Every one of those little folded rectangles was a light about to be flicked on. You never knew what could be in there. Some new escalation of infatuation? Some drama about lunch? A funny joke? An unfunny joke?
You opened it and there it was – whatever it was. You’d have this moment with the note all alone, just you and the paper, even if you were sitting in science class surrounded by other kids.
You could smell the paper. If it smelled like her perfume, your heart sang. If the note was folded neatly, corners meeting corners, you knew some extra time and effort had been put into it. Maybe the sender was afraid of rejection, or maybe she just wanted it to be right. She cared.
If the note was roughly constructed, the contents were probably dashed off frantically. An urgent matter. “I need to know if you’re a Pisces or an Aquarius?!”
You read the contents again. Stared at it.
Folded it back up the way it was, handling it by the corners to avoid staining it with palm sweat and smearing the ink. Keep it safe. The little tab was such a thing of engineering ingenuity; you marveled at it.
You learned how tightly to crease the folds so the note would spring into itself; crease it too sharply and it would lose structural integrity.
A really choice note – one that made you dizzy – you kept in your pocket for days before storing it in a shoebox. Months or years later you’d look at it again and wax nostalgic, or you’d wince with regret. That new note scent faded as age and dust took over.
Dead trees, man. Dead trees and ink.
Image via some Facebook post I saw.