(Like many artists, writers, and creative geniuses, I have tons of unpublished material filling up binders, boxes, folders, and file cabinets. These vary from ideas to notions to poems to half-written stories. Every once in a while, I’m going to dust one off and publish it here. This was a story I wrote for a school writing class. Back then, I excelled in self-depreciating prose. And yes, it is vague and I removed names to protect the innocent. Hey, I don’t want to get sued or anything.)
There she was. The kind of girl a guy like me had no chance with. I knew my place. I was neither my high school’s star quarterback nor its ace pitcher. I was more along the lines of the guy who got sand kicked in his face by some muscular guy when at the beach. As a matter of fact, I avoided the beach. I stopped going there after I had gotten so burnt I couldn’t sleep for a week. But that’s beside the point.
How did a social simpleton like me get so lucky as to sit in front of a girl as beautiful as her? I shouldn’t lie, the teacher sat us in alphabetical order and her last name began with the late before mine. But who was I to look a gift horse in the mouth? Here was my chance to be the man. To be the type of guy other guys look at and ask, “How did a guy like that get with a girl like that?”
Let me take a moment to describe this young goddess. She was tall, not eight feet tall or anything, but taller than the average 17-year old girl. She had long blond hair and beautiful blue eyes. She was on the school cheerleading squad but seemed not to share the stuck up attitude of her squad mates. She was near perfect.
It took me about two weeks to muster up enough courage to say hi to her. Surprisingly, she said hi back. Slowly but surely I started talking to her more and more. Our class was often broken up into groups, and we would always work together. Not only was she beautiful, but I found out she was also very intelligent.
She and I started becoming pretty good friends as the semester progressed. One day that continues to stand out in my memory was when she showed me her newly acquired belly button ring. Being it was 1994 and several years before Britney Spears or Shania Twain brought fame to the midriff, her stomach was one of the sexiest things I had ever seen. I felt so privileged. Maybe she liked me.
I never took advantage of my in-class friendship with my new cheerleader friend. I didn’t talk to her outside of class and even though I knew where she worked, I never paid her a visit. I was too scared. Finally, I had the notion to ask her for her number.
If it took me two weeks to say hello to her, it must have taken a month for me to get enough courage to ask her for her number. After we took our last test of the semester, but before the week of our final exam, I waited for her outside of class. I talked to her all the way to her locker. I was so nervous. Then I said it, “Hey, I was wondering if you would be interested in talking to me away from school?”
“Sure,” she said, “let me give you my number.”
What followed was possibly the happiest moment of my teenage, high school years. I, by no means the most popular person in my high school, had a popular, beautiful, cheerleader’s number. It was a victory for non-studs everywhere.
Even with my complete inexperience with girls, I knew I could not call her that night, or even the next day. I did, however, bring my yearbook to our last class. She signed it, writing, “I am glad I got to know you. You are really sweet and made class a little bit better. As good as it could have possibly been. Have fun this summer and next year. Maybe I’ll see you. Stay as sweet as you are now. Love, X.”
(Ed. Of course, she didn’t sign it “X”, as that would be weird. She put her real name thankfully.)
A few nights later I decided to call. Again nervousness seized my body. I could barely push the numbers on the phone. I completed her number and waited for her to answer. One ring, two rings, three- my nervousness was increasing exponentially- four, five rings. Finally, a machine picked up. It was not her voice. It wasn’t even a family member’s voice. It was a message for a company I had never heard of. I was crushed.
I never did see my beautiful cheerleader friend again and although I have had my share of rejections (and successes) in the years since, few girls have put me on such an emotional roller coaster. She is responsible for both the best and worst day of my high school years.