Reading and Writing Fiction
There she was. Standing across the hall with her long golden hair falling perfectly down onto her shoulders. Her fingers combed through her thick locks, smoothly gliding through with each stroke. She stood with her friends, laughing about something she probably didn’t find very funny. Our eyes met and I immediately averted my glance. I didn’t want to look like some psychopath just standing there staring at her. Suddenly, the bell rang and I continued to my next class.
I walked through the door and a crowd of students were huddled in the back of the room.
“Alright class,” Mrs. Grant said. “Please look on the board to see who your partner will be for this semester, introduce yourselves, and then take your seats.”
I stared at the board with utter disarray.
“But she was walking the other way, wasn’t she?” I thought to myself.
“Eli, you’re partners with Amelia Brenner.”
My mind was filled with tremendous confusion, I was unsure of what to think and most importantly, what to say. It had been three years since Amelia and I had had a real conversation that wasn’t just bogus small talk. I was so distracted that I choked on my words when I spoke.
“H-hey uh hi,” I stuttered.
“Hey,” Amelia chuckled. “So I guess we’re partners this year.”
“Uh yeah I guess.”
It had been so long that I had forgotten how perfectly serene she is when she speaks. I had always wished that I could just fast forward time and magically have everything work out the way I wanted. Sadly, there are no time machines or discovered time warps that people can jump through, so we are forced to live through every moment of everyday.
The next week in class we were assigned a project to complete with our new partners. The task was simple, pick a controversial world problem and make a presentation on it. I’ll do my work and Amelia will do hers, no complications.
“Hey so since we’re gonna have to get this all done for Friday, do you wanna just come over on Thursday to finish it?”
“Come over?” I asked.
“Yeah,” Amelia said. “Is that okay?”
“Uh yeah, yeah sure.”
“Alright cool,” she responded.
She turned back towards the front and I said nothing. I couldn’t sit still. My desk began to shake as if an earthquake was happening due to my leg bouncing up and down underneath.
The next two days felt more like two seconds. I had no time to prepare myself let alone finish any of my work. Shit. Does this mean she’ll think I’m a slacker? I’m not, I just couldn’t focus, and honestly the less time I do by myself, the more time I do it with Amelia.
I didn’t get to see Amelia because today we dropped our Contemporary World Class. Today in math I had a sub, this meant I could prep myself for later tonight when I have to try to make myself not seem like a complete fucking idiot. I don’t understand what it is that she does to me. I never get this way, ever. I hate that I can’t just talk to her like a normal person, especially because she’s my favorite person to talk to. Last period ended and I quickly stopped home.
I ran inside, grabbed the posterboard and headed for the door.
“Where are you in such a rush to?” my little sister Arianna asked.
“Nowhere, just a friend’s.”
“Who?” Ari insisted. She was always more interested in my life than I was.
“I probably know them, it’s not like you’ve got that many,” she teased.
“Oh fuck off, I’m just going to Amelia Brenner’s,” I said.
“A girl’s house? Why?”
“Cause she asked me to,” I replied.
I wasn’t sure if I was more upset at how surprised my sister was, or how surprised I was. I’ve hung out with plenty of girls before, but most times it was at the movies or at the local diner, not alone at their house.
“You know what that means right?” Ari said.
“That she wants to finish the project?”
“NO YOU IDIOT!” Ari yelled back. “It means she WANTS to hang with you. Clearly she made these plans so that she could be alone with you.”
Ari always confused me, apparently everything everyone does is some sort of hidden trick that I couldn’t seem to pick up on.
“Relax, it’s just a school project, I doubt she thought anything of it,” I said.
The entire drive over to Amelia’s all I could think about was what Ari had said to me. I mean, Amelia could be doing so many other things right now, but she’s here. She’s with me. My hands gripped the drivers wheel tightly and my hands began to sweat as I pulled into her lengthy driveway that guided me up to her enormous house. I parked my car on the far side of her house so that she couldn’t see me freaking out before going upto the front door. Suddenly, my phone buzzed, it was Amelia.
“So glad ur coming over tonight!” she said.
The hairs on my forearms raised and my body froze. My heart began to pound, it was as if my body tried to comprehend what my body couldn’t and instantly my entire body was stuck in a moment of awe. Maybe Ari was right. I pulled down the front mirror to practice what to say one last time before I went inside. I always thought it was the girls who did this kinda crap, at least that’s how it is in the movies. As I was stroking my hair back under my old ripped up hat my phone buzzed again.
“And so glad we can be alone…”
I read the seven words three times in my head with utter disbelief. I couldn’t figure out if she was genuinely happy to finally finish the project, or if she was actually saying what I hoped she was. I was completely lost, so I dialed Ari’s number.
“How’s it going,” Ari said.
“It’s not quite going yet, I need some help before I go in,”
“What are you doing!?” Ari yelled. “You should be in there with her!”
“Geez,” I answered. “I know but she told me she was glad we were alone and now I’m lost, is that normal?”
“Oh my god, does this girl need to spell it out for you?!” Ari yelled. “You’re gonna make her go insane.”
“I know, but you girls are so confusing. Everything is either completely abstract or frighteningly forward.” I replied. I looked around the driveway to make sure no one could see me panicking.
“Eli,” Ari started. “Sometimes you just need to look at what’s in front of you and step away from the situation to see how much of a moron you’re being. Just go inside and see where things go.”
“I hate when you’re right.” I mumbled. I hung up the phone, took one last look in the mirror, and popped a stick of gum in my mouth. I got out of my car, grabbed the poster board, and headed for the front door. I walked up the grand entrance steps. I got to the last step and took a final deep breath before ringing the doorbell.
“Be cool, just be cool.” I thought to myself. “Chill the fuck out Eli just get your shit together jesus.”
I reached out my clammy hand, extended my fidgeting finger, and rang the doorbell.