“Do you still like me?” Brandon asked the third girl that day.
“Yeah, I think so”, She blushed.
“Well, see you around” he chuckled as he walked away from her. He was just lining up the girls, the chances of dating any of them was very unlikely, but it was good for his reputation. After all, who needed love with all these girls around?
“Hey Brandon!” Someone yelled from behind him.
“Hey?” He said, turning around to see his best friend standing there laughing. Kyle had been his best friend since grade four. Together, they ran the school, being the most popular boys, they were the ones the girls all dreamed of. But they were also the ones none of the girls got, they didn’t date, they just lined the hopeful girls up.
“What did you do? Add another girl to your collection?” Kyle asked.
Brandon nodded, “They’re all over me. It’s kind of like flies on s**t”
“Dude, you just called yourself a piece of S**t”
“If anyone, you’re a piece of s**t, what I mean is, they’re swarming me,”
“Don’t get yourself all worked up there, how many you got right now?”
“Seven…Seven that I’ve asked and they’ve admitted to it, but I know there’s more.” Brandon replied grinning.
“Seven? Oh, well I have five that I know of” Kyle said.
He’d won again. Ever since they could remember it was always a competition how many girls were crushing on them. Brandon never lost that battle.
That’s how it always had been and as far as Brandon was concerned that’s how it always would be. For as long he could remember, his goal was never for romance or love. His goal was for the most amount of girls who liked him. Not only did that raise his reputation, but he always had more people crushing on him than his best friend and he’d always liked that. From what he saw, everyone liked him, and he knew there were more girls crushing on him than he’d asked, it was just a matter of finding them and adding them to his list.
The bell rang and he began walking down the hallway to his next class, english.
As he walked, he waved at almost everyone he knew, which was almost everyone in the hall. Sometimes he would shout out a rude comment at the guys, or give cute looks to the girls, either way, everyone received attention from him. Although, acknowledging their glances and remarks were not on his to-do list. He did what he felt like and left it at that, most of them didn’t have anything good to say anyway.
He approached his english class and peered into the room. He was late, as usual and could see the entire class staring at him. He liked this attention, so he put a big smile on his face and walked into the classroom without making eye-contact with the teacher. He pulled out his chair and sat down next to Brittney Riley, one of the prettiest, most popular girls. It was no wonder he was sitting beside her, he figured they were meant to sit together since they were both at the top of the school. Although Brittney didn’t tell him, she had other ideas, she’d always hated how obnoxious and rude he was and really wished he would sit somewhere else, but she wasn’t about to tell him that either, she didn’t want to start a scene.
“Mr.Davis” The old english teacher said, “You’re late!”
“I’m late, oh no, I’m late!” Brandon said in a sing-song voice.
“One more time, and I will have you in detention, young man,”
“One more time, and I will have you in detention, young man” Brandon mimicked.
The teacher gave him a dirty look but didn’t say anything else. He continued writing on the board, which Brandon pieced together was a project, a huge project – probably one he would never do.
Someone tapped his shoulder and he turned around to see the nerd of the class smiling at him.
“What do you want?” He asked her rudely.
She handed him a crumpled piece of paper, he took the paper out of her hand and turned back to face the teacher. He stared right into Mr. Smith’s eyes and realized that he would be reading the note out to the class. That was Mr. Smith’s rule, no one disobeyed this one.
Brandon stood up and un-crumpled the note, “I love you,” he read the scribbled letters out loud before he sat down again.
People in the class began laughing, Brandon turned to the nerdy girl again, “Who gave that to you?” He didn’t really care who it was; he just wanted to know if they were someone different than the seven he already had.
“It was me,” She told him.
Brandon burst into uncontrollable laughter, causing the entire class to look at him, again.
The girl looked hurt as she stared at her paper, “I’m sorry,” she whispered.
“You? You?” Brandon said in-between laughter, “Aw, I thought it was someone cool… But you?”
“That will be enough Mr. Davis,” the teacher said from the front of the class and Brandon stopped laughing, but barely.
Brittney tapped his shoulder, “What’s wrong with you, don’t you have any respect.”
Brandon held back laughter again; he knew how many times Brittney had turned down guys because they weren’t “cool” enough. What was her deal with him doing the same?
