Pearly Gates…

He knew there was something wrong: From the rapid beating of his heart; from his short puffs of breath; from the suddenly- forming beads of sweat on his forehead, coating his neck and making his palms balmy. There was something wrong here. This was not how it was meant to be. This was not how he had been told it was meant to happen.
There was no heat; it was still too early in the morning. There was no humidity; the city is nowhere near the coast, besides, humidity does not just appear in a thick haze one day unannounced, like relatives from the village. He had always thought it would be flowery; the sun blazing all around, being the only thing more radiant than his own smile. The sun would shine on him, not oppressively attack him as it was doing. Sigh.
She sat there. Head bent, lower than anyone writing should have been, perhaps she was sleeping. She was mischievous like that. No, but her hand was moving, scribbling quickly, guided by those perfectly- manicured fingers. He could only see the right side of her face, as she sat in front of him. Her hair formed a formidable curtain of mysterious beauty all across her left side, her azure-colored scarf hiding any other semblance of bare skin. Was he staring?
Unpacking school books from ones bag is always such a needless hassle. Especially seeing as those same books will end up in the same bag anyway at the end of the day. Nonetheless, he labored, dragging each book out with a look of contempt, muttering curses against early mornings advocating for time better spent in bed. She was looking at him. A candle lit up in his chest and he felt the heat rise again. She was not happy. “Can you remove the books any louder?” The next book was removed with a resounding thud. No, it was not that heavy; but she had asked a question and it would be rude of him not to give back an appropriate and equal response. Newton was right.
She stood up and walked quickly; unusually ungraceful in her strides that were constricted by a seductively-fitting skirt. No doubt he would get an earful from her, but nonetheless, he smiled, making sure that his eyes lit up, not in amusement, but in sarcastic respect. She stopped just at his desk, her eyes just like pearls of fire emblazoning a determined resilience; he just smiled. She could not hold it any longer and burst out into a fit of raucous laughter; and he had finally done it, he had captured her attention, and made her laugh.
Laughter has always been such a strange phenomenon. So humans can feel an overflow of joy to the extent that it fizzles over and flows out into the world, and joy inspires tears and tears recycle into a tempest of extreme happiness. Just like a soda bottle, vigorously shaken, foam forms, and once all inhibitions are released, an eruption of all the goodness that just cannot stay inside. He had made her laugh. He had paved way for the laughter to escape and for his own presence to fill in the space that had been left vacant. This was his home now, and he would never leave. The sweat formed on his palms, his wrists started shaking, but his gaze never wavered from her face which was still twitching from the aftermath of the giggly onslaught. He felt things for her, unexplainable things. He was going to make sure that the space he had just filled would never be vacant again.

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