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Why I Believe in Love at First Sight

The beginning of a longer work. Thought I would share

She was the product of four different diasporas - Armenian, French, Greek and Scottish - and this showed in her features; her face was long and thin, with freckles spread across it like stars on a cloudless night, her nose was large and beak-like and her eyes, wide, understanding, and a deep chocolatey brown that clashed so shockingly and wonderfully against her thick tresses of curly red hair. She was everything I had ever wanted and more. And that was before she even opened her mouth.

Her name was as strange and surprising and magical as her features - Sophronia Nazeretian Bertrand. To me she was Sophie. She would later explain her name - a beautiful, grand Greek name to satisfy her mother’s family, with a short, common, nickname to satisfy her father’s. Nazeretian was her mother’s maiden name - “It means ‘son of Nazareth’, you know, where Jesus grew up” - I had never been to church before. Sophie made me start to believe in God. Then there was Bertrand. “Bertrand is boring,” Sophie told me. “When I’m a famous artist or poet or whatever, maybe both, who knows, I haven’t decided yet, anyway, I just want to go by Sophronia Nazeretian. Doesn’t that sound amazing?”

“It sounds made up,” I told her.

“But it’s not,” she said, her eyes sparkling. “It’s my real name, just not all of it.”

I’ll admit that I was taken aback when I first heard Sophie’s real name. It was third period, first day of Freshman year, Ms. Schwartz was taking attendance, I was waiting for her to get the G’s so she would call my name, and I heard her call “Sophronia?” in the way teachers do when they aren’t sure if they’re pronouncing a name right, and she looked up as if she had forgotten where she was and said “Here.” That was the first time I noticed her. I hadn’t seen her walk in, I was too caught up in own first day of school anxieties. But now that I had seen her, I didn’t want to ever take my eyes away from her.

That night, I remember lying in bed, looking at the moon out my bedroom window, whispering “Sophronia, Sophronia, Sophronia” over and over again. I got up and turned on the light, and took one of my new school notebooks and new freshly sharpened pencils out of my backpack and wrote “Sophronia, Sophronia, Sophronia” all over the first page, until my hand got tired and I tore up the page and went to bed leaving the shreds all over the floor. I liked hearing it, and saying it, and seeing it, and writing it. I wasn’t sure why. I had a sneaking suspicion, but it scared me to death.

When I saw Sophronia the next day, it was in the school hallway, while walking with my friend Emmy, and a completely new feeling came over me. It was a mix of elation, and fear, and disgust. I stopped in my tracks, as hoards of other students shoved past me. Emmy turned around and looked at me. "Bridget, what are you doing? Oh god - you look so pale." I was suddenly hyper-aware of all the people around us, how annoyed they must be at the two freshman girls blocking the hall, and suddenly I wanted to hide.

"I'm fine. I just have to go to the bathroom." I turned on my heal and practically ran, unsure of where the nearest bathroom even was. God, I thought, my face turning hot, what is the matter with me? This can't be happening.

By the second week of school. there was no denying it. I was absolutely infatuated with the red-haired girl in my third period World History class.

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