Tuesday, 01 February 2011
By Anne Kallsen
Her head was pounding.
Where was she? What happened?
She felt like she was going to throw up. Nausea came over her like a sea wave. She tried to take some deep breaths, but something was pressuring her lungs, like a weight. She could only take slow, shallow breaths.
Like watching an old film, the memories of the events that led up to this moment began to formulate in her mind's eye.
She was walking down to lunch. It was noon, and she had just finished her literature and theology class in Heelan Hall and was heading towards the Stark Student Center toward the cafeteria.
She saw many familiar faces, although she hardly knew any of them by name. In fact, she only knew the name of one girl passing by, a girl in her morning writing class. As they passed, they both smiled and nodded at each other, as a way of saying "hello." And they continued on down the sidewalk their separate ways.
She walked into the doors of the Stark Center and went down the hallway past the four student computers, past the student lounge, and past the school bookstore. She Then walked down the narrow hallway behind the Stark Stage and into the cafeteria.
Half of the tables were already full, and he empty ones were quickly being taken. She took out her student ID card and got in the line to scan her card. She smiled at the lunch lady as she scanned her card, and the lunch lady smiled back.
She got in line and grabbed a plate. She looked down the buffet bar to see what was for lunch today. As always, there was a steamed vegetable (today was cauliflower) a starch (egg noodles with olive oil and parsley seasoning) and two choices of meat (ginger roast beef and Swedish meatballs). She took the Swedish meatballs and the noodles. She passed the dessert bar and did not look too long there. She knew that she could do with out the desserts. Besides, they only gave her a stomachache half of the time.
She got in line at the fried food bar and took several chicken nuggets and passed on the cheeseburgers and french-fries. She went to the drink line and got herself a small Diet Coke. She grabbed a small empty bowl and went to the salad bar. She put some lettuce on her chicken nuggets to make a chicken salad. She filled the small bowl about the size of a one cup measuring cup with canned pears to get her daily serving of fruits in for the day.
She looked around for the ranch dressing to put on her salad. Disappointed that she couldn't find anything, she went and sat at a lunch table all by herself.
Most days she sat alone during lunch. Back in high school, she had her lunch bunch, which consisted of several friends spanning several grades. At college, though, her lunch bunch consisted of her and three other empty seats. And whoever would text her back when she texted them on her cell phone to make herself appear not to be bothered by the aloneness she felt inside. At the same time, though, she didn't feel alone. She half way liked it. It was time for her to have some peace and quiet and observe the hundreds of people around her without felling obliged to talk to anyone. She could think her thoughts to herself with some peace. And no one could judge her thoughts here.
Looking around, she caught the eye of one of the boys in her literature class, Damian. He was from Florida, and what made him choose to come to a small school in a small city in Iowa, she didn’t know. One day, she thought, she would ask.
When she noticed that they had locked eyes, she quickly smiled politely and looked back down at her food.
She took out her iPod touch that she had bought herself with her graduation money during the summer and began to mess with the facebook application to catch up on whatever had happened in the past two hours that had passed since she last checked it. Only one or two updates, but nothing important or big or scandalous. There hardly was, anyways. She was just always bored and interested din the lives (or lack of lives) of her friends, both old and new and barely knew.
She didn't mind sitting alone at lunch.
She didn't mind that she only hade a very few friends.
She did mind, however, that she didn't have any close friends. She had classmates, acquaintances, and buddies, but no true true friends.
She was living off campus now to save money. Now that she had a part-time job at school though through the work study program in the admissions office, her parents decided that it was okay for her to move into the dorms and actually get herself a social life. The sooner she got a social life, the sooner she got friends. The sooner she got friends, the sooner she got a boyfriend.
That was what she really wanted.
A botched relationship that ended right after her high school graduation party (the day after, in fact) left her scarred all summer. She knew that one day it would have to end, but not the way he ended it.
"I just don't love you anymore." said the text message.
The summer was the worst one ever.
Thank goodness the prospect of going to Briar Cliff University kept her busy whenever she was in "crisis mode" with her feelings.
Anyways, ever since then, she has felt the need to have another boyfriend and fast. The problem was, she didn’t know how to get one. She got her other one through her best friend, and instantly there was chemistry between them.
That chemistry ended up creating an A-Bomb that killed every sense of security in her.
College was going to change that. She was determined.
She finished eating, gathered her things, and put her things in the dish wash room on the rack.
Alone, she went out of the cafeteria and out of the stark center.
Alone, she went to her job in the admissions office in Noonan Hall.
Alone, she spent an hour putting labels on envelopes that were to be sent out to prospective students for next year.
Alone, she went in chorus at 3:10 and sang complicated songs. She thought of dropping Choir next term, but she loved singing too much and it was basically a free one hour credit each term. All she had to do was show up and sing with the choir.
Anyways, this is becoming quite a boring rendition of the day. When shall I cut to the chase?
After choir, she walked out to the big parking lot, alone. She drove home with the radio off.
That was what her days were like every single day. She prayed that one day excitement and would fill her days. Soon.
Well, it would come, but in a more dangerous, terrifying, and exciting way than she would ever dream.
Everyone told her to get involved, to volunteer, to hang out with everyone as often as she could. But the key words here are "get involved." Oh, she would get involved, and she wouldn't have a choice, either. Nor would the ten other people she would very soon be joining, people she knew, or, at least, she thought she knew.
Soon, it was time for her to move into the dorms. She was excited. Finally, she was going to have the real college experience. Her parents were not too excited, but they would just have to accept that their daughter was really needing to do this, no matter what the cost (literally).
Her roommate was Louisa, a girl she kind of knew from her literature and theology class. She was an averagely pretty girl, kind of quiet, and did not spend too much time in the dorm room. That was fine with Anna, who liked to spend much of her free time in solitude on the computer writing her stories and poems or playing her games. She came to college to get a social life--to change the non-existing one that she had right now.
Louisa and Anna got along fine. There were no skirmishes for anything like room or getting up in the morning or going to bed at night. It was easier for Anna than she thought it would be.
"Want to go down to dinner?" Louisa asked one night after a hard night of studying.
"Sure," said Anna, exhausted. She had been working on a writing assignment for the past hour, and her brain was fried and her fingers numb with cold. They always got cod whenever she was on a computer for extended amounts of time. She didn't know why, but figured that it was because of the poor circulation going to her arms, which was ironic because her fingers were always moving non-stop whenever she was on a computer, which, in her mind, would mean that they were to be hot and sweaty like the rest of her body would be like if she was moving that fast with her feet.
Anna and Louisa walked down the stairs of Toller Hall, one of the four residence halls on campus. It was connected to Alverno Hall, and that was connected to the Start Student Center and the cafeteria.
"That paper for writing is killing me," sighed Anna. "I don't know how I'm going to finish it. Wait, I know I'll be able to finish it, but it wont be until late late tonight and it is going to suck. I am definitely not going to get an A, that's for sure. I know I'm going to pass, but that's just about it."
