I can still remember the way my heart beat as if racing alongside me. I ditched the rest of the day and jogged stupidly to my house's front doorstep. Inside my room I lay for a good quarter of an hour to collect my thoughts and calm my tachycardia. I must have dreamt it. If I learn that I practically "escaped" my major classes today, I might never get out of bed again.
I read it once, twice, many times. I don't know. I don't remember. I was lost for words to respond to the request.
I've always liked you. Can I meet you after practice on the 23rd? Anywhere's fine but I'd love to be somewhere private where I can find you immediately and it's just the two of us.
Please be there.
It's 5: 52, say's my estimating brain. Practice is almost over and I seriously don't want to be caught in here. But I also seriously want to read what he doodles at the back.
I turn to the back pages which are swollen from having flipped carelessly through and having scratched with pens on. There are drawings of boys' stuff that don't totally disgust me. There are also some computations that never get right. Some quotes and in-line sayings have been written all over one page. A heart here, a sound of longing there.
Lance is in love. With me? Yes.
I hope so.
I flip more. I want to see it before I face him. The deal with it is I want to see my name written on the binder he everyday carries.
Carrie. Carrie. Eliz Carrie Jules.
Carrie Jules, open up to me. One page, one line. And it totally caught me off guard. One page, a thousand lines. A writ of someone in amour. But the name. Not mine.
I left the gym.
It has never occurred to me. Once upon last week I was approached with fate and I had always wanted not to believe. But I was there. I did. I shouldn't have given a fuck. He never was meant for me. I was always invisible. I did not know how long I stared at that page but it sure did give me a lot of time. Enough for almost half the team to enter the change room along with Lance. And he saw me. They all saw me.
"Eliz?" He's voice was poison, but I did not care. I was dead even before he actually acknowledged me for who I am.
I don't want to go home. I sat along one of the corridors of my college with the letter in hand. I've always liked you. Carrie? Lance is giving you this. I'd love to be somewhere private. Just the two of us. Nobody gave it a second thought. Nobody knows me too well. I'm not popular. So how else can they be mistaken?
A room somewhere to my right opened and a flock of short girls in yellow ties stumbled out. I stood up. I'm always invisible, they won't see me. They passed by me while a second group spewed out of the door. This time it's a unisex group and they must be the clique of their section. Look how close they are. And look how stand-out she is. Never invisible. They passed by and for a moment I thought she didn't see me.
But she did.
Our eyes met and it was one of the slowest moments ever. Where I stood with the letter in hand, almost shaken and visibly sad, she walked by in contemplation as to why I was still there, why I can't remain invisible even around her.
Nothing's wrong, I stupidly communicate telepathically. I'll see you at dinner.
And they were gone. I hold the letter up to eye level and made out a small laugh. The letter then goes down the trash bin and I walk home alone like I always do.
Sad. She didn't get to read it. Maybe Lance will write another one. "This time dude get it to the right girl!" He must say.
Sorry. I'm never invisible around you. Maybe I will be if the letter goes to you someday. 'Til then, tolerate me twin sister.
We're Elaine and Eliz Carrie Jules after all.