Hitting Where It Hurts

I called her names. I judged her, for what she was, wasn’t, and for what I imagined.

I felt myself on a creative high; my art fuelled by her presence and her silence.
I made little rhymes that made no sense.
And they all lauded me, cheered me on and whooped.
Called me a creative genius who never ran out of juice.

It was all fun and games, after all. It was childhood foolishness wasn’t that all it was?

We made planes. We pretended that she was the crash site.
And then, we overshot.
It reached the point of pencils and pens.

And it was a normal day. I aimed, I shot. The pen just narrowly missed her.
Mock anguish followed, of the World War missile having missed its target.
No matter, soldiers: we try again, for the country.

She was irked. But she said nothing.
And then seemingly decided against that too.
But I shot.
She finally turned to say-
And the pencil grazed her cheek, very close to her eye.

I startled. What was wrong with me? A sharp pencil, too; had I lost it!
This was just supposed to be a fun game, our break from the monotony of school!

“I’m sorry,” I said, going forward. “I didn’t mean to hurt you!”

She just looked at me, checking her cut.
“That’s not what hurts.” she said, turning away and disappearing, without having touched me, the slap cut deeper than my graze.