A Shot

Luke Munch '21, Literary guest writer

Benjamin walked into the classroom timidly. He gripped the letter tightly until a small crease had formed. Upon sitting down at his desk, he noticed the slight imperfection and nervously smoothed out the card. The class smelled of eraser and pencil shavings, but the perfume on the letter masked everything that Benjamin could smell. He gently placed the card in his desk and rested his eyes on Chloe. He sat two rows back and one desk to the right, fearing that if it was any other way she would notice his constant gaze. Chloe’s hair was perfectly straight, glossy, and colored like flaxseed. He wondered what it smelled like, felt like. Her delicate, thin fingers lightly held her cherry pen which Benjamin watched intently with each short stroke. Just thinking of holding her hand made Benjamin’s heart melt. Benjamin rubbed the card between his index finger and thumb. The paper hearts hung from the ceiling and spun rapidly from the air vents below. At the front of the class, Ms.Venus was at the board teaching, but Benjamin could not have cared less. 

Today was his day. The letter held all of Benjamin’s feelings: fear, angst, hope, and love. He thought about all the ways he would slip the letter to her. He was not bold enough to give it to her directly, but did not want anyone else to know his love for Chloe. He decided to leave it in her backpack. That way, she would definitely find it. He knew his plan. He would ask Mr. Venus to use the bathroom. On the way out, he would duck behind the cubbies and drop the letter into her pink sparkle backpack. It was foolproof and meticulous. Nothing could go wrong. He pinched the card again, but made sure to not crease it once more. He could not handle the pressure building in his head.


“Ms. Venus,” he blurted.


“Yes Benjamin,” she responded, slightly irritated by the interruption.


“M-m-may I use the restroom,” he forced out, not particularly confidently.


“If you must, but hurry so you don’t miss more of the lesson.”


He nodded approvingly and slipped his letter out from his desk and pinned it to his outside hip so as to not draw attention to it. With quick, short strides he slid behind the cubbies towards the door. He gazed through the wooden frame and saw Chloe. She was staring intently at Ms. Venus with her beautiful hazel eyes. Benjamin was so fixated on her that he almost did not notice the purple note being passed up to her from Charlie. Chloe stared at the note and blushed. Charlie grinned sheepishly avoiding eye contact. 

Benjamin’s gaze dropped to the letter in his hands. A hard lump grew in his throat; he had trouble swallowing. The letter in his hand looked so different now. His eyes stung as he saw Chloe delicately place the note in her rosy binder. Stained with tears, the letter dropped into the recycling bin.