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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Romance  |  House: Booksie Classic
A young, conflicted man sees house his youthful ignorance led him to lose his true love.

Submitted: July 02, 2015

A A A | A A A

Submitted: July 02, 2015



It hurt watching her smile. She was happy, completely content with a casual hello and a small wave with her fingers lightly tapping her palm in a short series of flicks while I painfully reminisced of days together lying in the greenbelt spewing mindless banter of what was, is and could be. I felt as though the earth pulled on my every step until my feet and the ground were married once again.  I had a perpetual feeling that an ominous cloud loomed over me casting hues of gray over everything colorful. It was only in her presence that the tormenting cloud cleared from above and the view of her face added brilliant color back into my life. She taught me “a smile that could light up a room” was not just a metaphor. That same smile would haunt me for years to come.

High school, we made it. Aaron and I met at the back of the bus and did our usual welcoming to each other that included a personal threat, a recollection of what we fictitiously did to each other’s mothers the night before and a verbal observance of the young women that we found attractive within close proximity. I noted a new face the sat just a few rows back from the door on the driver side of the bus that I made eye contact with on my way to “cool kid’s area”, the back of the bus. I had no clue she would become one of my good friends, one of my best friends and the one that got away.

As we exited the bus I paid no attention to the gibberish that Aaron untiringly vomited from his mouth. In a jumble of words, foreign accents and assortment of topics that Aaron blew through from the time we were removed from the bus to the entry of the school I could not help but attentively gaze at such beauty. Clueless and obviously lost, I watched as the new face from the bus glanced down at a white binder that had a yellow map of the school. Turning from side to side and then look up as if to ask for help a look of confusion grew over her face. I had been on the school grounds many of times for football practice although I had never attended class so I took to it to be the savior of her short misery. Ready to save the damsel in distress I valiantly began to march towards her. I was halted by a giant tug by Aaron to join our group of friends we had lunch together with nearly every day the previous year in middle school. I turned back to see if she still was there and in need of assistance and just as I did she disappeared behind the tan brick corner to the building housing the library. I smiled and then met Aaron’s eyes that gave me a look of disgust. “I know were friends and all, but I don’t swing that way bro!”, he loudly exclaimed. A shoulder punch and the ringing of the first bell sent us all in separate directions as we all headed to our first class.

Aaron mistakenly mixed up his first and second class and came in late to Spanish which was our first class. We did what any 15 year old boy would do in a class that they sat in for the first time. We scoped the room for the best looking girls. In the corner of the room sat the new face from the bus. I anxiously waited as the attendance sheet was called out so I could catch her name. I missed her name because Aaron was telling me all about how his favorite shirt he was wearing was dirty hours before school started and all about how he rushed to wash and dry it and how it hadn’t completely dried until he got on the bus. I was so mad at him and he, surprisingly, figured out why all by himself. Aaron was the type of guy who looked up when you asked “what’s up.” The teacher told the class to combine seats and fill in empty spots on the tables. There were 27 kids in the class and 9 tables of four desks, Aaron and I sat at a table by ourselves and the mysterious new girl sat by herself at the forward most table in the room. Naturally, of course, Aaron stood up and while waiving frantically to get her attention motioned the new girl to join us. We spoke and did the “get to know you” games throughout class and I got to finally, after a whole hour of torment being threatened to reveal how I thought of this girl by Aaron, I got here name.

I had her smile and sweet laughter embedded in my mind the rest of the day. I walked to the bus anxiously waiting to see her after the school let out for the day. As I exited the crowd in the bus area I saw her. That amazing smile looked at me with excitement as if she were waiting all day to see me too. I neared her and then it became clear, Aaron had made her wait with him outside the bus for me.  When I got closer the smile of excitement looked more of desperation. She did not take kindly to the fact Aaron literally made her wait with him until I came. We boarded the bus and set off for are respective stops. My stop was after Aarons stop but he made me exit the bus with him because she had the same stop as him. He took asked to hold her books as he invited himself to walk her home. My sheepish gait trailed the two as he looked back bragging as I had not been able to mutter anything comprehendible to her since we first spoke. I grew green with envy as I saw him lean over her shoulder and whisper slandering words of me too quietly for me to hear. They both laughed and laughed as I followed like a stray dog. She thanked us for walking her home and invited us to stay as she put her things away inside her house. Her house sat next to a green belt alongside a road that connected many neighborhoods together. The bus stop was on the road, across the greenbelt, no more than 40 feet away from her house. We spent the next hour or so in the greenbelt until I respectively decided to go home and give this girl who received a crash course in the friendship of Nick and Aaron some time to collect her thoughts.

I enjoyed every second of everyday I got to spend with her. She was such an intriguing person to talk to. She was a black belt in karate and held the world title for grappling in her age division. All I had to my name was participation ribbon I had won for playing soccer when I was 7 years old. Everything I learned about her fed into my fascination and made me want to talk to her more and more. Asking Aaron as we are now in our 20’s to recall the events he described me as “completely infatuated” and “borderline obsessed”. He told me as we looked back on the events that I had ignorantly missed every major hint towards her utter desire to be my companion. We fought and I said that I was not completely clueless and he accounted on many occasions that I, looking back, cannot believe I did not pick up on. There was one in particular that stood out from the rest.