Louisa laught. "Yeah, me too. I can never figure out how he grades. One paper I'll get an A plus, and the next one, one that is of the same exact quality as the A plus paper, will be a C. It is like he has no standard for grading, and it gets very frustrating."
"I know," said Anna.
They reached the caffeteria and passed their ID cards through the scanner to register their meal and went therough the line. Anna got spaghetti noodles and alfredo chicken caprese sauce and two bread sticks that were looking quite yummy. She also got herself a diet coke. She figured that one day she would have to get juice or milk. Yeah, she may be getting diet pop, but there is no nutiritional things in pop except they are zero calories. And that's just about it.
They both sat down at a table and began to eat and converse about their papers for their writing class. Anna noticed Damian came in with a big black eye. Did he get in a fight? she wondered. Damian was quite popular and kind of a jock, so it was deffinitely possible. Popular jocks seem to attract those types of problems and injuries and fights. Most of the times they deserve it, but sometimes they don't.
Anna wondered if this was a time if Damian deserved it or not. He was walking alone, which was rare. Maybe he did deserve what happened, then? If he got in a fight with his friends, and he's the one who is alone, that would mean he was to blame. Or maybe they said something, he said something, he got hit, then walked aaway?
Curiosity still tickeling her mind, she went back to her dinner. "I wonder what Damian did to get that black eye?" Anna asked Louisa.
Louisa looked at Damian. "Well, he can be somewhat of a jerk sometimes, can't he? And I don't care too much for the people he hangs out with. I mean, they are not mean to me, but they can be loud and obnoxious sometimes, can't they? Who knows, maybe they were just rough housing and he was suddenly in the wrong place at the wrong time."
"Yeah, maybe," said Anna. "Well, I hope it's nothing serious. I don't want to hear them up all night yelling above us, you know? I woudl like a decent night of sleep. I don't know if it will be possible even if it is quiet, though, with the assignmnet still due tomorrow."
"Same here," said Louisa.
THey both quickly finished their dinner and went back to the lounge in Toller Hall.
Anna finished her paper late late late into the night. Louisa finished before her, so she went to bed before Anna did. The lights were off and Louisa was already asleep. And Anna was on her bed, her laptop on her lap. THe brightness was dimmed to allow Louisa enough darkness to sleep so the computer screen wouldn't keep her up.
It was nearly two in the morning, and she had just finished her essay on the prarie. It was not her bes twriting, but it would have to do . for now. It was late and it was time to go to bed, and this wwas the bes she could do for this paper.
She printed it off, staples it together, and put it in her folder ready to hand in the next day in class.
Anna went onto Facebook to check on what had happened in the past few hours. Of course, not much had changed in the past 2 hours, only one status changed.
DAMIAN HENRY: "Black eye by freak accicent lol. Thanks for the back up, guys!"
Freak accident? Asked Anna to herself. And the wheels began to turn again in her head, even after her tired mind was exhausted from the paper she had just finished writing. What did he mean by freak accident? And was he being serious when he said "thanks for the back up?"
Yeah she may be obsessing. But she rarely obsessed over sometihng unless it was worth obsessing over. Well, most of the time. Sometimes she would obsess and find out if it was nothing to obsess over. But something about this made her wonder... This was not normal. What happend? What was the freak accident? And how on eartth do you get into one on a small campus such as Briar Cliff?
The cogs in her head were slowly churning, but nothing was was being fully processed. It was too late and she was wayyy too tired. Thinking it was nothing to worry about, at least for the time being, she exited her laptop window and turned it off. She closed it and put it back on the floor next to her bed and took off her glasses and closed her eyes. She tried to go to sleep, but her brain was buzzing from lack of sleep and rest and everything else bla bal.....
Finally, she went to sleep.
She dreamed about different ways on how Damian got the big black eye. Falling out of a tree. Falling out of bed. Weight lifting accident (bar bell to the head?). Fight with friends?
What on earth did he do?
The next morning she got up and went to class and turned in her paper. The rest of the class time was spent zoning out during his lecture. And she was so tired and exhausted, she did not even bother putting in any effort to make her self look decent (today she only looked half way decent, just acceptable enough to come out of her dorm room) and she was so tired she dindt even bother putting in any effort and make herself listen to the lecture today. Hey, at least she showed up.
It was nearly end of class, and she had barely listened to one word of the lecture. Luckily, he did not want to want to want to call on her today. She was way too tired to answer. She just nodded or wahtever with the rest of her class.
Finally the class ended. And she was sooo tired, She took the elevator was too tired to take the staris to day.
"Hold it!" called a voice down the hall way.
anna stopped herself from closing the door of the elevator and held. it.
Coming down the hallway was Damian. She moved around and went to the corner to allow room for Damian in the elvator. Not that there wasn't enough for the two of them, she just wanted enough breathing room and a comfortable amount of space between them.
She smiled quickly in greeting and looked away and got the elevator going up to theird floor for her literature and theology class.
They both got out of the elevator and Anna slowly walked begind Damian as they both made their way to their next class tother.
She noticed that he was walking with the smallest amount of limp on his right leg.
She walked into the classroom behind Damian nand she sat down at her spot and he sat down two coloms over and one row back. Trying to sound as causal as possibly, she asked him, "Damina, what did you do to get that black eye?"
Damian flashed his eyes (his eyes flashed) and he hesitated for the smallest moment. Quickly he recovered and went to explaining. "Oh, I, uh, was out running yesterday and I tripped on a big crack on the sidewalk, like the kind that jut out of the ground and I landed on my face. And, uh, I was running with some of my buddies and they did not tell me aobut the theing in the ground so yea I just tripped. And that was it."
"Oh," said Anna. "Well, I hope it doesnt hurt too bad. It looks very painful."
"Well, yeah, it hurts," he said. "But its not too bad. I'll live." He quickly smiled and looked away.
"Yeah." said Anna and she looked ahead at the board.
Something in his voice made Anna not totally believe Damian's story.
She was so tired again in this class, it took all of the energy she could muster and not fall alseep. The literature and theology class was usually her favorite, but the last thing she wanted to do was sleep in the middle of her favoirte class.
It was hard. Really gard. excepte she was so tired.
And she was so comfortabl and warm and relzared.
Her eyes began to droop...
She caught herself herself and and she was nodding but she caught herself.
"So Anna, are you agreeing that this type of character can fully redeem himself?"
Anna looked up at the sound of her name. It was her professor who had asked her the question. "Uh, well, erm, yes," she said. "I, uh, I think so."
"And why do you think that?" asked her professor.
"Well, erm, because, uh, they can make themselves convert and redeem themselves the same way real life people can. So, yes." she said. She pulled that answer out of clear thin air.
"Well, yes, that answer works," said her professor, and he continued on his lecure about redemption, salvation, and conversion in literature.
At least that woke her up a bit and she was able to keep herself from nodding off too much any mroe for the rest of class time.
Finally, the class ended again. It was time for lunch. Slowly, she gathered her things and went down the elevator to the bottom floor and walked out of Heelan hall. Once again, she found herself behind Damian. He had taken the stairs this time, but he was limping a bit more, probably because his leg was still bothering him and the stairs only made his leg feel worse.