“I said, don’t you have any respect?” Brittney repeated,
“Um… Yeah. I can be respectful, listen, WOW you’re a hottie!” Brandon said, and he wasn’t lying, she looked cute when she was mad.
Brittney sighed and turned towards the lecturing teacher again.
“You are really cute,” Brandon said,
But Brittney ignored him.
The bell indicating end-of-class rang, and Brandon ran out the door, it was the end of the day and he was looking forward to getting home.
“Hey Brandon” Someone from behind him yelled,
He turned around to be face-to-face with Brittney, “Hey Brit,”
“You’re pretty cute too,” she said as she walked off.
He wondered what she meant by that, but she was walking too fast for him to catch up to her and ask. So he walked to his locker, which was in the other direction she was going to.
“You know… I was thinking…” Brittney said the second Brandon sat down the next day in English class.
He turned to her wondering what she was going to say next. He decided it would probably be something about yesterday.
“Do you want to hang out sometime? Like go to the mall or something?” Brittney said.
He was shocked, “Sure, this weekend?”
“No, I was thinking tonight, how’s that sound?”
“Perfect.” Brandon said, forgetting about the plans he’d made with Kyle and their friends. It didn’t matter, he could see his reputation rising by just hanging out with her. What would be even more amazing is if she was added to his list, but he would never date her, he knew he couldn’t love only her.
The teacher walked in before Brittney could say anything else and told the class to be silent.
Brandon didn’t understand. Just yesterday, it seemed Brittney hated him. Now, she wanted to hang out. But it didn’t matter, it was all about the reputation and he would do anything to get it.
When the bell rang, Brandon stood up and grabbed his bags.
“So, see you tonight?” He asked Brittney.
“Yeah, meet me at the main doors at 3:30?”
He nodded and walked the other direction toward his locker.
At 3:29, Brandon’s bus pulled up to the Mall’s main doors. He stepped off and looked around for Brittney, but she was nowhere. Suddenly he wondered if she’d been kidding the whole time and wasn’t going to come. Or maybe she was going to come, but she was planning to do something that would hurt his reputation. He’d only been standing there for a few minutes when he saw her. She was walking toward him smiling. He glanced at the girl who was walking beside her. She was beautiful. Her long blonde hair fell down her back in small curls and her face looked like an Angel’s. He wondered who she was, he’d never seen her before, but she was perfect.
“Hey Brit” Brandon said, still staring at the other girl.
“I guess I should introduce you two, Brandon, this is Abbie,” Brittney said,
“Hey Brandon” Abbie said.
Brandon stared into her deep blue eyes and admired her beauty, “Hey Brandon” He said without thinking. Embarrassed, he corrected himself, “Hi Abbie”
Brittney laughed and started walking into the mall. Brandon and Abbie followed behind her like ducklings following their mother.
“I have to go return something, will you guys wait right here, on this bench?” Brittney asked, motioning toward the vacant bench across the hall.
“Sure,” Abbie said.
Abbie started walking towards the bench and Brandon followed close behind.
“So, where are you from?” Brandon said when they’d sat down. he hoped it was somewhere close.
“Down the street from the school,” Abbie said, “I just moved here, I’m coming to your school next semester.”
“Oh…” Brandon said, not sure what else to say. He was still mesmerized by her beauty.
After they’d been talking for about 45 minutes, Abbie looked around and said, “I don’t think she’ll be back any time soon, let’s go have some fun, without her”
Before Brandon could say anything, she grabbed his hand and dragged him down the hall. The walked around hand-in-hand browsing stores and talking between themselves. Brandon was really surprised how open she was to him. She said she told him things she’d never told anyone else.
They laughed together about leaving Brittney and wondered whether they should go back, but naturally they didn’t.
When they’d circled the mall a few times, Brandon led her to a fountain in the mall.
“Make a wish” he said when he handed her a coin,
“A wish?” She repeated,
“Anything you want, make a wish.” He said sweetly.
Abbie closed her eyes and smiled as she threw the dime into the flowing water. She opened the eyes and smiled at Brandon knowingly. He grabbed her hands and kissed her sweetly. He could tell she liked it, so he kissed her again, only this time using his tongue.
They both opened their eyes and turned to see a very angry Brittney.
“Hi Britt,” Abbie said,
“Well, I see you guys have gotten along well. I’m glad because I’m still not done my shopping, I’ll let you be.” She said and walked off again.
