The Debut

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Romance  |  House: Booksie Classic
This is just a small story about facing your fears.

Submitted: September 03, 2012

A A A | A A A

Submitted: September 03, 2012



The Debut

“Have you ever been in love?” the question catches me off guard and I stutter out, “Um…well…no.” He looks at me sideways and I’m sure that I have just turned the most alarming shade of red. “Never?” he asks, raising his eyebrows.

“No, never. Where is this coming from?”

“Just curious.” Nice answer. That just illuminates the whole thing for me. I continue sorting through the mountain of mail on our tiny communal desk.

I guess I should have expected that working as a – what do call my job anyway? – person who sorts through and reads the fan mail of a famous writer and them has the exciting task of summarizing 300 letters into a report, so that the author can know what people are saying without actually spending whole days reading countless letters, which all basically say the same thing: I liked the book. But hey, it’s a job and it get’s the bills paid.

I used to love this job, but as of late it’s just become tedious. It also doesn’t help that the author’s wayward nephew has now been sent to “assist” me and in the process learn some responsibility. He’s had some issues with money and um, shall we say the abuse of some illegal trivialities. Matthew Sheppard. Yes, he’s handsome and yes, he’s nice to me, but frankly the guy still scares the hell out of me and it’s been 3 weeks now. He scares me because 1) He’s gorgeous. Really he is. His hair is so dark it’s almost black and his eyes are a lovely blue-green combination and his body…well that’s just a thing of beauty. 2) He’s so much more world-wise than I am. I’m constantly scared I’ve just missed the real meaning of something he’s said. 3) We’re alone together almost all day, in a rather small room, making it very hard not to be aware of him. And 4) I’m getting some strange vibes from him… Not that I know all that much about what vibes mean, it’s just that I get the feeling that the attention he’s giving me is maybe more than the attention you would normally give a colleague. Most likely I’m just being fanciful, but really how many times this week have I caught him looking at me while I work? This strange question of his does nothing to quell my suspicion of what’s happening here. I don’t push him to tell me why he asked me that because, being my usual pathetic self, I’m too scared.

Sometimes I really annoy myself. Why do I have to be so afraid of everything? I’m afraid to wear my beautiful red dress because it might be too bright, I’m afraid of changing my hairstyle because I don’t know if it will work, I’m afraid of meeting new people, afraid of reading in public because people might judge me for what I’m reading, afraid to tell anyone how I really feel, afraid, afraid, afraid. I know why it’s like this and I understand it to a degree. There were things that happened in my past that taught me not to trust anyone fully, least of all myself. But I don’t want to drag that all to the surface now. It’s not like I don’t lead a mostly normal life; I have friends and I do go out once in a while and I am happy in my own way. These fears are just secrets that I try to keep at a distance. As I told Matthew, I have never been in love. Not once. I believe in love, but my definition differs a bit from the mainstream version. I believe that “falling in love” isn’t real love, it’s just a temporary collapse of boundary walls between two people and at some point everyone “falls out of love”, which is when the boundaries snap up again. When this happens you have to really start working at the relationship and from that “real love” is formed. Go ahead and call me a cynic.

Later that day when we are going through the last few letters on our quota for the day, Matthew starts with his questions (“vibey-questions” I call them”) again. This time he starts by saying, “So you’ve never been in love, but you must have gone out with loads of guys.” I let out a strange little laugh at his observation and reply, “What on earth gives you that idea? Do I look like someone who goes out with every guy I see?”

“No.” there’s a faint smile on his face and I think for a moment before firing my next theory at him, “Do I look like someone who dates men because they give me things? A player?”

“No.” the smile widens.

“Well, then how do you arrive at that conclusion?” I ask exasperated.

“I arrive at that conclusion because you’re beautiful.” I feel my eyes widen for a second in shock and then feel myself turning that alarming shade again. “Is that so?” I mumble, while attempting to look busy so that I can avoid looking at him.