Geez, it must have been a really bad falll. He must have been runnign fast to have a black eye like that and a leg injury like that.
Why couldn't she get this off of her mind? Why did she keep obessing over this?
Really, it was time for her attention to move on to something else.
Anna went through the lunch line and got herself a deli turky sandwich with mayonaise and lettucce and tomato and swizz chese. She also got herslef a cup of soup and some jello. She got herself some Diet Coke to wash it all down with.
Louisa joined her. "So, did you find out why Damian was injured? I saw you guys talking in literature and theology." Lousia asked.
So much for getting it off of her mind.
"Yeah," said Anna. "It was aa fall. He was running with his buddies and he fell on a sidewalk crack that was jutting out of the ground and landed face first."
"Oh," said Louisa. "Well, I hope he's okay."
"Yeah, me too," said Anna. "He said that he'll live, so I am assuming its nothing really serious."
NaNoWriMo takes up sooo much time...
Where did I leave off? I don't remember what I ended with....
I'lll just cut to the chase, I guess. All we have been doing for the past three thousand words is say that Damian is acting suspicious even though there really is no evidence for her to be suspicious at all. Its being very sloww....
Okay, how do I...
go on from where I left off? I HAVE NOTHING TO GO OFF OF!!
I am going to do a "meanwhile" type thing....
Damian sat alone at his lunch table. Those guys were supposed to back me up, idiots... he thought to himself. They werent there when I needed them! What took them so long to get past the guards?? Come on, really, it's not that hard... And those dogs! Geez! i thought experimenting on animals with horomones like THAT were ILLEGAL! Resiouly, arent sterroids illegal? I mean, if humans cant use them, shouldt it be illegal for dogs and other animals to use them? Really, there is no other way those bull dogs could geth THAT mean and THAT big THAT fast! I hope Dr. Colbert doesn't make me have to have to make up for this... I hope he doesnt punish me! I mean, really, it wasn't my fault I didn't reach the target! I was the only one there, and those other idiots got caught! THEY should be the ones who get punished.... And I hope its bad punishment too. Like having to help in the lunchroom during the lunch rush. Wait, no, that's punishment for "regular" students, and we are anything BUT regular students.
We're on a mission. Not just to get careers. But to save the world. Like, literally. Everyone always says that they are going out to "make the world a better place by being the best I can be". Well, at least wea re quite LITERAL when we say that. Without us, the world as we know it would cease to exist...
Damian looked down at his untouched dinner plate. He really wasn't that hungry and didn't feel like eating. To not waste his food, he took a few bites just so he wouldnt be hungry later and got up and put his cold, hardly touched plate in the dish return station and began walking out of the caffeteria back to Dr. Colbert's office to explain what happened the night before. Usually, Dr. Colbert didn't like being talked to about "the mission" outside of the lab, but if he used the correct language and words so that no one would understand what he was talking about nor care what he was talking about, he was sure Dr. Colbert wouldn't mind. Maybe he wouldnt be in his office anyways. He might be in the lab, and the enterances to the lab werent always accessable. Sometimes they were there, sometimes they weren't. THAT was how advanced this place was. It depended on the time of day, day of the week, day of the month, day of the year. All seamlessly blending in the the school, invisible to those who didn't know.
There was so much so many people didn't know about.
And if they did, the world would stop turning and people would panic. THATS why it was a secret. The less they knew, the better. Damian didnt care much for knowing, but really, did he have a choice? Hardly. After all, he was "Chosen" and to be "Chosen" means you either participate or you die.
If only he was kidding about the dying part.
As he was leaving the Stark Student Center, Henry, Scott, and Marshall walked by. They only acknowledged each other by staring into each others eyes. It was obvious that they felt really guilty about what happened the other night, but its not like they could apologise or talk about it in front of everyone out in the open. THe rule was no speaking about anything to do with "the mission" outside of the labe walls.
Damian went down the stairs into the tunnel system that connected Alverno Hall to Heelan Hall and the library that was accessable to all students and was used mostly in the winter when it was too cold to go outside between the buildings. He walked about half-way down the tunnel past the murals of hands and names of students from years past who attended orientation at Briar Cliff. He found his hand and his name written in his scrawl. Looking down both ends of the hallway to make sure the coast was clear, he lightly placed his hand palm down on the one he traced there only this past summer. It felt warm, and the outline of his hand on the wall glowed ever so slightly green.
That meant someone was in the lab, most likely Dr. Colbert. That way he woudn't have to hide what he was saying and not have to be careful about his word selection when explaining the filed mission.
Behind him, at the end of the hallway in the corner, a small opening just big enough for him to slip through opened up. Once again checking to make sute tthe coast was clear, He quickly headed toward the opening and slipped in. As soon as he ws through, he was gone. He went down the very very narrow stone stairs dimly lit by soft blue white lights, like christmas lights, but colder, not near as warm or inviting as christmas lights. More futureistic and scientific. Colder.
He went down for what seemed like forever, and then came to a small landing. The hallway was dimply light like the stairway down the stairs, but a bit brighter, but not by much. It was night, so they didn't need as much lighting as during the day. They wanted to conserve as much energy as possible, for if the school found a sudden spike in energy usage, they would get suspicious. All of their electricity, or at least most of it, came from a little generator that was connected to solar panels hidden on the roof of Heelan Hall, and some of it came from a fan in Dr. Colbert's office that was in his window that was actually a wind turbine. Tiny litle thing, but it made a tremendous amount of energy. It was no ordinary turbine, either. It was SUPER. Futureistic, and not near ready for public distribution. Only because Dr. Colbert didn't want any attention on him right now. He needed a low profile. Besides, a English teacher wasnt supposed to know that much about HIGHLY ADVANCED Sciences such as Biology and Chemistry and the such. English was just his cover up. Science was his passion, and it showed only in the boundaries of the lab.
Damian walked down the what seemed to be never-ending hallway towards Dr. Colbert's personal office/ lab for the orgainization. It was like a kalidascope down there, with the lights only dotting the edges and the ceiling. Very surreal. He passed several plain white unmarked doors. He didn't know what was in any of them, save a few. There were dozens of rooms beneath the school that were a part of the organization, but he an dthe rest of his student team used only a small handful of them, one of them being the main conference room.
He passed the conference room, the only one with a window. It was a small one, and you couldn't see into it really well because it was taainted (tinted) really deeply. for securtity reasons.
At the end of the hallway was Dr. Colbert's office. The door was ajar and the light was on. When he reached the door, he knocked softly and opened the door.
Expecting to see Dr. Colbert, he was surprised to see Dr. Beahm sitting at Dr. Colbert's big black desk. He seemed to be reading a document. He looked up when Damian entered the office.
"Oh, hi, Dr. Beahm," said Damian, slightly confused. "I was just--"
"Looking for Dr. Colbert, Damian?" said Dr. Beahm, looking up at Damian, blankly but not unpleasantly, putting down the document. Then he smiled slightly.
