Neighbor proofread the letter I'd written for Darkside and could find no corrections to make. I found out when Darkside's presentation was and (since Darkside suffers from stage fright) made a note so that I would not give him the note before the presentation was done. One of Neighbor's friends, the tall one who somewhat resembles HSBF, gave me some caffeinated mints. Those calmed me down some; I was starting to tremble all over.
I discussed my plan for delivery of the note with Neighbor. I had planned to give him the note, then kiss his hand. (Sis said "Kiss him already, dammit!", and "The path of the magician is not the path of a coward" to me this morning.) Neighbor said, kiss him on the lips. No tongue.
I walked Darkside from his Networking class to Database, and wished him good luck. He said goodbye and reached out and brushed his hand against my shoulder first... I reached out and touched him in the same place. No more, no less.
I ran to English class, where I freaked out and repeated the Litany Against Fear until I was calm enough to go over the fallacy quiz the teacher was giving, then repeated it some more. I shared the fact that I'd just written one of the most important written pieces of work that I would ever write -- was there anywhere that taught love letter writing like they taught professional writing in school? The teacher laughed. I was hyper.
I found Darkside again and repeated the Litany Against Fear to him. He grabbed me by the throat midway through, but I finished reciting it anyway. We both needed it, but I doubt he knew why I needed it, other than that I was stressing over an English paper. (I am. I'm just not quite that
I went back to Neighbor's lab, repeated the Litany Against Fear a few more times, and started to write up a spell for the lady who'd asked me about a love spell the other day. I worked on that until it was about time for Darkside's presentation, then I went to the room where he was in.
Lo and behold, as his group was the last one scheduled, and there were a lot of people with engagements right at noon, there was a mass exodus from class of those who could not stay for the whole thing (rather than having them get up and leave in the middle). I slipped in and stood very quietly in the back, watching.
Mr. Wright saw me and nodded to me; he's getting used to me showing up in odd places to talk with Darkside. Darkside finally caught my eye and flashed me that look that means "Why oh why couldn't you have let me humiliate myself in private?" I smiled what was meant to be an encouraging smile.
He wasn't half bad at presenting. I could tell that he was as nervous as fuck and just babbling on empty at some points where the program was doing breaky things at him (they "fixed" it before presenting, and he didn't get to hear enough about how it worked) but was ultimately OK.
I walked with him out to his car, and we spoke about my experience giving a presentation on empty for the same class (the entries for that: 1 2 3 4 5 6 7
) where most of my public speaking and bullshit mad l33t skillz were called into play. This occupied conversation all the way to the car.
"Here," I said, as he sat down in the driver's seat, handing him the folded note I'd been toying with all morning long.
"What the hell?" he said, and started unfolding it.
I leaned over, turned his face towards me with one hand, and (as he began to duck away, not quite knowing what to expect) planted a gentle kiss half on his lips and half off.
Before he could react, I straightened up and strode away calmly, tall and proud, and walked at a decent but unhurried pace into the school. Once safely inside, the doors shut behind me, I turned around and looked out the mirror-windows at his car, still there, not looking as if it was going anywhere for the next little while. I walked on down the hall. I got as far as the computer lab before I collapsed against the wall, shaking.