The bus ride was just as normal as any other. My best friend Brite – excuse the Gaelic name her mother insisted on using for her only child because of their family’s Scottish roots – grilled me about Dre.
In turn, I grilled her about her long time crush Charlie, a friend of ours since the beginning of high school. It turns out that he actually grew some balls and finally asked out Brite – something that she had intently been waiting on for the longest of times.
I didn’t really see why it took him so long to ask her. I don’t know if Brite knows it or not, but she looks like a fuckin’ model.
I swear, the last time I went over to her house, she was wearing a stained T-shirt and she still looked extremely beautiful. On the other hand, I would have just looked like some lazy slob.
Did I get jealous of her good looks sometimes? Maybe a little.
But did it bother me anymore? Not in the slightest.
Upon finally reaching school, dread filled my stomach when I realized that I would have to face Dre.
Whenever I went the whole 22 hours or so after school without seeing him, my ‘Dre Nerves’, as Brite calls them, go on the fritz, and I’m nervous to talk to him when I finally see his glorious-looking face again.
Walking into the auditorium (where most of the kids spent their mornings if they didn’t feel like going to class early), I was struck, once again, my Dre’s obviously outward attractiveness.
His alluring, luminous brown eyes.
His soft, black, wavy hair.
His face, in motherfucking general.
But the best part I liked about him was that he wasn’t bulky. He wasn’t skinny, but he wasn’t muscular, either. He was right in the middle – toned, I think was the word I was looking for. I guess that’s what you get when you run track as well as he does.
Brite and I walked through the sea of people clumped together in the newly painted auditorium towards Dre, where he was sitting on a set of bleachers, eyes fixated on blank space with his MP3 player or whatever-the-fuck it was in his hands.
I can’t do this. I can’t do this. Holy fuck I think this is what those guys felt like when they were singing that song, Jizz in my Pants.
Did I mention that I sound like a complete asshole most of the time?
I didn’t? Well, my thoughts generally demonstrate that, so it’s no biggie that I didn’t mention it.
After what seemed like an hour of walking – and with the help of Brite pushing me by my back – we reached Dre.
Seeing the two of us in his peripheral vision, he popped out his ear buds and laid them to the side.
“See? Look,” Brite whispered in my ear as we approached him. “He’s giving you his full attention. Make it work, Mel.”
I was too nervous to even say anything else.
“HEY.” Was the first word that came out of my mouth as I stopped right in front of him.
I realized that I had the volume level of about 9 on a scale from 1 to 10 from the werid looks I got from people.
Slightly embarrassed, I awkwardly took the seat next to Dre, putting the edge of my ass on one ‘level’ of the bleachers and sretching my long legs out towards the bottom. I just didn’t take into account my legs weren’t long enough and painfully plopped down on the bleacher level below me.
“You alright?” Dre bent down to help me up by holding my hand, but being the dork that I was, I was too embarrassed to grab his hand.
“Uh, hey,” Was my stupid response as I readjusted myself on the bleacher next to Dre.
Oh god. I was way too close. I could literally smell him. He smelled like Irish Spring soap. It was better than what most guys at my school smelled like – straight up B.O.
“Hey,” A genuine smile crossed over his face. “How’s it going.”
I turned to the left, to try and see if I could meet his beautiful eyes, but I caught Brite in the distance. She hadn’t ascended the bleachers yet, and she was mouthing something, trying to get me to understand.
But, well, I couldn’t. Not when Dre was sitting three fucking feet away from me.
She must have known that I had given up deciphering her code and walked over to the other side of the auditorium, towards Charlie.
Bitch just left me! I cursed in my head. Now I was going to be even more nervous than ever without Brite.
I realized that I must have looked like a blithering idiot, sitting there and not saying anything, but looking all around like I was bored.
I was struggling so hard for words that my hands started to twitch at my sides, like I was having a damn seizure or something.
Goddamn it, Mel, say something! I started to panic. At least stop your hands from twitching! Somehow, my slowly deteriorating brain was able to obey me and my hands stopped having a spazz attack.
I guess I know what Rick Bobby from Talladega Nights feel like when he didn’t know what to do with his hands.
“Um, a-actually,” I stuttered, “Would you mind looking at my sketchbook?”
“No problem,” He answered immediately.
After shuffling through my Behemoth of a bag, I finally found black and white zebra striped sketchbook. This baby had endured a lot with me. It survived Marshall drawing penises all over one of its pages, and it had been submerged in water, only to be restored by fire (AKA, my blow dryer).
