We sat together in the crowded dining hall.
Clarissa was across from me. The babel of
screechy voices drowned out my thoughts.
A plate of tepid beans and chips stood uneaten
in front of me. Clarissa was toying with a salad,
batting her lashes provocatively. There was
electricity between us. I resisted a terrible
temptation to grab her hand. Clarissa’s luscious
brown fringe fell into her face. She could giggle
at nothing, it was entrancing. I knew Clarissa’s
friends would be watching. I tried not to scan
the room. We didn’t say a great deal. It seemed
unnecessary. Already there was a stronger bond
than words. When the bell rang, and a roomful of
chairs grated horribly on the floor, I reached over
and held Clarissa’s hand. She squeezed my
fingertips back.


Author: Robert James Berry

Poet & Novelist