"Yes, sir," said Damian.
"Well, sorry for confusing you, Damian," apologised Dr. Beahm. He stood up and straightened himself up. He was a handsome man with dark blonde hair and abnormally striking green eyes. He was quite young, too, but there were permanent dark circles beneath his eyes from the intensity of his work. He and Dr. Colbert were the heads of the entire opperation, and running this PLUS being a full time teacher PLUS a full time family man certainly took an incredible toll on him. He was wearing a white labcoat and dark grey trousers and a navy polo.
"Thats alright, sir," said Damian politely. "I just wanted to explain to him--"
"Yes, yes, the incident Wednesday night," said Dr. Beahm, sighing. "Well, we'll just have to be more careful next time, wont we? At least we were able to cover for you guys this time, especially being so early in the mission and not too far over the line. At least its only tresspassing, which is easy to blow over, but only once."
"I'm sorry it happened, sir," said Damian, looking down slightly. "But I just want you to know, if Marshall, and Henry and Scott hadn't blown our cover and tripped the alarm--"
"Don't worry about it, Damian, downt worry about it!" Said Dr. Beahm, a slight chuckle in his voice, waiving away Damian's comment. "We just have to be more careful next time, dont we? Seriously, though, I don't know hpw many times we can bail you guys out. We need you, but we also need them to continuing trusting us. Without their trust, we can't go anywhere. And you know how vital that information is to our goal, don't you?"
"Yes, sir," said Damian, looking back up At Dr. Beahm. "I understand completely."
"Good," siaid Dr. Beahm. "Now, let us learn from our mistakes and carry on."
"Yes, sir," said Damian, feeling a bit better about himself. "But, as for the others..."
"Well, they will need a bit of a talking to. I understand that you had carried on your bit of the mission perfectly, and the others..." Dr. Beahm hesitated.
"Less than perfectly," said Damian.
"Well, yes," said Dr. Beahm, sighing. "And we shall fix that. If it was a bigger mistake, they wou;dn't be at this school, still, now, wouldn't they," he chuckled.
"Sir?" said Damian, puzzled.
"Well, we can't have them here if they cant do their missions properly, now, can they?" Daid Dr. Beahm. "We would have them expelled, naturally, for safety reasons, for their own safety and for the safety of the mission."
Yeah, expelled, all right,said Damian to himself. Expelled and never seen agian.
"Now, go to bed, Damian," said Dr. Beham, putting an arm around Damian and leading him back out of the office. "And rest up. your next assignmnet is coming up soon and oyu have to be ready for it. I need you to heal and be ready."
"I will be, sir," said Damian.
Dr. Beham led Damian out of the office. He followed Damian out and turned off the light of the office and shut and locked the door.
"We're reaching our goal, Damian," said Dr. Beahm, walking side by side with Damian.
"Really, sir?" asked Damian.
"Yes," said Dr. Beahm. "We just need a few more crucial elements. And acquiring those elements are crucial--which is why Dr. Colbert and I are assigning you with a very important task. Think of it as an unofficial assignment."
"Anything, sir," said Damian, now intrigued.
"Are you familiar with a student named Anna Thomas?" Asked Dr. Beahm.
"Yes, I am, sir. She is in my literatrue and theology class," siad Damian. "What about her?"
"Well, we need you to get close to her," said Dr. Beahm.
"Close?" asked Damian, now entirely confused.
"Yes, but only as close as necessary," said Dr. Beahm. "We need her. She has access to our final crucial element that we will be needing very soon. We need you to gain her trust. Soon, she will become one of the chosen and be with us. But she needs someone whom she can trust, which needs to be someone that we can trust. you are the only one that we trust with this mission, Damian. You excell in all your missions, and we know as a fact that this girl WANTS to get to know you better."
Anna was in the caffetreria eating dinner. On the other end of the caffeteria was a big screen tv playing a college football game. She didn’t recognize the teams, so she didn’t follow ti too much.
She was eating dinner alone tonight. It ws late and Louisa was out on a date. The kitchen was closing and most of the people were either out and about or in their dowms, so the café was pretty empty, save for a about five boys who were intensely watching the game and yelling at the screen every few minutes. It reminded Anna of her dad and his brothers and her nephews watching football back at home, so watchign them made her giggle to herself.
She had almost finished eating her dinner, when she noticed hat Damian was coming her way. He was one of the boys watcning the football game at the other end of the caffeteria. He was bringing his plate up towards the dish drop off station. She stared down intesnly at her food to distract herself from staring. She had a habit of doing that and she didn’t want to look like she was stariing at him.
He casually walked by past Anna, and she relaxed herself. She finished and put down her fork. She put her hands in her sweater pouch and leaned back, comfortably lounging to watch the last few minutes of the game. She was comfortable and liked watching football games, no matter who was playing. Besides, she was in no hurry.
“Hello, there,” said a voice behind her.
She jumped from being startled and looked behind her. It was Damian.
“Oh, hey,” said Anna, smiling politely, completely confused.
“Mind if I sit?” asked Damian, smiling slightly, gesturing toward the seat next to her.
“Oh, um, sure,” said Anna, even more confused. “What’s up?”
“Oh, not much,” said Damian. “Have you worked on the reading for literature and theology?”
“Not yet,” said Anna. “I haven’t even started, actually.”
“Yeah, me neither,” said Damian. “I probably won’t read until right before class, actually.” He smiled.
Something about his smile made Anna glow inside. What was it? Was it his perfectly straight teeth, his big big mocha brown eyes? His black hair, his caramel colored skin?
Something made her glow, and she hadn't glowed like this since her first date with her infamous recent ex boyfriend.
Careful, now, Anna, she told herself. Don't get desperate. You don't even have a crush on him, now all of the sudden youre really attracted to him? Just wait. Let it simmer. Let's see where this goes. This is too weird and just weird to be a total coincidence. He's planning something. He wants sometihng.
"Well, I just wanted to see if you had started the reading yet," said Damian. "I was going to ask if you had read it because even though I say I'm going to read it tomorrow, I'm probably not going to read it at all, so hopefully you'll give me pointers?"
"Eh, we'll see," said Anna, smiling slyly. "I don't want to do youre homework for you." She chuckled.
Damian chuckled too. "Yeah, that just wouldn't be fair, would it." He smiled at her again, making her glow even more inside.
There was a moment of silence, during which Anna's head started to go fuzzzy and buzz like white noise. She was getting nervous. She always felt this way around guys. She wished she wouldnt. It got in the way too much of her ability to think clearly and respond without sounding stupid whenever a guy approached her.
"Were you watching the football game?" Damian asked, looking toward the big screen on the other end of the caffeteria.
"Well, yes and no," Anna said. "I can't even tell who is playing. I just like watching it because its the only sport I can stand watching. My family is full of football fanatics, so watching football makes me feel like I'm back at home, and makes me feel happy."
"Thats nice," said Damian, but not sarcastically or uncaringly. "Well, Honestly, I don't care who wins this game. Neither of them are my teams."
