Unobtainable, a short story by S.J. Walker at



written by: S.J. Walker


Part 1 – Connor

She glides. Each stride is graceful. She rolls her hips. Within five minutes, I can already tell she must be the most sought-after girl in Fuchsia High. I catch a nearby conversation between two girls hovering by their lockers.
“She’s a ballerina, a gymnast, and a cheerleader! Can you believe?”
“I know, right? I wish I could do all that…”
“Excuse me, ladies,” I cut in. “What is her name?” They both gawk at me, opening and closing their mouths. I am aware of the impact I have on women. The first girl blinks, recomposing herself before answering.
“You must be new here. That’s Aurora Watkins. She’s a demigoddess.”
“A demigoddess, huh?” I ask, adding a lilt laced with intrigue.
“Uhh… yeah. Her mom is, like, Aphrodite… The Aphrodite.”
“Interesting. Thanks,” I say, maintaining my composure this time. I’ve met a few demigods and demigoddesses, but never a direct descendent of the magnificent Aphrodite – the infamous goddess of love and beauty.
It seems too convenient not to be a manifestation of fate. But, there she is.
Aurora is in my first class.
I see her glowering down at a bouquet of roses on her desk, pursing her lips with what appears to me as exaggerated disinterest. Clearly flowers have no effect on her. This is a girl who is used to the advancements of boys – I can’t say I’m surprised. She presses the flowers to her nose once, taking in their scent before chucking them to the cold, tile floor. I’m standing in front of the class and, though there are rows of other seated students, all I see is her.
Aurora Watkins. Aurora Watkins. Aurora Watkins.
The mantra is etched.
She has bright, fierce amber eyes, so alluring they outshine the sun. Her skin is flawless and creamy. Her hair falls in long, wavy strawberry blonde strands, brightened with gold and auburn highlights. Not many girls can pull off such a stunning appearance under the glow of fluorescents… but she is no ordinary girl.
She wears a tight-fitting, red V-neck blouse with lace trim. Her jean skirt sits so high above her knee that it exposes part of her thigh. She sits with her legs entwined, one red shoe dangling from a lovely foot. Her heel is out in the open for all to see.
I swallow.
“Aurora, please put on your cardigan so I don’t have to send you to the dean’s office again,” the teacher requests. Asking her to wear a cardigan is like asking an artist to cover their masterpiece. It should be a crime. She leans forward on her desk, pressing her breasts together.
“Why, Mr. Wilson? Are you intimidated by what you see?” She cocks one eyebrow.
I think the temperature of the room just escalated…
Chuckles resound throughout the classroom. Mr. Wilson maintains his firm professionalism with skill. He is unfazed by her allure, probably having had enough time to practice self-discipline in his old age.
“No, Miss Watkins. You’re not following dress code. Cardigan, now!” His tone is firm and authoritative. The classroom laughter dies down and serious expressions return. She releases an exaggerated sigh, but reluctantly pulls a white sweater over her shoulders. It is a shame to hide such beauty.
Mr. Wilson turns to address me. I am still standing at the front of the class.
“Class,” he says, “I’d like to introduce a new student. His name is – sorry, what’s your name, son?”
“Connor Peterson.” All eyes in the room flicker in my direction. I slide my hands into my jean pockets, easing into a casual stance.
“Nice to meet you. Where are you from, Connor?”
“I just moved here from Washington State.”
“Oh, wow that’s a cold place! You must be enjoying the weather here in sunny South Carolina?”
“Definitely! I don’t have to worry about shoveling snow anymore. It’s great!”
I gloss over the faces of the girls in my class. Aurora’s is the only opinion I care about. Her presence dulls the air of others. She releases an audible yawn, a nonverbal insult directed at me. I can’t help but feel the corner of my lip bend upward into a smirk.
Challenge accepted.


Part 2 – Aurora

The new guy is attractive, there’s no denying that. It should be illegal for him to show his forearms. And those biceps, perfectly outlined under that red and blue plaid shirt.
He wears a bulky watch around one of his wrists, highlighting the width of his strong forearms. His short, brown hair falls neatly on top of his head, and he has dimples, which add something charming to the boyishness of his face. The problem is that he knows he is attractive. I can tell because of his cocky, confident stance, hands in his jean pockets, chin held high.
I yawn, a deliberate attempt to humble him and stop the hole he’s burning with his relentless glaring. He doesn’t frown like I expect him to. Instead, he smiles and a spark flits in his baby blues. Seriously, what is that? I wish I could interpret his thoughts, decipher the message coded in his expression. He looks at me intently, as if eyeing his prey, but he will soon learn that I cannot be hunted.
I overhear girls whispering his name through the hallway between classes, and again in the locker room before and after gym class. They all drone on about the “handsome, new guy.” To everyone else, Connor’s smile is like a drug. It is contagious – too intoxicating not to smile back. When his lips curl upward, he exposes a dazzling set of white teeth… but he is not the only handsome mortal I’ve laid eyes upon.


