I couldn't help myself.
He's reading his report out loud to the class, motioning wildly with his right hand as he speaks. He doesn't even bother to glance down at the paper held loosely in his left hand, but I can tell by the serious look on his face and the passion in his voice that he is conveying much more than written words.
The rest of the class is ignoring him at best, chatting to their friends in the surrounding seats, or just laying their heads down to rest-covering their ears with their hands. Even the teacher isn't giving him much notice, aside from rubbing the bridge of her nose with her finger tips in an effort to suppress a headache. It didn't seem to matter to him though, and he spoke as if the entire world were lingering on his ever word;...Instead of just me.
It isn't even what he's saying that has me captivated, it's how he says it. There is no uncertainty in his words, no hesitation, and his expression is calm but determined; making me believe more and more that what he's saying is the truth.
The teacher motions for him to stop, and my frown matches his as he hands over his paper and takes his seat, a few insults thrown casually in his direction.
Once again he brushes the insults off and just stares out the window, pretending to watch the clouds as they darken the sky. I rest my head in my hands and stare at him with half open eyes.
His confidence, as well as his ability to take criticism, were just some of the qualities I admired about him. In fact, I often found myself wishing that I were more like him, but I had always been very sensitive to what others thought about me, and the only thing I had ever been confident about were my feelings for him.
I jump and I let my eyes settle upon the teacher, who now seems very annoyed with me.
"S-sorry" I stutter an apology, even though I'm not sure whats going on.
Ms. Shivers sighs in annoyance.
"Just stop day dreaming and come give your report." She tells me.
Ms. shivers glares at me.
"Do you have your report or not?"
"Y-yes, I do but-"
"Good" She says. "The presentation is worth half of your grade and you can't afford to skip it again."
I Give a weak nod in agreement, knowing I had spent all semester avoiding speaking in front of the class; taking a lower grade as my punishment.
I swallow, glancing down at my paper where I doodled little hearts and space ships around my writing. I feel almost numb as I get up from my seat and make my way to the front of the class.
"Your report, Gretchen, was to write about something or someone who inspire you," Ms.Shivers reminds me in a bored tone. "Please read it out loud to the class."
I gulp and look up at my classmates, many are just as disinterested with me as they had been with Dib, and no one seems to be giving me much notice. I force myself to glance in his direction, only to find his attention still on the sky outside the window. With an almost grateful sigh I look down at my paper and nervously begin to read.
"T-the person who inspires me m-most is very brave; he's n-not afraid to say what he thinks or s-stand up for what he believes in."
I glance over my shoulder at the teacher, who is ignoring me as she files her nails, and then back to my paper.
"He's different, and s-some people think he's weird, but...but that's only because they don't understand him."
The more I read, the easier it seems to get.
"He's smart, even if people over look it because of his eagerness, and he cares what people think of him, but doesn't try and change himself to please them."
I smile slightly and glance up.
My heart jumps...my smile fades...my throat tightens up.
He's looking at me.
Short but sweet. I hope you enjoyed it.