"What is your team, then?" Anna asked.
"Well, maybe you can guess," said Damian slyly.
"Oh, no," said Anna, smiling mockingly. "Not the Gators!"
"guilty as charged!" Damian laughed.
"How dare you step foot on to Iowa Hawkeye territory," she said in a dark sarcastic tone, then laughed.
"Well, I guess I wanted a bit of a challenge," said Damian. "I wanted to be here personally whenever the Gators won just to make the Big Ten followers angry." He started laughing maniacally.
"You are going to get KILLED," Anna laughed.
"I'm a fast runner, I'm sure I'll live," Damian said and smiled satisfactorally.
"Well, We'll just have to see about that when that day comes, wont we," Anna chuckled.
"Yes we will," he said smugly. "And I'm actually looking quite forward to that day, as a matter of fact."
"And I'll be there to watch you get crushed," Anna said.
"I hope you'll be there," Damian said, looking at Anna in the eyes.
She was glowing so brightly on the inside, she didn't see how she wasn't radiating any light.
"Well," said Damian, getting up from his chair next to Anna, "I'll see you in class tomorrow, then?"
"Oh, uh, y-yes, of course," Anna said and smiled.
Damian smiled back and started out of the caffeteria down the hallway.
It took several minutes for Anna to fully comprehend what happend. No one randomly sits next to Anna. Ever.
It was so strange.
Or was it? Did this just mean that they were more than classmates now, like friends? Was it that simple? Could it be that simple?
Well, it might be that simple.
Anna suddenly felt paniky.
WAS it simply friendship?
Or was it something.... more? The way he looked at her... Even her best guy friends back in high school never looked at her like THAT before. His eyes pierced into hers like bullets.
The last person to look at her like that was her ex-boyfriend.
What did that mean with Damian, now?
Or did it even mean anything at all?
Shaking slightly, Anna stood up, gathered her dinnerware, and took her dishes up to the dish return station, and walked blindly and numbly back up to her dorm room, the look on Damian's face burned brightly in her minds eye.
anna went to her room that night, not able to get the burning image of Damian's eyes and smile out of her heaad.
It was strange. Or was she just over reacting?
Well, it wouldn't be the first time.
Damian went to bed that night, guilt ridden. Don't go further than you have to, bud, he told himself. Don't get in too deep. Don't hurt her, for goodness sakes! That would just be unnecessary and messy.
He didn't want to hurt her. It was not his thing.
"I hope you'll be there" he said to her. Wow, that's totally cheesy, he said to himself. totally cheesy. now she's goign to be suspecting me more than she have to, and expecting something. Play it cooler next time. Seriously.
He went to bed that night, the look on Anna's face burned in his mind.
He never noticed how pretty she was before.
"He just came and sat next to you?" Louisa asked the next morning at breakfast.
"Yeah!" sain Anna. "Just totally randomly came up and sat next to me. It was really strange, but I don't want to read too much into it, you know? Then I'll end up making the wrong conclusions, then just get myself hurt. It's happened so many times to me before, why will this time be different?"
"What if this time it is different, though?" Louisa asked.
"I've asked myself that every single time, and every single time so far I have been wrong and have been hurt. I'm sick of being hurt. I don't want any games. If a guy likes me, I just want him to come straight out and say it. I'm not good at reading other people's emotions!" Anna said angrily.
"Well, who is, though?" Asked Louisa.
"Every one except me." Said Anna bitterly.
"you just need practice with the male species!" Louisa said with a smile. "You've had one boyfriend, and he was a lousy one at that, according to what you have told me about him. What you need is to date a man who is NOT lousy who will COMMUNICATE with you. Thats what your other relationship lacked, right? Communication equals confidence. Learn to communicate, and you will build your confidence- build your confidence, and you'll be a better communicator. The better you get at both of those, the easier and faster you will find the man of your dreams."
"You make it sound easy," Anna said, taking a bite out of her scrambled eggs.
"Because it is," said Louisa. "It is easy. THe hard part is remembering that the guy that you are talking to whenever you are talking to him doesn't have to be the love of your life. Get to know them the same way you get to know other people. Make friends first. Then make boyfriends. You can't be in a relationship with someone you cant be friends with."
"Once again, you make it sound so easy!" Anna said with a slight smile, but still slightly frustrated.
"Practice." Said Louisa simply. "The more used you get to it, the easier it becomes. I PROMISE."
"Okay, okay, okay," said Anna, taking another bite of her egges. "I need a therepist," she joked.
"Why?" Louisa asked.
"So I won't have a constant need for a boyfriend, that's why," anna said. "That's why I torment myself. I feel incomplete without one, and the one I did have sucked. As a boyfriend, I mean. He was a good guy, amazing kisser, but communication was his weakest link. And that destroyed me and our relationshiop."
"THen find yourself someone who is a good communicator!" louisa said. "And you won't find a communicatior until you start doing some communication yourself!"
"I-- I..." anna tried to think of something to say to that. "Well, I guess youre right then."
"Of course I'm right," louisa said with a chuckle. "When have I ever been wrong?"
"When you decided to wear those striped pajamma pants and your bunny slippers down to the cafe for breakfast," Anna joked.
THey both laughed. THey finished theri breakfast and went back up to their dorm room and began to get ready for their first class of the day.
Damian's smile was still burned in her mind.
Anna's smile was still burned in Damian's mind.
Neither wanted to over analise the situation in front of them. No one wanted to get the other one hurt.
But sometimes it it unavoidable.
Damian began to wonder how far he wanted to go. And not just for the mission, either. (***AND NOT IN A PERVERTED WAY***)
Where was I??? Shoot... I forgot where I left off in the story... Okay, I think they were in class. And Anna had looked at Damain and he didnt' look at her so she felt weird. Okay...
The lesson today went by fairly quickly in Anna's mind. She was so tired, so she didn't pay attention much aagain today so she didn't listen much, and just thought about her own thoughts.
And her thoughts were about Damian.
Surprise, surprise. this girl is sickly obsessibe. Really. Quit it now and MOVE ON AND DO SOMTIHNG! ALL SHE AHS BEEN DOING IS THINK ING ABOUT DAMINA!! She does have a social life, you know. She doesn't just sit about him while doign homework or anytihng like that. She is startign to get really pathetic.
Anna, I'm sorry I have made you a compulsive... or obsessive? Whatever. i'm sorry and I'm trying not to make you sound so compulsive. And I'm sorry for failing to do so so far ha ha.
What is Damian thinking about rigght now?
Ha, WRONG! NOT about Anna!
Damina looked at the bored in the front of the room, but, like Anna, really wansnt paying much attention. He was thinking about what is next project might be from Dr. Colbert and Dr. Beahm. He hoped it wouldn't be as risky as the ones he and his team mates just tried doing, but, therer were very, very few dangerous tasks when you were one of the chosen.
Everything they were doing seemed so random. People were never assigned tasks that were related to anytihng so no one had a lot of information at one time. They collected puzzle pieces from a vast variety of pieces, so no one was able to even put two out of a hundred peices together. It was complex and highly dangerous, but apparently, the end result would save the world from a danger that was only coming nearer and nearer, and it was up to them to save the woyrld.
