This is how I flirt.
There he was and I was prepared. It was time. I psyched myself up, ignoring the giggles of my teammates as I approached him in the library. This was my mother’s idea… she promised to pay for therapy if it went wrong. She promised me it worked for her.
Oh God, he’s looking at me…
His eyes fall to the table and he shuffles the papers in front of him. His shoulders are tense and he’s tapping his pencil.
Oh God, I can’t do this. My heart races and I can feel my chest tensing so tight my fingers tingle. Oh God, I’m going to have a panic attack.
I slip my hand in my pocket and my fingers clasp around the keychain Mom sent me last week. Brass balls that I’ve used as a worry stone for six days. There’s a piece of paper too, seemingly inconsequential and yet it will either bring my happiness or humiliation.
He looks up at me and his gaze softens giving me confidence to continue toward him. I stop in front of his table, the whispers of the library patrons are hushed and my breathing sounds too loud.
My fingers, still numb, pinch the paper and pull it from my pocket. I put it on the table and push it towards him, giving him a chin nod. He glances down and reads the scrawled print, “This is how I flirt” and my phone number. His breath catches and his cheeks bloom a rosy pink but then he smiles before dropping his head, pulling the paper toward him and slipping it into his pocket.
Oh God, I need to leave. The plan was to leave. Move body! Move!
His friends laugh, my friends and teammates cheer and finally my feet respond and shuffle. I concentrate on breathing and walking. Please God, don’t let me trip…