Like the Prose: Challenge #20 – Write smut. (Well, really, write erotica. But I didn’t, quite.)
There’s a subtle secret about violets. Their scent contains a chemical that turns off the human sense of smell. For this reason, you never perceive them as a constant presence, like roses or lilies. Rather, they flirt with you, tickling your awareness in subtle bursts.
The girl on the train reminds you of violets.
At first, you aren’t certain you’re seeing the same girl every day. You catch a glimpse of her calf above the top of a scuffed boot, her delicate hand holding her commuter pass to be punched, the wisp of an errant curl against her cold-reddened cheek.
You know you shouldn’t be looking. Because this girl – and she is a girl – likely sixteen, seventeen at the oldest – is a student at your school. Because she’s underage, untouchable, unspoiled. And you are none of those things.
But once you give in, once you do look, you realize, it’s not only the same girl on the train, it’s the girl in the third row of the biology class you teach.
And your interest becomes an obsession.
You study her in class, watching her when her eyes are not on you. You note the way she holds her pencil close to the tip, which cramps her fingers. You memorize the particular way she loops the letter ‘y’ in the word ‘biology.’ You make a mental catalogue of her facial expressions – happy, sad, frustrated, confused – her fresh, young face is so emotive.
You alter your schedule to ensure that you are on the train one stop before her in the morning. You watch her laughing with her friends when she boards. You bristle when she bends her head close to the black-haired boy’s on the journey home in the afternoon. You observe her sadness when he discards her for her blonde friend and then her return to joy when the handsome-but-geeky brown-haired math whiz expresses an interest.
And through all this, you consider that she is like the aroma of the violet. Something to be appreciated in fits and starts, but never in long moments.
Something to long for, but never quite have.
Ione by Melissa Bartell is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License.