of aura. I see pipes in the ceiling. The light casts an off-white tone on the industrial white walls. I feel the warm velvet of my emerald green coat, folded over my arm. I feel cold and I don’t feel cold. I feel hunger. I feel it from him, and from me and I’m hungry because I haven’t eaten. I feel my metabolism race from running. I feel my heartbeat sped up from him, from his questions that I don’t know how to answer. I see ceiling tiles pockmarked with grids of holes. I see his hair, curling at the edges. I see the perfect curve of his nose and the length of his fingers. I see his oval cuticles. I feel the weight of my backpack heavy with books. I feel cold and under-dressed, I look into the yellows and oranges of my matching tie-dyed shirt and shorts for an answer. An answer to the cold, to geometry, to whatever he’s asking me. I feel energy from him, nervous energy, and also power, and need. I see rectangular vent ducts at odd places in the room. I hear myself say “proofs.” I don’t know how to ask my own questions. I feel them fall from my brain and seep into the tile floor. I feel safer speaking Geometry. I feel full of books and numbers and perpendicular corners of the room. So I answer in angles and proofs and parallel lines. We stand parallel to each other and the aura I see around him is sunlight color, light gold. We stand next to a blackboard, I smell remnants of chalk in the air. I feel light and expectant. I feel hovering, both of us hovering around something unnamed. I see the color of his eyes changing in the light. I feel him near me, waiting, his presence a question and a constant. I taste gold and brown and complementary angles. I can’t imagine why he cares so much about geometry. And I don’t remember how we left the room, or whether we left, perhaps we’re still in that room, together.