What a trooper.
“I was trying to draw this…chick,” My breath seemed to catch in my throat as I met his eyes again, while he gave me that reassuring smile that made my insides feel like they had been immersed in bleach.
“But I, I um, I don’t think it’s any good.” A lame explanation, but it was completely true.
“That’s bullshit right there,” He said matter-of-factly. I tried to ignore the urge to have one of my famous spaz attacks when his hand brushed mine.
You are so freaking whipped.
His eyes moved – almost seductively, it seemed – across the page as he examined every single aspect of my drawing.
“Really, I don’t see anything wrong with it,” He said softly, still examining it like he was some sort of scientist. “The only thing I could probably say that you could improve on are the eyes.”
“My eyes?” I squeaked. Maybe I wasn’t so good at taking constructive criticism.
“Yeah,” He said, giving me one of his winning smiles. “Here, scoot over a little bit.”
It just so happened for once that my backwards instincts led me to believe that he wanted me to scoot away from him instead of towards him, but I actually turned out to be right for once.
Dre sat my sketchbook down between the both of us.
“You’re shading is off the fucking charts,” He complimented me, almost sounding as if he was amazed. “But the thing with the eyes is that they’re too roundish. The one thing you’re forgetting is the little dibbit at one end of the eye.”
I looked down at my drawing and knew exactly what he meant. I always had a hard time drawing in that little ‘pocket’ on the inside of people’s eyes. But I guess you didn’t really need much of one, if you were Asian or something.
“Yeah, I’ve always had trouble with that,” My admittance was genuine, and as I focused on the drawing, I got over my jitters about being literally a foot away from Dre. How strange.
“Doesn’t really even matter, though,” He said, looking away from the drawing towards me.
“Really?” I squeaked. Screw that whole getting over my jitters thing – I was more nervous than ever.
“Yup,” A smile lit across his face as he picked up the sketchbook from the bleacher. “You can most definitely look past this with your fuckin’ amazing drawing skills.”
“Thanks.” I breathed, my voice so soft and low that I just sounded like a tea kettle whistle.
“Just remember though,” He said thoughtfully, handing my sketchbook back. “We all have different types of eyes.”
I was caught staring in his own, even jumping a little when his fingers touched mine, but I don’t think he noticed.
Damn. I had it really bad.
“When people have more almond shaped eyes, like mine,” Dre continued to explain, sounding like some sort of optometrist or something.
They actually are shaped like almonds. Thoughtfully, I tilted my head to stare at his luminous dark topaz colored irises.
“That little pocket thingy is more noticeable,” He slung his backpack over his shoulder once the bell rang, thoughtfully handing my own messenger back towards me.
“But, with people with really big doe eyes,” He held my hand to help me down the bleachers.
In any other situation, I might have been flattered, but since Dre knew me for a long time, I figured he just wanted to help me so that I wouldn’t fall flat on my face; something that very rarely didn’t happen.
We started to walk, caught in the crowd trying to make their way out of the auditorium all at once like idiots as five kids tried to get through the door all at once.
“Like yours, that pocket isn’t as noticeable. Granted, big eyes like your eyes happen to look attractive on you, but on other people…”
That’s when my hearing sort of faded out. Everything seemed to zero in on Dre, as he walked by my side out into the less crowded hallway. He was making hand gestures, eagerly talking about the shapes of eyes, but I wasn’t listening.
He could have said something along the lines of, “Now drop down naked and get your eagle on” and I wouldn’t have paid attention.
Dre had said I have big doe eyes. Attractive doe eyes.
D-Does that mean he thinks I’m attractive? Of course, it had to mean that, right?
But what if he thinks that’s the only attractive thing about me? What if he’s so turned off by the rest of my facial features that he doesn’t even make the time to bother with me?
The realization felt like a rock sinking in the middle of my stomach. There was no way in hell Dre thought that I was attractive-attractive. He met “attractive” in the way how you would have to say that to your friend, even if they were ass ugly.
“Goddamn it,” I muttered underneath my breath, refusing the urge to roll my eyes in case Dre would notice.
“Did you say something?” He was cut off mid-sentence from his little explanation about eye shapes.
“Mm,” Had to think of a quick lie so as not to seem like an arrogant bitch. “Bathroom!” I suddenly shouted.
I held my strap close to my chest and suddenly swerved to the left, running into several other kids trying to get to class and having my foot stomped on for what seemed like a million times.
I turned around to see if I had lost Dre’s trail, and he just looked confused as I walked away.
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