|Back 2 School Romance
Author: Ciao Niccie PM
A sweet story of yet another teenage romance. Joel is a transfer student who stumbles across the school's chat site during his computer class. He becomes intrigued and soon befriends a girl who refuses to give away her identity. In a small school of over 500 students, what are the chances of finding this one girl? No face. No name. But some clues might help.Rated: Fiction K - English - Romance/Humor - Words: 6,861 - Reviews: 2 - Favs: 2 - Published: 08-15-12 - id: 3050682
|A+ A- Full 3/4 1/2 Expand Tighten|
You have to love school, and the diversity of people; not only in ethnicity, age, talents and trends. But mostly the types of personalities crammed into these rooms for 8 hours straight. Everyone finds their identity in their favorite class; whether Science, Math, Gym, Lunch, Music and so on. You'd be a fool to believe that that book geek doesn't secretly want to join the soccer team, or that math wiz is a hopeless romantic and real charmer with the ladies. Unfortunately, teenagers don't like to complicate things and prefer to keep things black and white when it comes to what group you belong to. Any other desire pertaining to a different category outside of your "group" must be kept secret…including people.
Take Joel Morris, he's transferred high schools to join the more promising Soccer team of the town. Joel has his golden ticket to fame as the new "hot jock" at school; instant popularity to the same scene he had left behind. Joel can't seem to escape the same girls, the same parties and the same pressure from his dad to get a scholarship to the college of his father's dreams. But don't think to judge this jock, for one out of every twenty actually like studying and earning their grades without cheating. And wouldn't you know it, his favorite class is English. Question was, how long would he continue to do more of the same things?
It was another day in Computer class, held in the back area of the library. Two rows of a dozen tables, filled with two students per side. You had the option of doing homework, class related research or participate in school debates and clubs. But everyone knew to log on to the school's chat site to kill time and boredom. There was even a phone app of this web site, only pertaining to the students of this district.
Unaware that his classmates were all logged on to this particular page, Joel too made an account to log in on the entertainment for the remaining hour. As he saw the blinking line asking for his screen name, he paused and thought hard on a name that people wouldn't link back to him. He typed in POET64. Instantly he saw over 300 students logged on. With several chat rooms, he chose the obvious one…the Library.
Not knowing where to begin he decided to do an experiment. He asked if those who were truly at the Library, to move their chair forward. In a matter of ten seconds a wave of screeching sounds echoed all at once. Students everywhere around him and possibly throughout the entire room adjusted their chairs forward. Although he did not move, he couldn't help but laugh to himself.
Amused by the many creative and not so creative screen names, Joel scrolled down the list to find a name that would stand out. He stumbled over Daydreamer, curious he paused his mouse over the name to reveal Female,16. Although only a year younger, this didn't mean she was a junior, she could even possibly be a sophomore.
What the hell… He thought and kept her name under observation.
POET64: How's it going Daydreamer?
Joel waited to see if she would respond and wondered why her hesitation. Is my screen name not appealing? He thought. Still keeping up with the rest of the chat room, he noticed a little window pop up.
DAYDREAMER: Hi there :)
POET64: Ahh she answers…So are you here in my computer class?
POET64: Are you in the actual Library?
POET64: Why are you being so mysterious?
DAYDREAMER: because it's fun…but you just gave away your location :)
POET64: I did, but you could never guess who I am ;)
DAYDREAMER: who says I even want to?
POET64: Oh I see. How do I know you are even a girl?
DAYDREAMER: because I am silly :P
POET64: Alright then, so why the name daydreamer?
DAYDREAMER: it's my hobby, gets me through class…and life.
POET64: I can understand thru class but why life?
DAYDREAMER: there are things I'd like to do but I can't…so I dream about them.
POET64: I understand COMPLETELY.
DAYDREAMER: What things would you like to do? Or change?
POET64: I can think of a couple of things, but for starters the people I hang out with…more so, the girls I keep dating.
