Yellow Canteen

On the first day of Biology class, I noticed the girl with the yellow canteen. She sat on the far left of the arena and my attention belonged all to her. Between notes I would glance, sneakily, in the chance that she would see me too—she would and we’d both stare into space as if we didn’t just make eye-contact. The next day of class the same thing happened. Every day a glance was shared between us. Something about this girl had me mesmerized. I blame the yellow canteen. Because of it, I cannot stop thinking about her. On the fourth school day, I finally got the courage to speak to her after class. I complimented her on her yellow canteen. She smiled and told me her aunt from Arizona gave it to her. We exchanged names and I left telling her, “I’ll see you in class.” It has been two days and I have not seen her nor her yellow canteen. Sofia, the girl with the yellow canteen, has left me to ponder why she has been absent for two days and, frankly, why do I care?

I began writing in hopes that it would lead me to ask Sofia out. Our biology class was dense and there was never much time to socialize. When I would attend class, I would tend to sit towards the middle aisle of the arena, not too high, not too low. The opportunity to greet was slim and I never had the opportunity. The class took too much of my attention. Biology was a class that was difficult to grasp. As compelling as the study of life is, I could not get into it at all. Luckily, my professor was a brilliant man that invoked a new way of learning for me. I ended up getting a B in the class. I studied my ass off for the final. I felt accomplished after finishing the quarter. I never did see Sofia again, and nothing happened between us or the daydreaming scenarios I would invent in my head. I’m almost certain that I would have invited her to have a beer with me. With so many great choices in the Bay Area, it would have been much fun. 

My days of daydreaming in class have long passed me. I sometimes think about them and how great they were to escape the magnitude of the biology classroom. The yellow canteen could’ve belonged to anyone. The more I think of it, the more I know it was the shade of yellow that enticed me the most, a light shade of yellow that wasn’t so bright but opaque. Sofia probably visited her aunt many more times after that school year, and her canteen perhaps followed. She never did come back to class. In fact, the last time I saw her was before spring break. I enjoyed seeing her in class. The yellow reminded me of a western sunset, cool, distant, and rays of sparks. 

By Derrek G


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