Part 3 – Connor

I’m doing well at the new school. It’s been a week and I’ve got a good group of friends. A group of Football players welcome me into the fold. I have a similar build, so I think they see me as one of their own; their type. I bonded with another jock, a guy named Mark who’s not on the football team. I helped him with his Spanish homework, and we’ve been buddies ever since. He has a calm demeanor, eyes like a chilled beer. At the cafeteria lunch table, he relaxes his shoulders, while the guys around us engage in idle chatter. I nod, going along with the motions, acting like I’m paying attention to what they’re saying. But I’m sneaking glances over Mark’s shoulder towards the cheerleaders’ table.
“Forget about it, dude. She doesn’t go for mere mortals like us.”
Damn… I’ve been caught.
He knows exactly who I was looking at. It is too obvious. It’s like I have her name tattooed across my forehead. I shake my head, regaining my cool composure.
“Even Gods have their weaknesses, Mark. It’s all about figuring out her ‘Achilles’ heel,’” I tell him.
“There are plenty of other girls,” he says.
“I know but… I bet I can figure her out.” I’m insistent and I fully intend to.
“Good luck, man.”


Part 4 – Aurora

Connor doesn’t just share first period with me. I catch his eyes on me all throughout lunch. In history he sits behind me, and I feel his stare drilling holes in the back of my head. I look forward, focusing on the teacher. Mr. Adams is a scrawny, middle-aged man who always wears a black turtleneck sweater. He always looks slightly hesitant before he starts his lesson. Nor is he much to look at.
“So today we’re going to start on…” Mr. Adams eyes flick to me. I’m pretty sure he’s nervous. I cock my right brow, curious as to why he would be on edge. His Adam’s apple bobs up and down in his skinny throat. “Greek and Roman mythology,” he finishes.
All eyes in the classroom flick to me. I am the only demigoddess at this school, a source of curiosity, a spectacle. I lean back in my chair, crossing my arms over my chest.
“What?” I question the room, a bark in my tone.
“Aurora, please let me know if the term, ‘mythology’ is offensive to you,” Mr. Adams delicately suggests. “I can try to figure out some other term to use while teaching this lesson.”
“Why would ‘mythology’ be offensive to me?”
Someone snickers from behind. I turn around and flash an icy glare at Connor. He is clearly amused, trying to hide it by covering his mouth with his hand, but I can see the smile in his eyes. I bet he set this up, suggesting to Mr. Adams Apple before class that I might be offended by today’s lesson. He planted the thought in the poor man’s head, probably because he knew it would get on my nerves. Connor’s eyes always contain that knowing look… as if he can read me, read my soul. He doesn’t just observe, he pays attention. He sees what makes me tick. It’s what makes him dangerous.
Well done, Connor. I’ll give you credit for this one.


“He’s staring at you,” my friend, Stacy, informs me during cheer practice later that day.
We perform our stunts along the sidelines of the football field while the players tackle each other. Only one spectator sits in the stands. I perform a flip by throwing myself backwards onto my hands and then pushing back up, landing on my feet. Like everything physical, the movement is effortless for me. I’m agile.
“Lots of guys stare at me.” I’m nonchalant.
“Yeah but, it’s him. The new guy,” she says. Her tone comes across as if it should make a difference. I look in the direction where she’s pointing. Her nail is perfectly manicured. Red.
I see him, Connor Peterson.
His piercing, blue eyes are intent on me as always. And dare I say, there is a sexy kind of charm about his gaze. He sits leaning forward with his elbows on his knees. He cracks a charming, crooked smile at me, a dimple denting into only his right cheek. He is enjoying this, embracing my attention.
“I think he likes you.”
Stacy has stated the obvious. All boys like me.
I scoff.
“Whatever.” Nonchalant again. I flick my hair in spite. It is aimed at him. I like to think I’m torturing him by sending a waft of strawberry scented shampoo his way.
“He has no chance, does he?” Stacy asks.
“Of course not,” I say, but I’m not sure how convincing I sound…


