Thursday after spring break
Ok. Here's the Game Plan.
Step One: Get there a little early and act all cool waiting for her. Be nonchalant as possible. Remember, you're Fearless Evans.
Step Two: Ask how her day went. (Note to self- Don't act too interested or you'll scare her off.)
Step Three: Talk about how the principal suspended Jonah for "bullying" you.
Step Four: Ask if she'd be willing to help with science homework (or find a tutor on Friday. before the test.)
Step Five: "Notice" she has something in her eye. Gaze into her amazing coffee colored eyes.
Step Six: NOTE- In order for this to work, you need to be chill about it. Casually ask if she would like to go out with you.
Step Seven: Rejoice, Fearless. You got yourself a girlfriend.
Alternate Step Seven: Shrug it off and pretend like you didn't really care.
On the bus ride home that day, I read the Game Plan countless times. I was antsy all day, and couldn't focus on much besides the thought of Leigh.
Could this plan really work? God, I hoped so. I couldn't recall the last time I had fell for a girl this hard before. If I screwed our meeting up, I wouldn't forgive myself.
My bus dropped me off a little after 3 p.m., and I started walking in the direction of Harper High. A slight buzz remained in the pit of my stomach, subtle yet not subtle enough for me to ignore it. I attributed it to anxiousness. Instead, I concentrated onworking out the fine detailsof the Game Plan.
Eventually, I made it to Harper's High, scanning the area for Leigh.Staking out a bench under a huge willow tree off to the side of the front door, I set my backpack down.
A smooth breeze rolled through, gently caressing the curtains of the tree.
Out of the middle of nowhere,a small, dark blue figure caught the corner of my eye. It dashed around the brick wall of the high school before I could decipher what- or who- it was. I jumped up, confusion muddling my mind. Soundlessly as possible, I checked around the wall, searching for any sign of the navy shadow I had seen watching me. Nothing.
"I don't know which is worse," I commented to myself. "Going crazy or being stalked."
I strolled back to the bench under the willow tree, determined to forget whatever the hell just happened.
Suddenly, the front doors opened and closed with a FWOOP. A familiar girl dressed in khaki pants, red Vans, and a Spiderman tee was gracefully striding toward me, an unmistakable smile on her thin lips. Her jet black hair was sticking up in a few places, the cutest cowlicks I had ever laid eyes on.At that moment, I think every cell in my body froze, preoccupied with the sight of Leigh Anne.
"Well, well, well. I didn't know you were a Spiderman fan, too!" I greeted her warmly. She chuckled and replied, "Hello to you too, Fearless!"
Leigh sat down to my right. "Please, dear God in heaven, don't let this girl hear my heart pounding at the speed of light louder than a jackhammer." I pleaded in my thoughts.
"It's so nice to see you again." Leigh shyly looked me in the eyes, her face turning a shade redder, and I swear whatever dignity I retained up to that point was melted to butter.
"Same with you." I managed to say while scrambling to collect my thoughts. "Remember that Jonah kid? He was suspended for 'harassment.' Definitely worth losing a pencil getting him away for a few day, ha-ha. How was your day?" There we go, Fearless, back on track with the Game Plan. Sorta.
"Good! Serves him right,he seemed like a real jerk. My day went pretty well. I had to write a poem for English class." She paused, digging something out of her pocket. "Would you like to read it?"
"Sure, I'd love to."
Leigh handed me a neatly folded sheet of paper. I opened the quadruple-folded piece of loose lief, extremely conscious of the fact that Leigh was watching me.
I walked through the forest
I walked through the forest
Afraid of shame
That burden I did bear.
I walked through the forest
Like that till the day you came
How quickly you robbed me was not fair.
I walk through the forest
Hunting down a fearless dame
Hoping to show her how much I care.
Glancing up to meet her eyes, I knew this girl was special. Leigh was genuinely putting her heart on the line for me.
Everything was perfect, barely any wind, noone else around but us, and the sun shining rays of life. Everything felt in its place.
A strange feeling erupted in my chest, a volcano of love and happiness. Screw Step 4, and that moment technically counted as Step 5 in my mind, all that was left was Step 6. After reading Leigh's poem, all nervousness had fled from me.
I was Fearless.
"Leigh, you definitely amaze me. I can't get you out of my mind, no matter how hard I try. Would you wanna go out with-"
"There! That's the lezzie that got me in trouble!" A squeaky voice hollered a few feet away. my defenses sprung up, and without hesitation I stood up, taking Leigh's hand in my own.
Lo and behold, Jonah the Pipsqueak-Idiot-Jerkbomb-Farthead-Sleezebag was stomping toward Leigh and me, a brute of a boy in tow. Exasperated, I sighed, "What could you possibly want now?!"
"Revenge." He spat back, stopping in front of our bench. "This is my cousin, Markus." Jonah gestured to the massive, hair-covered gorilla-boy next to him.
I could feel Leigh tensing up, her hand squeezing mine.
"Well, tell Markus he's overdue for a shave, shower, and dismissal." I narrowed my eyes at Jonah. He wore a black sweatshirt and had the look of a very ticked off raccoon. "Wait..." I mentally exclaimed, "That's dark blue, not black. He's the punk that was following me!"
"Actually," Jonah continued while smirking at my eyes widening. "Markus is here to help me. You see, he's pretty upset that Principal What's-His-Face suspended me when it wasn't my fault."
My blood ran cold. Unconsciously, I stepped protectively in front of Leigh, dropping her hand (though I didn't want to.) Markus also stepped up, almost as if he were challenging me. However, I was no fool. Jonah's cousin probably had at least 75 pounds on me. I would be crushed like an unwanted pest.
"Leigh, I want you to go now. I'll call you later. Just go please." I whispered under my breath.
Barely audible, Leigh replied, "No, Fearless."
Sneering, Jonah mocked, "Oh Fearless! Oh my, I'm so terribly afraid, save me Fearless!"
I jerked forward without thinking. The only thing that saved me from lashing out at Jonah's creepo face was Leigh's hand tugging on mine. "They want you to start the fight, so they can blame you. Don't, they're all talk with no walk."
I turned away from the two boys, furious. I snagged my backpack and muttered, "You're right, Leigh. Let's go."
Jonah cursed, obviously pretty ticked his plan didn't work. Markus just stood there like a dumb ape.
Leigh led the way into Harper's High, guiding us down winding halls. The cooler inside air and my guide's steady footsteps helped diffuse my anger. Finally, we came to a stop in a plain colored room with noone else inside.
I ran my hand through my hair, a nervous tick that I'd picked up as a child. Staring at my feet, I shook my head and apologized,"Look, I'm real sorry about that... Jonah's such a... a...-"
A pair of smooth, soft lips joined mine. A kiss sweeter than I could have ever imagined."It's ok, Fearless. It's ok."