Abbie giggled, “Where were we?”
Brandon leaned over and kissed her again, and again.
“Brandon, I never knew when you make a wish, they actually come true.” Abbie said.
“What did you wish for?”
“A kiss.” Abbie giggled.
“They always work. Here, try another” Brandon said handing her another coin.
Abbie closed her eyes and thought deeply for a minute. Then she turned around and threw her coin in backwards, it made a huge splash and she opened her eyes. Brandon smiled at her, desperately wanting to know what she wished for.Abbie smiled back at him, her eyes glimmering with secret, just by looking at her, it was like you could see deep into her soul. Her smile only made her more perfect.
“Your smile is so beautiful, I mean it, you’re so beautiful,” Brandon said honestly. That was the first time he’d ever told a girl they were beautiful and meant it. All the other times were just to get another girl to like him.
Abbie blushed and hugged him.
“I mean it, I feel like I know you, because I like you so much, have I seen you before, there’s a connection, I feel it, don’t you?” Brandon said unexpectedly.
“I feel it, I feel like I know you too, I feel close to you”, Abbie leaned up to kiss Brandon again, “Brandon, I know we barely know each other, but will you be my boyfriend?”
Brandon was silent for a minute; he didn’t know what to say. He’d never really had a girlfriend; he always just had a bunch of girls. He wasn’t sure if he wanted just one, but suddenly the words slipped out of his mouth, “Yeah, sure”
The song “soul mate” came on the mall music system and Brandon squeezed Abbie’s hand harder.
“Do you think there’s a such a thing as soul mates?” Brandon asked.
“I don’t know, I wonder if mine’s in my life right now, standing right in front of me,” Abbie smiled,
“So, how many names are on your list now?” Kyle asked a few days later in between class.
“One?” Kyle exclaimed, “Wow, sorry about that, what happened?”
“I got a girlfriend,” Brandon said.
“Oh, well, I’ve got 5 still,”
“Are you happy you beat me with quantity?” Brandon asked coldly.
“Yeah, I beat you, Brandon!”
“Maybe with quantity, but not with quality. What’s a bunch of girls you’re never going to date going to get you when you can have one that you can learn to love?”
“Um… I don’t know,”
Six years later…
Brandon was standing on a hardwood floor in front of a crowd of family. His arms were wrapped tightly around Abbie’s slim waist. Her long white dress flowed down to the floor and her veil hung beautifully in her hair. Brandon looked into her beautiful blue eyes and angel face just like he did on the day he met her. The only difference was the intensity of their love now, Brandon never thought he’d love someone like he did Abbie.
“For the newly married couple,” the DJ’s voice blared through the room, as the song ‘soul mate’ played through the speakers. Brandon started moving to the music, as they began their first dance as a married couple.
“Do you really think everyone has a soul mate?” He asked Abbie.
“I wonder if mine’s standing right in front of me” Abbie said like she had before.
“I love you Abbie,” Brandon said sweetly.
They danced until Natasha Bedingfield’s voice finished the song with the words: Who doesn't long for someone to hold
who knows how to love you without being told
somebody tell me why I'm on my own
if there's a soulmate for everyone
If there's a soulmate for everyone
“I knew how to love you from the day we met, you were my first and only love. I know there’s a soulmatefor everyone, you’ll never be on your own Abbie, we were meant together, I promise you, I love you” Brandon whispered into his bride’s ear.
“I love you,” Abbie said with a tear in her eye.
They broke their embrace and looked out onto a crowd of their family and friends.
“Someone has a special story to share,” The DJ said as Abbie and Brandon took a seat at their table.
Kyle stood up from his seat and looked out into the crowd and told Brandon’s story. He reminded everyone of when Brandon was the most obnoxious boy of school, yet he was the most popular. He had a line-up of girls waiting to date him, but only Kyle knew Brandon would never date any of them, it was always for the reputation and winning the competition. Then Abbie came along, she was perfect and she transformed Brandon into the loving, sweet person that he is.
“Abbie, I don’t know what you did or how you did it, but you must be pretty amazing to have changed Brandon. But, I know that you deserve to be together, and that you’re meant together. I never believed in soul mates before, but I do now.”
2009 Bailey Thompson
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