Part 5 – Connor

“Alright, class,” Mr. Wilson starts Friday morning, “I have read your poetry assignments and I have to say I am very impressed. I’d like to read one poem aloud in particular, if that’s okay. I won’t say who wrote it though because there is a request written at the top of the page for it to remain anonymous.”
I heave a sigh of relief when Mr. Wilson skips over announcing the grades. While everyone focuses on Mr. Wilson reading the poem, I hone in on a subtle sound behind me. It’s Aurora. It sounds like she’s nervously shuffling. Her usual position is with a straitened spine and little to no shifting in her chair. The chair leg squeals. I am intrigued. What is distracting her today?
I turn my head, just enough to peer at her. She is definitely sinking in her seat, holding her hand at her brow, partially shading her eyes. I can’t be sure, but I think… I think…that’s her poem being read aloud. I look forward again, Mr. Wilson takes notice, and I concentrate on him reciting the words that sound like pools of holy water flowing from his tongue. I know it’s hers. I have to look at her again. When I think it’s safe, give a swift look over my right shoulder at Aurora who is cringing through every word. I have figured her out. Her “Achilles’ heel.” I feel so accomplished at the discovery that I want to laugh. I want to roar. I bite my lip to hold it in.
It is her poem.
I am certain.
I fixate back on her, something else swimming in my mind. Not only is she beautiful, but she’s also talented. Something warm bubbles in my chest. I never knew someone could be so perfect. Mind and body.
“What?” she snaps at me in a hushed whisper.
Her cheeks are red, visibly flushed. Oh, my God, she’s embarrassed. How freaking adorable! Her eyes are narrowing. She’s seething. It’s written all over her face. Little does she know, there’s no need to be embarrassed with me. I am just a man, one of many, who has fallen probably too fast, and hopelessly, head-over-heels in love with Aurora Watkins. Aurora Watkins. Aurora Watkins.


Part 6 – Aurora

I give the pretense of fumbling through my locker before lunch. I need a moment to myself. When the hallway clears and I’m pretty sure I am alone, I jot some notes in my journal. Satisfied with what I’ve written, I crush the closed journal to my chest once before stashing it between two textbooks in the deepest, darkest space of my locker, hidden from the world. I put all of myself into my poems. Every part of my heart and soul is expressed through the words I scrawl on paper. This part of my life is kept strictly secret. To know my poetry is to know me from the inside out.
I close my locker, jolting in my stance when I see… him.
How long has he been standing there?
On the inside my heart pounds. Outside I stay cool by tucking a strand of loose hair behind my ear.
He’s pressing his back against the locker beside mine with his arms crossed against his chest. Smug. A smug smile. I want to smack him and wipe that expression away. But the smugness is fleeting and that look returns. The look, the knowing gaze that has me buckling at the knees.
“Hello, Aurora,” he says in that damn angelic voice of his.
“What are you doing here, newbie?!” I say, adding the nickname for derision.
“Nothing,” he says, smiling like a weirdo.
“Are you stalking me or something?!” I ask. “I saw you at my cheer practice.”
He ignores my question.
“Why don’t you want anyone to know you’re creative?”
“What?” I blurt, feeling like he’s pulled the rug out from beneath my feet. I brace myself against the locker. I’d like to climb into it right now. “What are you talking about?”
“Poetry,” he mentions. I forget how to breathe. Air gets stuck halfway out, catching in my throat.
He steps towards me, maneuvering like a satisfied predator with cornered prey. His display of confidence is intimidating. What does he know? Perhaps everything? I don’t realize I’m stepping backward until I slam against my locker. I feel powerless, stripped of my godliness, my mortal side exposed for him to witness. The way his eyes loom over me, soaking in every inch of my being, I am naked.
We lock eyes. Everything becomes a blurry haze. The world consists only of me and him. We tango. I want to figure him out, read the secrets in his expression, but it’s no longer clear, and he is unreadable. Yet there is some sort of unspoken communication going on between us. He relinquishes and steps back away from me, breaking the gaze.
A sly grin cuts across his face. “I really enjoyed your poem, miss ‘anonymous.’”
His taunt leaves me a dumbfounded fool as he walks away, making his exit.


