Our story starts in a small science classroom. It's empty, with just a couple of desks, walls, posters, tests waiting to be corrected, but no people. All the desks are manufactured the same, black tops and wooden legs, and a couple have gum stuck to the bottom or an initial carved into one, but the one in the back left corner is just a bit different.
There is, yes, a bit of blue gum on the underside, and the initials SW+MD carved into the wooden part. But hidden in the drawr is a notebook. In the notebook is the usual school notebook stuff: math homework, French verbs, history notes, the regular things. But it's also a diary, with pictures and words in loopy, messy cursive in thick, black pen, with some sloppy left-handed handwritting thrown in there.
The pictures are mostly similar: a girl with hair in her face, with stripy shirts and skinnyjeans, wearing big workboots. She's got a lip ring and gaged ears, but her eyes are big, vacant, and on the inside, you can see claws reaching towards the retina. There's a boy, with spiky, dark hair, a scar on his jawline, but with no eyes, just a nose and a smirking mouth. Sometimes, there's a baby. Other times, it's just an arm, reaching out. On one page, there's just a lot of dots making up a tree.
There are the words, the thick, black cursive, looping into the journalist's deepest thoughts. The left-handed print is messy, but in a readable way. You catch on too quickly that this is a girl's diary, her name is Alivia, and she's the girl with gages and big eyes you see in the pictures. Her best friend is a boy named Alex, the boy with the scar and dark hair. You read between the lines, the pages they share, some in loopy cursive, some in left-handed print. Most of it notes passed under the table. Shared entires about mean teachers, weird little brothers, girlfriends, boyfriends, etc.
You read between Alex's notes to his bestfriend and you can see that he's in love with Alivia, and in one page, you see them putting little hearts next to each other. Alivia confesses in one of her private entries that she loves him too, she just doesn't want to tell him. And they're only in the tenth grade. It's probably just puppy love, she thinks. Alex doesn't have any private entries, just papers he shares with Alivia. In more than a couple of pages, they get the notebook removed for passing notes in class. You can tell because the sentances stop abruptly and then begin again on the next page.
You read through midterms, concerts, finals, standard state testing, math exams, and Spanish vocal quizzes. You see the two pass through the years, the pictures getting better and move carefully drawn in each one, the writing getting gradually neater, the homework getting harder, everything growing up a bit. One of the pages is ripped out. You can't see what it was, but on the next page, Alivia says she and Alex had a fight, and she then goes on to say lots of awful things.
Of course, they make up and get along better. Near the end of the year, in one very sweet diary entry, Alex asks Alivia to be his girlfriend, which she happily accepts. In all other entries, you see them talk about how much they love each other and saying they will marry each other. All of the pictures are them together. It's very cute and you believe that it's true love by the way the two talk to each other and the adorable pictures drawn.
The diary stops on graduation day of tenth grade. You put it down. The last entry is one of Alivia's, a picture of them together, and it's back in the drawr, back to it's hiding place. The desk doesn't look too different from the others, but it's really very different. No other desk contains the story of two best friends, both in love, who grew up together. It tells the love story, through pictures, words, and English Lit. homework, of two lovers who didn't know about the other until a confession was made. This is how all beautiful relationships start: through bestfriends.