The three of us lay in the greenbelt by her house where Aaron and I laid side by side in the same direction and she laid in the opposite direction with her head in between ours. We were staring at the dusk sky through the tree we were under as the wind of Friday night was the only exciting thing going on during the beginning of our weekend. “Let’s go watch a movie”,  I recall here ecstatically saying. It was just after 8 and I mentioned any movie we go to see soon would be packed and if we see a late movie it would not end until early in the morning. I had a curfew, but I was not about to let her know that. We ultimately decided that we would go see a movie late in the night and I notified my dad that I’d be home a little late because we were about to see a movie. I left out the little detail about the movie starting at 11:35pm. I knew that this would not go over well later and I was prepared to receive my punishment after I enjoyed spending the night out. Before the movie began we sat in her living room. It was Aron and I and her and her older sister that was to drive us to the movies and she casually brought up dating and began with asking Aaron what those in a relationship do and then she asked me. Aaron came up with detailed scenarios that where beyond our years that made her sister scowl at his immaturity to not back down and reserve his personal thoughts of sensuality in the presence of an older sibling. When it came time for me to speak I was stared upon with the look that displayed no pleasure in hearing what I had to say because it was assumed it was of same the same level of maturity if not worse than Aaron’s. I spoke sort of stutteringly, “ I think being in a relationship while we are young is pretty pointless.” I was doing my best to please her and her sister, “I….I think it would only make sense to date in your last couple years of high school. That way it could...easier to see each other and not have to wait for like a mom or sister to take you to see each other.” I so inventively based my logic of her and her family as her parents were not together and she lived with her mom and two sisters. She then asked, “You wouldn’t date anyone even if they asked you out. Like what if I asked you out right now? What would you say?” She smiled as if she was to get the answer to the question she so clearly asked and I just blew it. I answered back with conviction as explained how much we all have to deal with in our first years of high school and how it wouldn’t benefit us to have to deal with the unnecessary problems of a break up at a young age. I was taught at a young age to think of things so critically that I did not see the bigger picture and the fact that she straight told me her feelings for me.

Things between us were never the same after that.

We saw each other in school and she got a boyfriend when she her sophomore year in high school and I played on the football team with him. He knew of our friendship and out of respect for him I stopped talking to her. She did not understand why I kept my communications with her so brief. I literally had to tear myself away from her every time we stopped to talk to each other because I could talk to her for hours. She encouraged me to get a girlfriend and I did and only then did I find it suitable to carry a conversation with her. She broke up with her boyfriend after a few months and I stayed steady with my girlfriend. I now realized she sanctioned herself away from me most likely for the same reason I did not speak to her while she was in a relationship.

I found it hard to view her face and not be able to do anything but simply say hello and smile her way. I stopped seeing her casually around school as our schedules did not warrant us to cross paths. I never got a text and we never went out of our ways to see each other as we had done in the past. I broke up with my girlfriend and carried on with my life. Naturally I had stopped thinking about her and I began to associate with new friends as Aaron showed no attempt to exit the state of mind he was in when we all sat in her living room. I began talking to my new friends about the past and an acquaintance of one of my new friends happened to be her. I asked how she was doing and they told me she was dating again. Unexplainably I felt a sense of unease. I knew I probably was not on her list of hopeful partners, but it was not that I wanted to date her. I just did not want to see her hurt.

Senior year rolled around and I had a half day. I spoke to my advisors and I was told I needed a fine art credit so I had the option of theatre or clay. To be or not to be….I was playing with clay to fulfill my credit. First day of Clay and I walk in only to meet the eyes of the girl that I once knew. Slightly taller but with the same great smile, she had finally grew into her big beautiful eyes. I had an elephant lifted off my chest. I began to breathe normally again. Life was began to be more enjoyable each and every day I got to sit and joke and talk about the things we had done in our prepubescent years. She and I always had a blast in the class.  I had a girlfriend and she had a boyfriend so it was easy to talk a laugh and be friends because we had interests in other people than each other.

Graduation night came we all were waiting to be told to move our tassels and as we did we all stood and tossed our cap in the air and proceeded to do the most cliché thing in American society and hug friends and meet up with our families. I was on a mission to get out of the graduation scene and head home to the family gather to celebrate my graduating of high school. As I strutted towards those gates I had friends stop me momentarily but I kept on heading for the gates. The crowd of graduated high school students parted and right then I had a flash back. I saw this beautiful being with a puzzled look on her face looking left to right and then at those around her as if to as for direction and then she looked at me. I don’t think that even during football season I ran a faster 40 yard sprint. I met her with a giant hug and she buried her face into my shoulder and I could have held her for an eternity. She arching away but still maintaining that same tight grip around my midsection whispered, “ I love you.” I responded with I love you too. Water began to accumulate in both of our eyes and then the grip we had on each other began to loosen. Just like that, high school was over and from that day on so was our friendship. I found it hard to explain to my family and friends I met outside the gates why I had tears in my eyes so I responded that I was just “happy”. The thing that I found intriguing the most is I had no remorse going to my girlfriend outside the gates and giving her a big kiss.

© Copyright 2018 Antonio Bastille. All rights reserved.

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