Save the world from what, though? What was coming? Was it aliens, and they were going to be the first to save the world from them? but what if they are peaceful aliens? Would they be the first tom contanct them and use them to save the Earth?
Or was there goingt ot be a nuclear war and they were fighting against the bady guys by making some sort of super shield or weapon against them?
Only two people in the entire world knew what was going on. Everyone else were just their researchers.
“Hey, Anna!” called a voide after class in the corridor after the literature and theology class. Anna looked back.
She saw Damian coming her way. She froze in her tracks, petrified. She saw him smiling, and she tried to smile back. Nerves, however, were taking the better of her.
Damian caught up with her. “Hey,” he said.
Anna was able to break into a smile. “Hey,’ she siad.
“What’s up?” Damian asked.
“just on my way to lunch,” said Anna, trying to soubd casual.
“Mind if I join you?” Damian asked.
“Of course you can,” Anna replied, smiling. “If you really want to.”
“Of course I want to,” he smiled. “Otherwise I wouldn’t have asked.”
Anna’s throat tightened, finding it hard to breathe. She was sure her face was blushing furiously. She could feel it.
“Oh, erm, right,” Anna said. Together, they walked toward the elevator to go to the bottom floor of the building.
They stood next to each other silently as they waited for the old fashioned elevator to open up. When it arrived, Damian opened the heavy metal door and the grate. He motioned for Anna to go in ahead of him.
together they went into the elevator. A few others joined them, but it wasn't too cramped.
As they stood next to eachother, Anna's heart was pounding. She couldn't help herself.
As they stood next to eachother, they just stared ahead as the wall in front of them moved as they looked therough the grate. At the bottom floor, Anna and Damian rreached for the grate door at the same time and their hands touched.
Anna quickly withdrew hers blushingly and Anna quickly shot damian an apologetic look, but Damian just smiled. He opened the grate and the door and everyone filed out of the elevator.
Together they walked down the corridor and out of Heelan Hall into the courtyard. They walked silently side by side across the courtyard to the enterance to the Stark Studend Center and into the bustling cafe.
They both got in line and swiped their ID cards to register their meal and they each got in line. Several times they would reach for the same thing and their hands would meet. And they would quickly draw away and let one of them go first.
Damian had nice hands. Soft.
Anna found an empty table, one of her usual lunch tables. Damian sat down next to her. Today's lunch was mac and cheese and hot dogs and peaches. A rather old fashioned and childish meal, but not too bad.
"How are you liking that literature and theology class, anyways?" Damian was the first to talk.
Anna swallowed her food, trying not to choke on it with her dry mouth, cleared her throat, and said "Fine." A big process for a small reply.
"you seem to know your stuff in there," Damian said.
"I have read some of the books we analized several times, actually," Anna said grinning. "I'm kind of a nerd, to be honest." She admitted.
"I don't mind that at all," Damian said with a smile. "Anyways, I tihnk nerds have more fun."
"Of course they do," Anna said grinning broadly. "Life is no fun unless you are openly passionate about something."
"I completely agree." Said Damian. "Which of the ones did you already read?"
"Harry Potter and the Sorcerers Stone, Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets, Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban, Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, Harry Potter and the order of the Phoenix, Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, the Lord of the Flies, 1984...." Anna trailed off. "I read the Harry Potter books on my own and the other two for my Advanced Placement English class in High School. I've been a fan of the Harry Potter books since I was eight, actually."
"That's awesome!" Damian said. "So have I!"
"Did you go to any of the midnight releases of the books??" Anna asked enthusiastically.
"Of course I did," siad Damian proudly, grinning broadly. "Order of the Phoenix, Half Blood Prince, and Deathly Hallows. The other four were already out by the time I got into them."
"Dude, that's exactly me, too" Anna said incredulously.
"Well, look at us," said Damian, grinning broadly. "Just a couple of nerds, arent we."
"Like you said, though," said Anna smiling and pointing her fork towards him, "Nerds have more fun."
"Of course we do." Damian said, going back to eating his lunch.
They ate together in silence for a few moments. A question that had been burning inside of Anna since the moment she met Damian earlier in the school was near bursting. Now was the perfect time to ask.
"Can I ask you a question?" Anna asked.
"go right on a head," Damian said, taking a bite of his mac and cheese.
"why did you come to Sioux City, Iowa?" she asked.
"What do you mean why?" Damian asked.
"What made you choose a school in northwest Iowa if you live in Florida? It just doesn't make any sence to me." Anna said, taking a bite of her mac and cheese.
"Well, my mom went here, actually," said Damian. "that was the big reason. And I wanted something different than the south. It was my chance to see an entirely different part of the country that was totally opposite to back at home."
"Don't you get homesick, though?" Anna asked.
"Sure I do," Said damian. "But I got to leave home eventually, don't I? It doesn't mean that I can never go back, though. I can go back whenever I want. I choose to stay here, though, because I feel like this is where I am meant to be."
Anna smiled. "That's cool." she said. "You are going to have a rude welcoming from Iowa, though, once the snow hits here, though," she siad. "You are going to want to go back to Florida then, I guarantee it."
Damian chuckled. "We'll see," he siad. "I'll go back only as long as I don't have anything keeping me here."
He shiffed his hand and it brushed slightly Against Anna's. Such soft and warm hands...
Anna, then realizing that their hands were touching, quickly moved hers away from his. She began to blush furiously and began to finish her lunch with deep concentration to distract herself from what happened.
"Oh, sorry," said Damian. he moved his hand back to where it was.
"It's alright," said anna, shrugging it off.
There was a moment of slightly awkward silence.
"I'm sorry if I am scaring you," said Damian, though not seeming angry or anything. Sounded light and causal.
"You're not scaring me," said Anna.
"Yes I am," said Damian. "Every time I touch you or talk to you, you look like you are trying to avoid me. Youre very polite, though." He was still sounding causal. It was weird, but one look at Damian showed that he was being honest.
it confused Anna.
"I'm going," said Damian. "See you later. It was nice talking to you."
"Yeah, um, okay," said Anna, feelign really confused, slightly upset, but mostly guilty.
Damian got up and took his plates and stuff to the dish drop off station and began to walk out of the cafeteria.
Oh, damn! Anna said to herself. It's not his fault! It's mine! Dang it!
Anna quickly gathered her things, dropped her dishes off at the dish drop off station, and began to walk quickly towards Damian, who was already nearly out of the Stark Student Center and on his way to his next class.
"Damian!" Anna called after him right as he was opening the door. He didn't stop to look back at her, though, and continued on his way. anna sped up to catch up with him, but by the time she got out of the door, he was gone.
Dang it, Anna said to herself, feeling guilty.
Slowly, Anna walked across the courtyard to the library. She sat down at one of the far tables beneath a window and took out a pen and notebook. She stared out of the window for a moment, watching the students walk by casually. Some were dressed up, some were in sweats. Some were alone, some were with friends. A few of them walked hand in hand.
