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  • A coworker and I were talking a bit after school and I said something that was, to me, inconsequential and of no note; it's just how I talk, how I communicate, how I am.

    "Do you even know how fascinating and amazing you are?" She had a look that was, for lack of a better cliche, full of amazement. "I love knowing you."

    As far as compliments go, it was pretty decent, but it also made me feel a little uncomfortable, and not for any pinpointable reason other than it seemed so out of nowhere and so utterly heartfelt.

    I had one of those infinite moments that happen between two beats of your heart, where you can experience a multitude of explosions or a vast expanse of deaths, and I remembered a time with a boy when every whispered word of adoration he gave me was met with just enough slow blink of inked lashes and a perfect Mona Lisa smile before I turned and walked away -- figuratively as well as literally. I practiced the time honored tradition of capture and release on that poor boy over and over, toying with him to see what would work, how far my power would go, what I could get away with without him mirroring my fade away.

    And I wanted to turn back time just enough to stop myself from what I did to him, maybe say I was sorry with a look if I couldn't find the words. Perhaps -- even though I didn't twist time backward -- he felt me think of him. Perhaps -- just maybe -- he smiled.

    So the end of the reflection happened, and I could tell she wanted something from me, some acknowledgement that what she said resonated in some way

    ((Isn't that what we all want?))

    and I'm ashamed to say I smiled that smile that's sat so easily on my lips all these years, canted my head to the side, and said "thank you" with my eyes before I turned and walked away.
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