My mother said I should look at people when they are talking to me, that it’s polite, but I can’t. I can’t look at her. Her voice is smooth like silk. Her dress makes scratchy sounds as it brushes her hose. She doesn’t lean close. She gives me my space.

I like that she knows I need space. I like her. I heard her question, but I can’t look at her face. “Do you think one day you’d let me kiss you?”

I feel my hands get floaty and fly around my head. I rock back and forth. I feel warm in my shoes and hot in my ears. I feel her take my hands and put them at my sides. Now she can look me in my face, but still I can’t look at her. I close my eyes.

“Think about it, okay?” I hear her, and I open my eyes. I have turned my head so I don’t have to look at her. I see her elbow. Her skin is pale enough for a purple vein to show through on the inside. A soft dimple formed when he arm was straight on the outside.

I thought about it. Her lips might be smooth too. Breathe. I want to kiss her, I decide.

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