“Girl, what’s going on with you? You’re so quiet,” Stacy asks during lunch. She points to the tray in front of me and says, “you’re not touching your food.”
“I – I don’t know,” I utter, looking at Connor sitting at the jocks’ table.
“Did the new guy say something to you?” she asks.
“Yeah, kind of…” I admit.
“I’d rather not talk about it.”
“Oh, my God. You’ve been humbled,” it isn’t a question.


Part 7 – Connor

“Aurora is staring at you,” Mark says.
“Yeah, I know.” I take a bite of my ham sandwich. A blob of mayonnaise plops to the table. I look down, pretending to be cool about what’s going on.
“Dude, what did you do?”
I swallow. My lips twitch as I fight the smile that is dying to come out.
“Not much. I simply discovered her ‘Achilles’ heel,’”
“What? No way! How?”
The other guys stop talking and lean in. I would be lying if I said I didn’t feel a little bit cocky. I tap my temple with my forefinger. I’m in the know.
“I paid attention.” I’m puffed with pride.
Mark leans closer to me.
“So, what is it? What’s the goddess’s weakness?” He whispers this follow-up question.
Every male presence in earshot is interested, but I won’t reveal what I know, that she is insecure when it comes to her art. Aurora Watkins is mine. No longer in her awe, I let the mantra slip away. She’s mine.
I won’t let other men have the advantage over me.
“Nope. It’s between me and her,” I say. They sigh and back out of the huddle. Inside I chuckle darkly.


I’ve just seen her at lunch, but when she doesn’t show in history class, it’s obvious Aurora’s playing hooky and I know she’s hiding from me. I snag a bathroom pass and search for her. About fifteen minutes later, I see her in a passageway between two buildings, her hands over her chest like she’s lost in prayer. She looks so beautifully vulnerable and feminine, the sun’s gentle rays shining on her from above. I feel some sort of instinctual drive to protect her, wrap my arms around her, make her feel safe. But I refrain from touching her.
That would be too easy.
She bites her lip when she sees me approach her. I can’t help but stare at her mouth, wondering what it would feel like to touch my lips to hers. I hear her deep inhale.
“You said you enjoyed my poetry,” her voice comes out almost in a whisper.
“I do,” I confirm.
“I love…” I clear my throat.
I finish with, “your poetry.”
I love you. But that stays behind my moving lips.
Aurora is confident when it comes to her body and performing physical tasks. She can throw herself into back flips, forward flips with the ease and grace of the goddess that she is. She regularly flaunts her beauty for all to see, wearing revealing clothes. When it comes to her mind, however, she obviously prefers to keep her thoughts locked away, hidden.
Only I hold the key.
She is smiling now, and it is a sight more beautiful than the colorful play of light along the horizon. She is my aurora borealis. She’s all I see.


Part 8 – Aurora

He yanks me from my reverie. We are still in the alleyway. He’s moved his hands back into his jean pockets.
“So… Why aren’t you in class?” He already knows the answer.
“You broke me,” I admit in a whimper. I feel totally pathetic. He stands a full head taller than I. I peer up from beneath my lashes like the helpless prey I have become around him. He is my hunter. I am at his mercy. He chuckles darkly, but there’s something irresistibly charming in the sound.
Nonetheless, I ask, “You’re laughing at me?”
“No, I’m not,” he says. A quiet second passes.
“Then, what‘s so funny?”
“Nothing. I just find you adorable.”
“Adorable?” I tilt my chin back downwards.
He nods.
“Why aren’t you in class?” I ask putting the pressure back on him. He pulls a hand from his pocket and scratches the back of his head. It’s his turn to be awkward.
“I wanted… to come find you,” he says.
“Why?” I ask. It’s a stupid question. This time I already know the answer. I know him well enough now that I can tell just by the way he looks at me.
He takes a step forward until his face is mere inches from mine, reminiscent of our encounter in the hallway before lunch. My back presses against the brick wall. He looms over me. My lips part slightly, my breathing uneven. Is he… going to kiss me? I want him to. I yearn for his lips on mine. I resist the urge to wrap my arms around his neck and pull him to me. Instead, I wait for him to come closer.
When he suddenly pulls away, taking a Tango step back, I feel my heart plummet. In a real Tango, I would match his step with one forward. But I am frozen against the wall.
“So, I can take you back to class,” he answers my question and cracks an irresistible smirk.
He’s such a tease!
Unbelievable. Now he is the one playing hard to get! Yet, I cannot deny the thrill that surges through me now. I’m excited by the challenge.
Step forward. We’ll see how long you remain unobtainable.


The End

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