Strawberry Lip Gloss

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She is sitting at a desk near the front of the class, as she always has, putting on strawberry lip gloss. This captivates him, and he cannot stop staring, not even when his twin jabs him painfully in the chest, trying to ask a question.

He is lost in her strawberry lip gloss, which she is putting on tantalizingly slow, and her green eyes that sparkle with a million different emotions. He sees through it, to the ones that really matter - hurt, pain, sadness, love - and knows he is the cause of them. He sighs, watching her smooth the pink gloss over her perfect lips. He thinks back to a time when he could have kissed those lips, tasted that strawberry gloss...

He had seen her staring that first day of school. He, too, had been. How could he not? She was perfect. He had been trying to work up the courage to ask her out, but she beat him to it. He was impressed.

But then, later, he had found out that another girl, who he had known for years, liked him. He couldn't bear to see anyone sad, so he broke up with the perfect one, knowing she could probably handle it better.

He sighs again. She is finished putting on the gloss, now. He watches her every movement, regret welling up inside of him. He never did get to kiss those lips...

Tears now threaten to fall. He swipes at his eyes furiously, knowing that he can end her pain, and his own, if he would just leave the brown-haired girl. But he can't, he is too kind.

The bell rings. He stands up, watching her leave in a flurry of black hair and notebooks. She always carries notebooks. She is a writer. He wants to call her back, tell her that he loves her...but he can't.

Later, at his home, he steps into 5teh bathroom and strips his clothes off, ready to take a shower, when he stops.

The room smells of strawberries.

Tears sting his eyes, and this time he lets them fall as he turns on the shower. The water washes over him, cooling, soothing. He picks up the bottle of strawberry shower gel, his mother's, and inhales deeply. The tears run faster. He washes himself with it, washes away the brown-haired girl's touch.

When he is finished, he wraps a towel around his waist and heads to his bedroom, smelling of strawberries.

As he falls asleep, he dreams that he is in a field, picking strawberries. She is there, too, laughing, singing, and dancing. As the sun sets around him, he pulls her closer, hand wrapped around her slim wrist, and leans in.

He wakes up crying, the taste of strawberry lip gloss still playing in his mouth.