How she wanted to be one of the couples holding hands...
She put her pen to her paper and causally, slowly, began to write....
I'm sorry I'm scared
It's really not your fault
It was another who left me like this
scared, insecure, who I am now.
I don't like being like this.
I don't want to fear,
I want to be with you.
Help me learn that there is nothing to fear.
just hold my hand
and whisper you love me.
She read it to herself. It sounded kind of cheesy. Well, not bad for right off the top of her head. It at least conveyed the message. She could edit it later if she wanted to. This was only for herself.
She read it a few times. Yeah, it definitely said what she wanted it to say...
Poor Damian, she thought.
Stupid ex boyfriend, she then thought agrily. He's the one who did this to me.
Maybe Damian will be the one to fix it? A little voice whispered inside of her.
What if he's not, though? She answered in a doubting worried voice.
How will you know if you never find out? the voice whispered to her again.
I'm afraid, she thought.
Afraid of what?
Getting hurt again.
Everyone get's hurt, the little voice said. And some get hurt worse more than others.
I don't want to be one of those people getting constantly hurt all of the time, though.
But youre not going to find the one to fix it unless you allow yourself to get into a new relationship.
I'm still afraid.
Everyone is afraid.
Why does it have to be so scary?
Because the fear makes finding the one even happier and we will appreciate them and love them even more because they were the ones that saved us when we needed them the most.
Isn't it crazy how the little voice in your head is always right? Even when you want to shut it up, don't. Usually they know what theyre saying.
Even if it does get annoying someitmes.
"Youre doing remarkably well," siad Dr Beahm down in the lair lab type place that has yet to be named...
"Youre a good actor, which is why we chose you for this assignment."
"Uh, thanks, Dr. Beahm," said Damian. He felt bad for not turning back to talk to Anna, but he had business to attend to. And it was all about his act...
Damian was suddenly overwhelmed in guilt for leading her on like this.
"Sir, is this...." Damian began to ask Dr. Beahm a question, but then hesitated. He didn't want to get in trouble for questioning his assignment.
"Ethical? Moral?" Dr. Beahm finished his question for him.
damian sighed. "Yes, sir."
"Well, look at it this way," said Dr. Beahm. "One potentially broken heart is the price we will have to pay if we want our mission to be completed successfully in a timely manner."
Damian sighed. "Yes, sir." Then another question came into his mind, and he was sure that since it was related to his assignment, he woudn't get into trouble. "What exactly am I looking for with Anna? What information am I trying to get from her?"
Dr. Beahm looked at Damian. "You'll know when the time is right," he answered simply. "We don't want that to get in the way of getting to know her. It will be revealed to you soon enough. I'm sure."
"Yes, sir," said Damian.
“You are dismissed. You are doing quite well. Good luck with the assigmnet,” Dr. Beahm said.
“Thank you, Dr. Beahm,” said Damian. He stood up and walked out of Dr. Beahm’s office. As he slowly walked down the long, white corridor towards the exit, Damian’s conscience was heavy.
She is such a nice girl, he said to himself. Is breaking her heart really worth, well, whatever we are doing?
He began to think of Anna, the way she blushed whenever he was around her and whenever he talked to her, the way her hands would linger on his for a fraction of a second before she fully realized what she was doing. The sparkle in her eyes, the music in her laughter, her passion for the things she loved. And the pain lingering in every movement, every look in her eyes, left from what that ex boyfriend did to her to leave her like this…
Suddenly, Damian felt angry. He felt angry at the person who did this to her. Who would do such a thing, lead her on like that for so long and suddenly say, “Sorry, I don’t love you anymore. See you later.”
As soon as he thought that, guilt took over him again.
A monster like me, he said to himself. That’s exactly what I’m doing to her right now. Acting. Pretending. Hurting.
How he wished he could trade for another mission. Surely there was someone else who could do this. He didn’t want to be another monster in Anna’s life.
Did he have to act, though? What if he really did fall in love with her, truly love her?
To his astonishment, those words did not sound so crazy in his head. In fact, they felt right.
Which made him wonder how much he was “acting” after all…
“He totally likes you!” Louisa said enthusiastically back at the dorm room when the classes were done for the day.
“That’s what I was afraid of,” Anna grumbled. She flopped onto her bed and stared blankly at the ceiling.
“What’s wrong with that?” Louisa asked. “That’s good!”
“You would think,” said Anna.
“What happened now?” Louisa asked. Anna could perfectly picture Louisa rolling her eyes.
Anna sighed. “He thinks I’m afraid of him,” she said.
“Oh,” said Louisa. “THat’s weird. Where would he get that from?”
“Apparently, my blushing and avoiding his touch means that I don’t want to be with him,” said Anna.
“Is that true?” Louisa asked.
Anna thought for a few moments. Was it true?
“No,” sighed Anna. And it was true. She did want to be with him. Nothing inside of her, no little voice, denied it when she siad it.
“Then tell him that he’s wrong,” said Louisa.
“But how?” Asked Anna. “Just walk up to him, say, ‘hey, the truth is, I like you but I’m too afraid to admit it because I’m too afraid to get hurt again by someone who just want’s to use me and tell me they really don’t love me’?”
“Just tell him the first part and leave the rest out,” said Louisa. “As simple as that. Guys like it when you are straight up honest and blunt about things. They don’t like mysteries. That’s why they always become detectives because they hate NOT knowing.”
They both laughed.
“Fine,” Anna sighed, a very light smile on her lips. “I’ll tell him.”
“When?” Louisa aked.
Anna thought for a moment. The next time their hands met, the next time their eyes would lock…
“When the time seem’s right,” Anna answered.
“Just don’t wait too long,” said Louisa cautiously.
“Of course,” Anna said lazily, still staring at the ceiling, imagining the deepness of Damian’s eyes, the sound of his voice, the touch of his hands…
The smile lingered on Anna’s lips as she closed her eyes and fell into a light sleep.
Saturday, 31 October 2009
Thursday, 02 July 2009
Wednesday, 03 June 2009
I never intended it to ever turn out this way. Never in a million years would I have thought that this was going to happen. It wasn't supposed to. I swear!
I thought it was going to be easy. After all, we were only just barely friends. The only reason I really knew of him was because he was my neighbor, and was two years younger than me. Last summer, I drove him home from drivers education a few mornings. We would talk a bit. Actually, he did most of the talking. We mostly talked about cars, as he worked on them frequently with his grandfather. He told me that there were a bunch of cars in the creek by his house and he wants to someday get them up and out and work on them a bit. It was truely interesting, and I would ask more questions, and he would happily answer. Those ten or so minutes that we spent together were nice, simply put.
School started. I was starting my Junior year, and he was starting his Freshman year in High School. I began to think about Prom and who I was going to take already, and I can guarantee that I was not the only girl already thinking about it. For some reason, he kept on making his way up on the list of who to ask. The thing was, though, I had this strange philosophy that it was tacky for a Junior to take a Freshman to Prom.
