It was the first Tuesday of September. The Tuesday that will forever be marked as my first day in high school.No matter what anyone ever said, high school is a jungle. A jungle that everyone must survive for four long years. One way to survive is to befriend everyone from the lion king to the bacteria that live on feces; but beware the hyenas. They will always be ready to stab you in the back.
I have yet to be stabbed.But this jungle is also a tropical paradise built for romance. High school is the time to love and be loved.I met my love on that Tuesday, my first day. As all the grade nines, including myself, made our way into the gym, I saw her. That moment of slow motion, hair blowing in the wind; just like every cheesy romantic comedy I had ever seen. But I could not help myself.
I was struck. I could have stared until I dropped dead.Thankfully I was saved only a few seconds later. I still remember the words that saved my life. “You still have the size sticker on your pants!” I look down to check. Despite the multiple reminders I left myself the night before, I still had the sticker on my pants.
That stupid sticker that looks like it would fall off on its own, and yet never does.So I ripped the sticker off as fast as possible, but still very discreetly so nobody can see my size. I looked up after my embarrassing encounter with a sticker. She was gone. I do not even know her name.Weeks pass and things are as normal as they can be in a jungle. I do not have her in any of my classes, clubs I joined, or even see her around the school at lunch time. Suddenly out of the blue, she walks up to me and a group of my friends.
She was with her friends of course, because girls only travel in packs. They are the wolves of high school. They spot you, circle you, and finally attack! She introduced herself to the group. I melted in my shoes. Her voice sounds like the first laugh of a baby angel.
Then with every ounce of confidence that she has; she says, “Hi, I’m …”. Her name was sweeter than low fat honey flavored yogurt. The bell rang, we had to go to class. Nothing ever happened for months. The second semester rolled around.
Everyone is mentally and physically tired of their first exam experience. We all seemed like walking zombies chanting “Brains, brains”. And that was exactly what we wanted, more brains.
Our brains are fried from studying.I was suddenly full of energy when she walked into the room. My first period class; with her. I can see her every morning. I finally have an excuse to talk to her, “Did you get this question on the homework?” when I knew exactly what the question was about. That year ended on a good note!The next year signaled the end of the summer. Grade 10 at last.
A familiar Tuesday marked a year since I saw her for the first time.Three months into the school year, the annual semi formal is greeted with both a sense of eagerness and dislike. This is the time that everyone admits their love to each other; just like a well dressed Valentine’s Day.I did not want to go alone since it was my first semi formal dance. So I kept thinking of who I could ask. Every time I go through the list of possible candidates, she seems to top the list no matter how many times I cross her out. I ignored the list.
I still did not want to go alone. I asked a friend because she made a big deal about nobody asking her.My friend showed up that night in something I was not expecting. She wore the most beautiful aquamarine blue dress I had ever seen. The ruffles and folds were all around the spots she wanted hidden.
But as beautiful as that dress was; she was still a blue blob. The ruffles could not hide her “bigger than life” size. She almost looked like a blue sperm whale. I ended up leaving her shortly after dinner.I danced with as many girls as possible that night. Girls I did not even know. The next day at school, I saw her. I pulled myself together to ask her if I had any classes with her the next semester.
I did not.I tried to forget her that year; just to see if I could. I could!That summer I took a driving course. Partially because I wanted to; mostly because my parents would not stop nagging me to.
They nagged like there was no tomorrow. “When are you going for driver’s ed? You need to do it in the summer”, over and over again.I was not in a rush because my instructor’s car smelled like old feet and curry. Not the good kind of curry either, but the cheap take out curry. Yuk! His phone smelled too. Every time it rang, the stench of feet multiplied.
But it had to be done. On one of my last lessons in his disgusting car, his phone rings. My eyes start burning immediately of the smell. I was so happy there was a stop sign.
But what made it all better was that she was on the phone. I heard her scheduling her next lesson with him. I did not say a word.As that summer came to an end, the winter came to a start. With every cold breeze the sound of a familiar “frien-emy” was heard.
The semi formal! I was bound to ask her this time. It just had to happen.Nevertheless, I still cannot pull myself together to approach her with those words, “Do you want to be my date for semi formal?”Semi formal is always the same. The drunken hooligans that can only have fun while intoxicated; the food seemed like it was packaged from the year before; but the part that sucks the most is the dance floor; no matter how big it got, it seemed too small.And yet, I was willing to dance with her; even though I could not ask her out. I promised her the first dance; I knew I would be sweaty and unattractive two songs later.
The song started playing; we made our way on to the floor. Dancing with her has been the highlight of my life so far.Her arms around my neck, so close I could feel her pulse in her wrists; her beautiful, shiny, silk like hair touching my face as we got closer; her feet never stepping on my feet, even if she did, it would be the good kind of pain; I could have danced for ever.
The entire room filled with 228 other people just went silent in my head; I imagined I was dancing with the my dream girl on a deserted island in the middle of the ocean, where you have a clear view of the moon; dancing in a sea of stars that sparkled red, violet and every colour in between; dancing in the middle of an active volcano during a thunder storm; dancing in an explosion of millions of newly hatched butterflies, taking their first leap into life. I did not care how long the song was, because I was caught in a single second; the second I realized I am in love with this girl!I constantly create scenarios of how I would tell her I love her, and how her reaction would be like. I do not think I will ever tell her how I feel though. A fantasy is a fantasy and could end just as fast as it started; a single slow motion second; a single look; a single dance. But after all, she is the love of my life; my life is not over yet.