It was my first assignment as a reporter for the paper and I was eager to sink my teeth into my story. I contacted the president of the Junior class and scheduled an interview with her at the school library. I walked into the video room with an air of confidence, carrying around a tape recorder to get the whole story in its entirety. I was doing well, with my chin up and my shoulders back, and I was dressed stylishly fit to sophistication. The tape was rolling and everything was going well.
Coming through the threshold of the doorway, you walked in with the same air of confidence and your face had a goofy grin imprinted on it. You looked pleasantly surprised to see your friend talking to someone completely new and the rush of excitement on your face was not hard to mistake. Instantly, the room was buzzing with a different kind of energy as you asked your friend who the girl with the tape recorder was. Instead of her answering, I introduced myself. You smiled. I reciprocated. You asked if I could interview you. I told you that you weren’t remarkable enough. There was a pause. Your eyes stared into mine as we sent hidden messages in their lucid wake. Your friend cleared her throat and told you to get out. You laughed and smiled at me before backing out of the room. Your friend cast me a knowing look and shook her head. She pointed at the tape recorder. It was still recording.
I found myself listening to the tape today as I was cleaning my room. Rather than listening to Animal Collective, I listened to the crackling of sound as it circles round the tape. I listened to your voice and knew when you were smiling. When you were grinning.
And then the pause.
I did not realize at the time just how long that pause was. To me it seemed like only a split second because every moment spent with you went by quickly, but after hearing it all and listening to how we met and the images rolling like film in my mind, I knew how long that pause was. I looked down at the tape recorder.
That’s how long we were staring at each other and not saying a word.
In those three minutes, I knew that the feeling was mutual and I swear we loved.