When Homecoming came around, I had a small idea in the back of my head to ask him for his jersey to wear on the day of the game. I quickly shoved that away. I had other, more important things to think about.
The one who had already promised his heart to me, lets name him---Allen decided to bring his girlfriend to the homecoming game. He had gone off and gotten himself a girlfriend really without warning. That absolutely killed me. I went into a depression, one that didn't go away until fairly recently, as a matter of fact. I was sad and frustrated all of the time, trying as hard as I could not to let my family see the huge amount of pain that I was constantly trying to cope with. The neighbor boy was shoved to the back of my mind, along with many things that should not have been put back.
Eventually, I came to terms with Allen. It took me a while to "get over" Allen, but I was able to eventually. I did not like or love him or whatever anymore. We ended up having a falling-out, in a way. Because of the feelings left behind, we no longer could find ourselves to be around each other. That also hurt me. I lost my best friend over something that now seems silly and ridiculous in hindsight. It wasn't until a few months ago that we started being comfortable around each other again. Finally, we were friends again.
This did not, however, solve my prom problem. It was the new year, and prom season had officially begun. Prom meetings were to be held during homeroom every Friday. I volunteered to be on Prom committee. So, naturally, prom was always on my mind. It took several attempts for me to ask Allen to Prom, as friends, of course (I had to remind myself constantly that it was only as friends...the feelings from a while back ago would relapse every once and a while). I finally did ask him, but he said no, only because he isn't into dances and other things like that.
To be honest, I was not surprised, nor was I disappointed. This was because I was finally able to ask someone that I actually wanted to take to Prom. Not that I didn't want to take Allen or anything, but because I thought that I would have a bit more fun with the other one than Allen.
It took me the better part of a month to finally ask him. I was all nervous, even though I had absolutely no reason to be. It was only as friends, of course. Then it took him the better part of a month to reply. I was so excited! I had a Prom date! Yay!
That is when it all officially began.
I got the dress, and he got his tux the day before Prom (typical). I bought his boutonniere and I had ordered myself a corsage, but he had already ordered me one. I quickly and quietly cancelled my corsage order and just stuck with his boutonniere.
When Prom arrived, I was absolutely estatic. Finally, it was here! We did the march together, with him helping me down the stairs, all the while arm in arm. We smiled at people we knew, and smiled awkwardly at those we didn't know. Our families took pictures with us afterwards, and soon we were on our way to Bev's On the River, the dinner/dance location in a limo along with several Senior friends. When we reached Bev's about twenty minutes later, we arrived, and arm in arm we went inside. The photographer made us to a "couple" shot--hand-in-hand with his arm around my waist, which was, I will admit, slightly awkward, as we were not a couple.
After taking pictures, we went and sat at our table. Our table was the first to go through the buffet line, and he, being the absolute gentleman that he was, took my plate back to our table so I could carry my dress and not trip on it.
During dinner, we talked and laughed and joked. We talked about Prom for next year, and I said that if I didn't have a boyfriend by next year, I would ask him again. He said that he guessed that he would be attending Prom again next year, then. We all burst out laughing. He, of course, was quite embarassed. But still, I was completely touched. At least I know that I will have a Prom date next year.
When the music finally started, we slowly made our way to the dance floor along with the others. He didn't dance much, as he claims that he doesn't know how to dance. I would beg to differ. When the first slow dance arose, I asked for only one dance, and he obliged.
Well, that one dance turned into many. I would come up with an excuse to dance with him every time one came on, the most popular one being, "Please? I love this song!" Of course, he would oblige.
About half way through the dance, I began to feel strange. I was finding myself praying that the slow songs wouldn't end. Being so close to him as we spun in circles on the dance floor was absolutely the most amazing thing ever.
Despite all of the happiness, I had to constantly remind myself--He has a girlfriend.
When the last song came on, I could not resist putting my head on his shoulder as we danced. My eyes could not stay open. Wait, did he just put his head on mine? And was it me, or did he just pull me a little closer?
Unfortunately, the song ended. It was time for us to change for after-prom. Unwillingly, I let go of him, and together we went out of the ballroom and changed. In the bathroom, I could not help but feel extremely elated and extremely sad. I was falling in love with him, and he was already taken.
We spent the time at the Long Lines Family Rec. Center together. I watched him as he went on the mechanical bull, climbed the rock wall, and competed in the javeline game. I watched him intently. That night, I was the bystander, watching everything he did, every move he made.
Ever since that night, it has only gotten worse. Those feelings I have felt that night have grown stronger. At school, I would talk to him whenever I could. A day when I didn't talk to him felt like a day wasted. I became, in a non-creepy way, slightly--obsessed.
Then I found out that he had applied for a scholarship to be a forgien exchange student in Russia for a semester next year. The battle between my Heart and my Head had never been as bad as this before. I wanted him to go only because he really, really, really wanted to go. I didn't want him to go because I didn't want to leave me. In the end, he did not get the scholarship. I was extremely relieved, and also sad because he was sad. Ultimately, though, I was relieved.
The past few weeks, I have been talking to him, allowing our friendship to grow. The feelings are still growing, and the complication and emotions are settling in nicely. We both tried out together for next years musical, "You're A Good Man, Charlie Brown." He tried out for Charlie Brown, and I tried out for any part. He did get Charlie Brown, and I got Peppermint Patty. His girlfriend got Sally. The directors made a double-cast because so many good people tried out, and each group will perform on matinee and one night showing. I am hoping that I am in the same production of "Charlie Brown" as he is, and she is in a different one.
Now, is it bad that I wish this? Is it bad that I want some quality time with him, without worrying about his girlfriend watching us? Besides, it's not like I'm going to try to turn him against her. I just want to be able to be with him and not worry. My ultimate goal is to allow our friendship to grow. A mini-goal is to try to allow him to turn to me. However, I do not want anything sour to come out of this. I don't want him to break up with her, necessarily. I just want him to want to be with me instead. I will not be happy, but I will most definitely be content with life if we never do "go out". Besides, there are millions of men out there, and one of them will find their way to me and fall head over heels with me. If it's not him, then it just means that it is not him, and I have absolutely no control over that. What I do have control over, however, is my friendship with him, so I will only control what I can, and allow life to control everything else.
This summer, I am going to try to hang out with him as often as I can, without being annoying or obviously in love with him. What I ultimately want to happen is that our friendship will grow. What else happens beyond that is not under my control.
Does he know, however, how much it hurts me to watch him be loved by someone that is not me? Does he know how much it kills me to watch him love another?
I love how complicated life is.
[I am sick of always being the quiet and awkward bystander. SICK OF IT. When will I ever be more than just the quiet observer, the bystander?]
- Name: Anne
- Location: Sioux City, Iowa, United States
- Birthday: 10/19/1991
- Gender: Female
- Member Since: 12/19/2005
I love to live in the world of fantasy, either in other's or my own. Its hard for me to live in our worlds reality because life is hard. But my goal is to let my fantasies become my reality, because reality doesn't have to be dark and lonely.