eyebrow boy
It was a month into semester, when I looked across the opposite row of desks, and that's when I saw him. He was talking to the girl next to him, with the side of his face in the palm of his hand as he nonchalantly leaned his arm across his lecture pad. It was then I realised that this boy I'd seen almost every other day in class, possessed the most beautiful eyebrows I'd ever seen on anyone. This wasn't because they were perfectly groomed through tweezing or anything as narcisstic as that: it was in the way his brow arched, the way it tapered.

The problem is, that when someone has a perfect feature, I can't stop looking at it. For admiration purposes, rather than any gradiose plans of seduction. It's moreso in the fact that I just wanted to cup the side of his face in the palm of my hand, and use my thumb to trace out his browbone. Obsessive feature looking presents no problems if it's like a lower arm, or the area just above the knee or a jaw line or the way someone keeps staccato time with their fingers against any spare surface, because you can make surreptitious admiring glances and they don't usually see you.

Boys can be oblivious like that.

Eyebrows proved to be a bit harder.

There were times when I was sure he felt my stare, for he'd look up to meet it - to which I'd awkwardly avert my stare and pretend to scribble notes madly inbetween the faint blue lines of my exercise book.

Months later, whatever admiration started with the arch and taper of his eyebrow started to grow to encompass other things. Whether it be the way he laughed, the V-ecked jumpers he wore, the nice ring he wore, where he was likely to go bald, his smile, how he never managed to shave properly or how the bottom of his jeans were frayed where his worn-out Converse sneakers had tread upon it far too many times, I noticed it all. I accidently found out his name and his majors, and wondered whether he even knew if I existed.

A semester later, I dared to tell my friends about this boy - or Eyebrow Boy, as I called him. I pointed his eyebrow out to people who didn't know who he was, and made them agree with me that the arch and taper were perfect. My friends urged me to just "talk to the damn boy". We kept tabs on what he was wearing. We wondered why he always left the end of classes so quickly. Then five months from the beginning of all of this, he didn't run away after class. I smiled with the intensity of a 14-year-old girl when he talked to me afterwards, and I realised that he knew my name. I smiled again a month later when he told me that I had "super pants".

One day after the "super pants" comment, I ran into a mutual friend in a shopping mall. As I explained to her my lack of a present for a friend of mine, she suggested various items around the store she was working in. She suggests this silver box for burning incense in. She also asks whether I know Eyebrow Boy in our class (of course, she refers to him by his real name), to which I nonchalantly manage to reply, "Oh I think so".

To give this sale some creedence, she adds "Because his wife came and bought some."

Which is where I realise that I've been lusting over an eyebrow which I have no right to lust over.

I still see him in class, before he packs his bag and runs away from the end of class. I genuinely smile when I realise that he probably has no idea as to just how many girls were staring at him or the shock he caused to ripple through fairly standard girly crushing. I now know the meaning of the nice ring he wears, and it's certainly not because he's vaguely stylish as I used to think.

Very occasionally, I sneak guilty glances at that arch and taper and bite back guilty, fairly hidden smiles. I know I shouldn't stare anymore, but sometimes I slip and I'm so nearly lost in a taper which could break your heart.

I'm only 19. He's only 20. I didn't think I'd be worrying about whether a boy I was crushing on was married for at least another five years. I guess I was wrong.


Friday, March 16, 2001


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