Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Her Story

"I wouldn't do that if I were you," she told me the first time we met. Of course, I knew better. I opened the book and began to read.

Now I’m sure you’re going to think this is some story about me getting sucked into a book, going through some difficult adventure, and having a life-changing experience or epiphany, but you’re wrong. This isn’t The Neverending Story. That’s not to say I’m not a fan of that movie, ‘‘cause it was one of my favorite movies when I was a kid. But this isn’t like that.

Nor is this a story about me being skeptical about something in the realm of magic, and the book is supposed to be some old mystical tome, and then I jokingly read a “spell” out of the book and then have to deal with dire consequences because of my skepticism.

By this point you’’re probably wondering what the story is about. Well, we have three elements: her, me, and a book. I’ll tell you right now that it’s not about the book. It’s not even really about me, either. It’s about her.

I don’t know what her name is. She was probably about the same age as me, but it was hard to tell. I’m at that annoying age where hormones are going crazy, and some of the girls are already looking much older than the boys, but not all of them, and even some of the boys’ voices are changing, so it can be kind of hard to tell exactly how old someone is compared to you. There’s one girl in my class who, no foolin’, looks like she’s about seventeen. Yes, I’m smack-dab in the middle of puberty.

She wasn’t in my class, but I’d seen her around school, usually in the cafeteria. That didn’t give me much hint on her age, ‘cause my class shares a lunchtime with a few fifth-, sixth-, and eighth-grade classes. Okay, so now you know I’m in seventh grade. I’m thirteen, okay? Fine.

Anyway, well here’’s the thing. I watched her. I watched her a lot. But can you really blame me? She’s gorgeous! But not in that annoying, blonde, spoiled, cheerleader kind of way. God, I hate those girls, the kind that have huge sweet-sixteen parties, like on TV, and they’re obviously planning to get by the rest of their lives on their looks and whatever allowance Daddy gives them. No, she wasn’t like that. She’s a redhead and peppered with freckles. I think she plays either soccer or softball-- I’m not sure which-- because I overheard her talking about practice once, but nothing more other than that. She looked like a soccer player though, so I think that’s what she plays.

I keep getting off the subject. So I watched her. Whenever I could, which was usually around lunchtime. Well one day, she saw me. Saw me watching. And she smiled. Smiled! At me! And then she giggled. The other girls around her giggled with her. I blushed and went back to my sandwich.

The watching kept going on. And I noticed her watching me, too. Sometimes. When she thought no one else was watching, when she thought I wasn’t looking.

Then there was the day it finally happened. I was doing some English homework during lunch-- trying to get ahead, you know?-- and she, get this, walked over to my table! Now I’’m not popular, so I usually have a whole end of a table to myself. And she came over and sat down across from me. I pretended not to notice her, just kept my head down, because I could feel my ears burning and knew I was red as the inside of a watermelon.

But I couldn’t keep it up. I looked up at her. And she smiled at me. I smiled back.
So what happened next may seem childish to you, but keep in mind that, well, we were both still, in many ways, children. She passed me a note. We were sitting face-to-face, not five feet apart, and she pushed a note across the lunch table toward me.

Do you like me? Yes/No

I circled Yes and pushed it back to her.

She got up. "I wouldn't do that if I were you." Of course, I knew better. I opened the book and began to read.

Turns out she wasn’t attracted to girls.

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