Just a forewarning, I am no longer in high school. These experiences are from about 5 years ago at the longest up until last year, so with that in mind enjoy.
HEY YOU ALL! Today’s story is a real one, having taken place my eighth grade year at Telesis Academy of Science and Math. This ends in a somewhat satisfying manner, at least in my opinion. If you want to skip the setup head over to paragraph six.
Now to begin, six months prior to this event I had driven, with my family I should say, 5 days from Georgia to West Covina, California for a new start.
The first school I attended was the aforementioned school and the difference between southern and west coast people was shocking to say the least. It was no surprise that I fell for a girl almost immediately. This girl, whom of which I’ll call Dree, was more than I could imagine; in my eyes she was a goddess of beauty[Aphrodite]. Her face my addiction to sea salt caramel cookies; perfectly endless when I beheld it, but when taken away I urged for more. To say the least, seeing that I’m terrible with comparisons, I thought she drop-dead gorgeous upon first seeing her.
And when she actually talked to me about two days after initially falling for her, albeit 2 weeks after my first day (I’m a loud and social person but am incredibly shy if I’m not aware with at least one person), I was so shocked in the moment that I kinda blew her off. The brief encounter went as such:
My sixth period class, ASB, was held in the same room as my fifth period class, History, so I found myself, being the kind and generous kid I was, holding the door for my peers coming into the room. I had done so for a week, smiling and welcoming everyone in with a handshake, high five, fist bump, or joke. In this particular instant Dree came in following Mary(false name). Mary had just said a joke, to be honest I wasn’t listening to her for I was attempting not to give my feelings away.
But as Dree followed Mary in she smiled and told me, “ That was racist wasn’t it, AJ(nickname)?”
Pretending not to pay much attention I respond with a simple and uninterested, “Mhm.”
Something else unfolded after this but as far as I’m concerned, this was our first interaction. I immediately regretted the action, even to this day, but now that you know the basics It’s about time I got to the actual story.
In the Eighth grade I was part of ASB(Associated Student Body). We were usually the decorators and planners of schoolwide events, i.e. dances, competitions, once even a basketball league, and so on. Valentine was approaching and you know we did the usual Valentine grams I’m sure plenty other schools do, but we had also planned a sixth-eighth grade dance for the big day.
Now, I wanted desperately to send a valentine gram to my crush at the time, Dree, but seeing that she and I were in the same class that managed the valentine grams, I found this to be a bit difficult as I wanted to do so anonymously. Then it hit me. About a week from Valentine’s day we had all agreed collectively as ASB members to host a school party. The idea passed and the next day we began decorating the cafeteria/theater. The time doing so was fun. I was climbing up ladders, stapling designs on the walls, and joking around with my friends Nick and Robert (real names). It was a blast. But as the day of the dance approached, it scheduled for Thursday that year, I got nerves.
I was never a nervous guy. In fact I spent time mostly with girls at Telesis, but whenever her name was brought up or I got near her...I was a completely different person. Nights leading up to the dance I had weird dreams, one most memorable being her walking in my direction with my friends at my side. They nagged me and told me to ask her out as she approached and I just stood there and watched her walk by and disappear. I knew that if I didn’t do so in reality that not only will she disappear, but so to would my courage around members of the opposite sex. I had no idea how to approach her and just ask her. But then that’s when things began to shift.
I had told all, if not most, of my friends about my crush on Dree. My two closest friends, Nick and Robert, knew how I felt about her. That didn’t stop Nick from coming up to me that Monday and began chatting with me, “Hey AJ, I know you have a thing for Dree, but I wanted to ask you first before I did so,” And you know, I was confused.
“Did what?” I didn’t expect much. The bell had just rang and I was packing up things to put back in the ASB room. But what came out of his mouth…”
“I wanted to ask you if I could ask Dree to the dance.” I was deadfaced. Hysterical in my mind even. Hours in my head weren’t even a second in reality. I imagined each scenario. If he asked, the worst thing that could happen for me is that she says yes and maybe, just maybe, the two would be a thing. This, too, was also the least likely. I knew without a doubt in my mind that she would tell Nick no. He would ask and she would decline nicely and this whole ordeal would be over.
Before Nick said another thing, I answer with a rushed, “Yeah, sure. Dude, she’s not my property. You don’t need to ask me.”
He smiled, and I kinda respected him for coming to me first, and this action is the only thing that makes me regret how I treated him in the next months.
The next day before the the ending school bell rang Dree, Nick, and I were all in the cafeteria, alone. Nick had motioned to me that he was going to ask her and he went over and held the ladder for her as she climbed and hung the final decorations. I sat at the cafeteria table under her, lying on the table top looking up at the two of them. I was smiling, knowing that this entire thing was about to blow up in Nick’s face. He made a joke, she laughed, and then he asked. “Hey Dree, if you aren’t going to the dance with anyone would you go with me?” Then he smiled, she blushed, and before she could even give her answer I felt nauseous. Something bad was going to happen.
“Yes. I’d love too.”
“WOO!!!” I shouted this without knowing this. Both looked at me, Nick with a huge grin on his face and Dree questioning my action. Without thinking I say, “ That is just perfect. He’s wanted to do that for a loooong time and he finally did it.” And with a strained face I gave Nick two thumbs up and got up to leave the cafeteria.
The day afterwards in ASB, it being Wednesday and both dance and Valentine’s being the day afterwards, I walk into my class after have run an errand for my then teacher to another class. Most of the students were elsewhere checking that everything was ready for the big dance. Nick was standing under the projection board screen with its cord around his neck. A couple sitting in the back of the room were laughing and I didn’t get it until Nick yelled across the room that he was going to kill himself. For a quick second I was concerned, then he let his legs give and I couldn’t help but laugh. The cord attached to the projector board acted like a curtain, pulling down completely until it’s pulled back up, and since he never attended on standing, he fell directly to the floor making a fool out of himself.
He later explained that Dree had told him she’d rather not go with him. I acted sympathetic but was ecstatic that she did so. Later at that dance we had a brief moment. The music deafening, the lights centering on us, and the two of us staring at each other about six feet from each other. It was this moment that I realized that the shows/movies I’ve seen with this exact effect wasn’t just Hollywood malarky, also I realized that someone had spilled horchata on my shirt so I bolted, but do not fret, there’s a moral, somewhere hopefully.
Look, it’s Valentine’s Day, you’re supposed to make a fool of yourself and put your love and rep on the line for the sake of finding someone who may, or may not be for you. The way I figure, if there’s a chance for you to be happy, even for a day, take it. I know if I had the option, I’d ask her for a dance when we stared into each other’s eyes. I’d ask her to the dance. I’d ask her to be my Valentine. Heck! I’d respond her question and maybe even ask to get a burger.
Simply put, put it ALL on the line for her.
© 2018 Hazel