They say sunflowers can only grow in certain weather, like South Dakota. Warm, wet, and sunny but apparently, they can grow in miserable Michigan too. Because this boy, I swear. He is the embodiment of the sun. If he is the sun then I am the moon getting sucked into his gravity, not strong enough to pull away not big enough to be seen by him. Girls look at him with big eyes in hopes he may see one of us, but he sees nothing. He looks forward and saunters down the hall, blond hair pulled up into a low bun and his signature smile. They swoon and whisper, giggle and laugh but soon enough he’s down the hall and around the corner. It returns to night, with all the bright light gone, only left with mediocre smaller stars who dream to be as bright as him. My smile falls as he is gone, my sunflower, why must you never turn to see me? Who is your sun?
As I look away from the corner I end up staring into her eyes, who is she? Another admirer I’d guess as she’d been staring too. She gives a hesitant wave and a small smile is returned. Who is the girl with the corn-colored hair? The emerald eyes, pea-sized chest, and porcelain skin? Why does she look at me like that, is that how I look when I lose sight of the sun too? No, I squint to squeeze every last second I can get staring at him, she looks lost as if the light has blinded her. No matter, she finds her sight eventually and walks the other way, away from him and me. I wonder if he spared her a glance? Is that why she looked so lost and confused? Anyone could be blinded by his brilliance. No mind I forget about the starstruck girl as the ringing in my ear sounds signaling the next class.
Days drag on, and I see sunshine boy every day, he makes me smile even though he never sees me, and starry-eyed girl, as I’ve taken to calling her, is always thereafter he leaves. We exchange smiles and then go along with our day. Sunshine boy and starry-eyed girl, I realized a long time ago how beautiful they would look together. I want to be her, she is beautiful in this bland world, just like him. My dark brown curls could never compare to her corn-colored locks and piercing green eyes. Her body is much thinner than mine. She’s a beauty unto this world, aren’t you starry-eyed girl?
Short days turned longer as winter turned into spring. Warmth spread and jackets were somewhat shed, snow turned into puddles and life came back to the dreary land. New semester with new classes with old friends and even older teachers. The starry-eyed girl appeared in four of my classes. She no longer walked away from me after seeing sunflower boy, now turning man, instead, she walked next to me. First in comfortable silence then in silent whispers, soon conversation was easy, especially about sunshine boy who we both saw the light of. We now talked in whispers as he passed just like all the other girls, no longer just locking eyes when he leaves.
Time passes faster with her, I don’t know if I like that, I do however like her smile, and her laugh when she allows me to hear it, like a pixie singing. I like tracing her freckles and her knowledge of the stars. I realize I like to hold her hand and I enjoy singing horribly to songs in the kitchen as we make a cake. I like it when she doodles little drawings on her hands. I like her green eyes, which I’ve learned have specks of gold and lines of brown. She is no longer someone I envy, instead someone I can’t wait to see, someone I get butterflies in my stomach just thinking about, she’s my best friend.
Life flies by, new memories are made, school comes to an end. I no longer see sunshine boy instead just the actual sun. But I do see a starry-eyed girl, we spend every minute together floating in the pool running in the grass laughing at videos. And slowly I start to not miss seeing sunshine boy, instead, I look forward to seeing her. Seeing her smile, hearing her laugh, listening to her tell jokes. Summer tumbled into late nights and complicated feelings. Sometimes early mornings and quiet words. Everything is going too slow but too fast at the same time, summer comes to a screeching Halt as school starts.
Senior year. My last year with the sunshine boy and starry-eyed girl. Things continued mostly the same as last year… he would walk by, we would stare and whisper, but I didn’t feel like whispering about him anymore, and once I stopped, so did she. Sunshine boy wasn’t full of light anymore, it was like I couldn’t find him no matter how bright he shined. I could only look at her, she was all I could see, my starry-eyed girl, will you look at me? And she did, she no longer stared at him, instead at me. As he would pass we didn’t look, instead, eyes were locked on each other and I could pick out each speck of gold, as soon as the ringing was heard, our eyes would leave each other and we would walk to class reluctantly.
Soon enough the daytime wasn’t my favorite time, instead the night where I could see the brilliant gold in her eyes and feel her breathing next to me, her thin arms wrapped around me. I enjoyed the night and the stars, no longer the sun. I could sit and stare at the solar system of her, a goddess among dreary-eyed men. How is it starry-eyed girl that you know so much? You really are out of this world.
School turns crazed and my days are spent less and less with her. Instead, life fills with new challenges but I am not a hero, just a mere mortal trying to get by. Midterms come fast and so do finals, not enough time but is there ever? One last week, I wish I could stop everything, I wish time would stand still and that I could stare at her forever. But time does not stop, instead as graduation approaches, we spend the last week together doing the things we had said we always wanted to. Slept where we could see the stars, screamed off a cliff, and lay together one last time.
How I wish I could kiss her. Her mouth, her smiles. I wish I could watch her forever. We talk late into the night, I stare at her and listen to her pixie laugh. And when I least expect, when I am bent over laughing so hard water starts in the corner of my eyes, she pulls my face up, starry-eyed girl looks at me, her eyes glistening like one thousand galaxy’s, she pulls me closer and Hesitantly our lips push together, a million fireworks go off, I feel like this is right. The way her small lips pull into a smile against mine and her hands run through my tangled hair. I know this is right. My lips push harder against hers, she smiles even bigger, and I know everything will be alright, won’t it starry-eyed girl? When we lost sight of the sun we turned to each other and realized that the only light we needed was each other's golden petals. As she pulls away and gasps air back into her lungs, I feel the waterfall down my cheeks and gather in piles on my shirt. She holds my face and stops the race of tears falling down my face. “I love you, my sunflower”