“Yes! Do you honestly not know how beautiful you are? I don’t see how any man could resist you.” His excitement is unnerving because I really don’t think I’m beautiful and I can see he really does believe it. “Oh dear,” I say quietly, then face him and say, “See you tomorrow then Matthew.” I need to get out of here, I don’t know what to do or say. “Oh come on, don’t leave,” he says, but seeing me still heading for the door he quickly asks, “Just tell me one thing please?” I stop in the doorway and turn to look at him, “What?” I ask quietly. He takes a step forward and shoves his hands in his pockets, “Was I right before, when I said you’ve dated lots of guys?’

“You were wrong. I’ve hardly dated anyone. See you tomorrow.”

“Morning Beautiful,” he says, in that voice that feels like warm honey, as he sits down opposite me. I am taken aback and manage to get out a “Hi.” We start working, but ever so often I feel his gaze on me. The tension in the room is obvious and I find myself sneaking glances his way too. Finally I can take it no longer and set down the letter in my hand. I’m tired of being scared. It ends here, all the lying to myself. As much as I’ve renounced it’s meaning, it’s time to admit that I am in love with Matthew. “Um Matthew?” he looks up sharply and, I assume, expectantly.

“We need to talk.” I continue hesitantly.

“About?” he asks, even though he knows full well what I mean.

“About us.” He leans closer to me over the table. I am way too aware of how close our hands are. “What about us?” he prompts. I haven’t really thought through what I was going to say yet. “I need to ask you if ….. It’s just that …. You …. I ….Oh dear, what am I saying?” I laugh at myself self-conscientiously and he chuckles with me, but indicates that I should continue. “I need to know what’s going on between us. There are these vibes between us. You know what I mean?” I ask desperately, hoping that he doesn’t think I’m crazy. “Oh yes. I know what you mean. Believe me.” I breathe out a sigh of relief and carry on, “And then the things you said yesterday…” I close my eyes for a second and take the first plunge, “Ho do you feel about me? Honestly?” I look at him and see such tenderness in his eyes that I’m almost sure of what he’s about to say. “How do I feel about you? Well, I feel just about as in love as a man can get. You’re beautiful and smart and lovely and sweet and caring and … I can talk about you all day, you know.” He looks down and we both laugh a bit. He takes my hands in his as he looks up again and says, “I’m crazy for you Lexi, I love everything about you, everything you do, the way you bite you lip when you concentrate really hard, the way you try to keep that piece of hair out of your eyes,” as he says this he takes the annoying strand and tucks it behind my ear, “there was never any question as to how I felt about you, from that first day I knew I would love you. The real question is how do you feel about me?” he squeezes my hands and looks at me almost pleadingly. I close my eyes again and breathe a shaky breath before finally throwing off all the fear. “I think I’m in love with you too, Matthew.” We’re smiling at each other giddily and now that the truth is out I can’t stop so I carry on, “You’re the first man I’ve ever felt this way about and I never want to lose this feeling. But how can you love me? We’re so different and –“ he cuts me off by coming around the table and pulling me to my feet, against his chest. We fit so well together, it’s so comfortable, it’s, it’s amazing. For a moment I see us as we really are, like I’m a third party watching us: a girl with dark brown hair that has all sorts of other colours in it which only come out in the sun, a girl with big luminous green eyes and slight figure. A boy with messy hair, a gorgeous boy with love in his eyes. “Stop worrying about our differences, we’re good together, we love each other, that’s all that matters. Isn’t it?” I nod and I know that it really doesn’t matter at all, our differences are what made us fall for each other in the first place. What really matters is that we’re so close right now, so close I could kiss him…and it seems he has the same idea. I feel like a singer about to step on stage for her debut performance, except that it’s my heart that making it’s debut here. I’m nervous, but there’s no backward glance into the past as the singer steps on the stage, as we move closer together. There’s no more fear as she sings her first note, no fear of the future as our lips meet and my heart, finally, soars.

The End

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