(Image by Safauna)

Andrew opened his lunch and found a pink note card stuck to the plastic
container.

“I hope you are having a good day. Love, Mom,” read the note.
Andrew quickly crumpled the note before his buddies could see it. How
embarrassing, he thought. And on pink paper, too. He stuffed the ball of
paper into his pocket and glanced around the table at his friends to see if
they had seen. Jarrod and Aidan were too busy pinching each other and
laughing to have noticed. The girls giggled about their crushes, but one
pair of eyes rested on him. They belonged to Emma, the goth. She wasn’t
exactly in his circle of friends, so maybe he was safe, but her best
friend, Evan, was. He smiled at her, hoping it would get her to turn her
head, but her gaze remained on him. He could feel her eyes roaming over his
soul.

“I know what that says,” Emma said.

“And how’s that? Are you psychic now?” Andrew asked.

The other boys stopped what they were doing and eavesdropped on the
conversation. A few of them whispered to each other.

“Ugh, no, you moron. I can read through the paper at this angle because
of the light. You don’t have to be ashamed,” she responded.

This piqued Evan’s interest even more. “Ashamed of what?” he asked.

“Nothing,” said Andrew.

“His mother loves him,” said Emma.

A few snickers escaped the boys, but Emma scowled. The other girls
giggled loudly, wrapped up in their own conversation, but their laughs hurt
Andrew anyway. His face reddened to a ripe tomato color. He grabbed his
lunch and ran out to the parking lot, away from the embarrassment. Laughter
filled the cafeteria. He glanced back at his so-called friends, and Aidan
blew him a kiss and rocked his arms like he was holding a baby. This made
the other kids howl with laughter and tears welled up in Andrew’s eyes.
In the parking lot, he sat on a bench. Footsteps approached him at a
jog and slowed to a stop. A figure shaded his vision from the sunlight and
he looked up. Emma stood before him.

“I’m sorry for embarrassing you. I didn’t think they would hear. I just
wanted to let you know that it’s okay to have your mother send you cheesy
notes. They tease you because they don’t know what it’s like to lose a
parent, but if they took a second to think, they’d realize that they would
miss notes like those. Like I do,” she said.

Andrew stared at her, in awe of this information she gave him. Tears
filled her eyes and Andrew watched a tear slide over her eyelashes and down
the curves of her cheeks. Before it could reach her chin, he kissed her
tear. They sat there, leaning on each other in silence, until the bell
rang.