Featured Image: A diary entry after I got my first kiss from spin the bottle at age 12. Below that, is my diary from 2nd grade that only has 3 pages written in it and it’s all about boys.
As you may know, I started my new job this week. I was too mentally drained to even think of a topic, and also went on two dates, so I wasn’t able to put my usual six hours into a post.
So I decided to give you guys a short story I wrote sometime in college. I also think it stays on topic with my last post.
It was the scariest moment of my life.
They had cornered at my locker in between class periods. I was in the middle of switching out my history binder for my pre-algebra notebook when—
“You like her right?”
“Well she heard—“
“You should go out with her!”
My head was spinning. I couldn’t remember a time when these many girls were talking to me at once. Who were they even talking about, I thought, but then I saw her. She was surrounded by a separate group of girls and they were whispering, watching us as my friends stood silently beside me, just as confused. I couldn’t understand what they even meant by “go out”? Like to dinner? I’d have to ask my mom to drop us off.
“So, are you gunna do it?” the tallest girl in the group snapped.
“Ask her out…?” she said and scrunched her eyebrows like what she was saying made complete sense.
The two girls behind her squealed.
“Ok, well, do it at lunch, okay?”
I told them yes so they would leave me alone. I watched them rejoin the group around Rachel. I admit I was a little scared. Actually, a lot of scared.
I didn’t know what to do. I looked to my friends for some advice.
“I don’t think those girls are giving you a choice,” John said, walking with me to class. But I had to turn around as I realized I forgot my math notebook, which meant passing by the group of girls again.
I kept my red face hidden as I walked past.
It felt like a setup. She never liked me and just wanted to embarrass me in front of everyone at lunch.
I was angrier than I had ever been in my life.
After study hall, the clock really started ticking with only two periods until lunch. It was deal or no deal.
I had two options: ask her out and take my chances at going out with a girl who might actually like me, or say no to save myself the embarrassment.
No, I thought, I will not be a scared little kid. I’m grown now. I will ask her and if she says no, I will just laugh and pretend I knew all along.
But deep down I knew I would be heartbroken.
A couple minutes before the lunch bell, I excused myself to the bathroom.
I grabbed the edges of the sink and stared at my reflection.
I can do this.
Every guy wishes he was you right now.
You can do this.
I slapped myself in the face.
“I CAN DO THIS!” I yelled and scared a kid at the urinal.
This was a defining moment in my middle school career. If anything went wrong, my life would be ruined. And if everything went right, I’d be one of the popular kids for once, at least until she got bored of me.
My face was flushed red, so I splashed some water on it and took a deep breath. I waltzed out of the bathroom a new man.
I kept a bored, straight face on to pretend I didn’t care as I walked to lunch. I heard girls like that kind of thing, guys who are laid back like that. Mature guys.
I got my mozzarella sticks, thanked the lunch ladies, and went to my usual table in the cafeteria.
My fellow sixth-grade boys all nodded at me in solidarity.
I couldn’t back out.
I could see my own pit stains from the corner of my eye, and I noticed when I stood up that my fly was half down. I zipped it quickly, took another deep breath, and marched over to the only table that had boys and girls at it; the “cool” table.
I saw Rachel watching me as I came towards her. She looked beautiful. She had a mischievous smile plastered on her face. I was careful to avoid the banana peel that was thrown by one of the seventh-grade boys to trip me up. Rumors spread fast, I guess, even the upperclassmen knew what was going down.
By the time I crossed the thirty feet to her table, my mouth was dry, and my heart was beating so loud I wasn’t sure I’d be able to hear myself over it.
My heart skipped a beat and I sent it:
“Yes!” she stood up and put out her arms for a hug.
Oh god, but it wasn’t a hug—it was a kiss!
Her lips tasted like cheese and chocolate milk.
She released my face and “—why were your eyes open?”
“I don’t know—I was looking… at your face?” Nice one buddy.
“Oh.” She looked at her friends, who were giving her nods, then looked back at me. “So, are we going to sit next to each other?” She pulled me to the seat next to her. She was sitting at the only table that had an equal gender distribution. Boys and girls sat here, mingling freely, mostly older kids, and mostly people with girlfriends or boyfriends. I’d never sat there, considering I was neither old nor in a relationship.
As I sat down with my tray, everyone looked at me confused, but no one said anything after Rachel gave them her dazzling smile and introduced me as her boyfriend.
All I could think was: What have I done?
Rachel found me again at the end of the day while I was at my locker.
“So, are we sitting on the bus together?” I had forgotten she was on my bus, too. My bus time was sacred to me. It was for naps and daydreaming and listening to my music.
“Sure,” I said and tried not to wince.
She plopped herself well within my personal space on the bus. The ride to my stop was approximately twelve minutes. That’s all I had to get through.
“How was your day?” she asked.
“Mine was okay.”
Her face scrunched up like I farted.
She kept trying to get herself under my arm, like she was trying to lean on it or cuddle or something.
Is that what boyfriends do? Sacrifice their personal space and blood flow to their arms for the girls that they love?
I let her cut off my circulation on my left arm—the less necessary appendage.
Time moved slowly but finally, I saw my grandma waiting for me at the mailbox.
I moved quickly so she didn’t see me with Rachel. I grabbed my stuff, thanked the bus driver and ran towards the house. I threw my backpack at the couch and ran to my room, flinging my sneakers this way and that.
I laid in bed. I could smell her perfume on my shirt.
Having a girlfriend was tough.
I decided I would have to break up with her.