The ground is truly beautiful today. The dirt is a lovely, rich brown color. It's not quite muddy but a little damp and sprinkled in fine powder. There are some musty, rotting leaves, littered across the ground like no one cares for them. No one probably does. They are limp like corpses. You can't forget about those pretty little ants though. They track with heavy crumbs on their backs, spinning circles. Beautiful isn't it? So I might as well just keep staring at that loathsome ground and hope he doesn't come over to talk to me. But, of course I'm not that lucky am I? Oh no. Of course he's coming to talk to me. These ants are really fascinating today. Really interesting. More interesting that his face, which I refuse to look at as I have done since I met him.
Hi? What a great start. Really, I can't come up with anything else? I wish I was an ant. Please throw a heavy load on my back and let me crawl away in circles. Really, it would be a kinder death than death by conversation. Or maybe I could be one of the leaves. Crushed and decaying, step on me. Just don't talk to me while you're doing it. I don't ask that much. Sure, I've liked you since I met you, but you can't leave me to brood here? I know you'll just end up laughing at me if I carry on this conversation.
What's your name again?
I already knew your name, but for the sake of this moment I'll pretend I didn't. It's the name that's climbed into my mind and burrowed deep, hiding amongst the thoughts that plague it. I'm not sure if there's any space in there for that name anymore. Maybe my geometry assignment will overtake its brain space one day. That would be nice.
I'm sorry. I'm awkward and I can't think of what to say. I really shouldn't be panicking, but he never talks to me. Why is he picking now? I'm too tired for this. I'm too bad at conversation. Maybe I'll just start stuttering and he'll leave. A few minutes ago, he was talking to some pretty girl who probably could ramble on for hours about cheerleading and state championships. I can't talk for more than a few seconds without blushing and pretending I'm an ant. An interesting, interesting ant, dragging itself across the lovely, lovely dirt.
I'm fine. How are you?
No, I'm not fine, actually. Unfortunately, my lungs are closing up. If I talk to you I'm afraid I'll choke. No, I will choke. I don't really want to know how you are because I probably won't hear it over my own heart pounding anyways. Maybe I'll just whisper the answer next time. Then he won't hear me and he'll assume I'm mute. Wait, I already said something. So that won't work. Abort mission, going to plan b: pretend I'm an awkward turtle and go back into my shell. I just hope he doesn't say anything funny to make me laugh. Don't guys do that frequently? I hate my laugh and he'll probably hate it too.
That's great. Did you, um, finish the homework?
After he tells me he's doing great, I bring up homework? Really? Who actually wants to talk about homework? What an idiot. I really can't come up with anything better. Homework does not make a great conversation starter with someone you don't want to think you're boring and single minded. Ants are boring and single minded. I might as well be one of them. Then I would at least have a colony to talk to. Even if I were a poor, overloaded worker someone would appreciate my dull conversation on the ant farm. We could chatter endlessly about the politics of our queen and her thousands of children. Maybe take a coffee break in a dirt tunnel.
Of course you finished the homework, you're brilliant. Oh no, you're welcome but I'm not smart too. I'm actually quite stupid once you get to know me. I mean, I get lucky on tests but
Why did I have to say that? There I go rambling again. He probably already though I was stupid, and barely comprehensive at that. He probably believed I was mute until today. I might as well be, for all the great conversation I provide. Quick, look at the ants. Dear me, do not make any eye contact. I repeat, do not make eye contact with those gorgeous brown irises of his. And don't think like that, please. Too late.
Oh. Oh sure, I can help you. I took algebra last year, so I don't think it should be too hard. It's just homework, and I'm not great at math but
That's enough rambling. Math help? That's unexpected, but it's a start. Maybe, just maybe, I can do this. Maybe I won't go down in pieces, like the Titanic. Or burn up and fall down like the World Trade Center, struck by a plane of fractured words. Ants can make new friends, right? After all, it's better than death by conversation.