DAYDREAMER: Interesting…so what are these girls like?
POET64: I don't want to come off as an insensitive jerk or anything, but they are just way too conceited. All about their self-image, high maintenance, sleazy drunks and I could go on…
DAYDREAMER: Seems to me the problem is you and not these girls ;)
POET64: Huh? Explain please…
DAYDREAMER: Well, people are who they are, and you can't just change somebody because you don't like something about them. The problem is YOU keep deciding to go out with these types of girls… so stop hating on them and date a different kind of girl.
POET64: Wow…that was a virtual smack in the face. I felt like I already knew that yet I needed to hear it from someone else. So thank you :)
DAYDREAMER: Anytime, glad to help :)
POET64: You are a wise 16 year old ha ha.
DAYDREAMER: Thank you, I try :D
Joel was enjoying his chat with his new friend when the bell rang; somewhat disappointed that he had to leave he wanted to make sure he would find her again.
DAYDREAMER: yes lunch time :)
POET64: Wait! Don't you want to meet up and see who you've been chatting with?
DAYDREAMER: Actually I don't. Nothing personal, but it's easier to open up to a stranger than a person you already know.
POET64: I agree, and that's why I had an idea...
POET64: I think we should keep on chatting…are you on here often?
DAYDREAMER: Well we do go to the same school ;)
POET64: Right ;) but do you come on this chat room often?
DAYDREAMER: Only when I'm in the library, I don't have this chat app since my phone is prehistoric :(
POET64: Oh I see. No problem…can I have your number instead? :/
Joel noticed a pause on the screen. Was she thinking or did the screen freeze? It was already 10 minutes into lunch time and he knew his friends would be waiting for him impatiently.
DAYDREAMER: Give me yours first :P
Smiling from her distrust he quickly typed his number and wondered if this was a stupid idea. But after he saw her log off without a reply, he began to doubt that she was a girl after all; it wouldn't surprise him if one of his team mates were simply playing one of their pranks. He frowned for a second and walked away in hesitation.
At the lunch line, while Joel's team mates joked around, he was too busy looking around at the sophomore girls to see if by chance he would pick up a vibe from someone. As he made his way towards their table, he felt his phone vibrate in his pocket. Anxious, unsure why, he dropped his lunch tray upon the white surface and rapidly reached for his cell. Turning his back towards his friends he quickly opened the text to read "Hey silly :)" from an unfamiliar number.
Joel instantly saved it under her original screen name, since it was apparent that their identities would remain a secret.
POET64: Are you in the cafeteria?
POET64: There you go again… So I have a question, do you ever plan on meeting?
DAYDREAMER: Perhaps one day I'll muster up the courage…I have one question for you, what color are your eyes?
POET64: What happened to not revealing personal information? ;)
DAYDREAMER: It's not like we're going to be able to pinpoint each other right away? ;)
"Who are you texting Joel?" called one of the guys.
"Ugh, just a friend." He responded clearly distracted.
Joel had zero interest on what was going on with his buddies; he was too fascinated with this little game. All they kept hearing were the text alerts back and forth. So Joel kept his phone in one hand while eating with the other.
POET64: They change from green to gray… and yours?
DAYDREAMER: a boring shade of brown. :p
POET64: I doubt they're boring. So what color is your hair?
DAYDREAMER: Hey, you're pushing it :p
POET64: It's not like we are going to be able to pinpoint each other. I believe you said that earlier ;)
DAYDREAMER: Fine. Brown.
POET64: Ah, mine as well. Soooo what are you wearing?
DAYDREAMER: You do realize that sounded somewhat perverted? Lol.
POET64: Oh geeze, yeah :) Sorry I didn't mean it like that. Lol.
DAYDREAMER: Either way, I wasn't going to tell you :p
POET64: Touché. So I was thinking about what you said earlier…and I actually have a date tonight. But I'm thinking how I can get out of this one.
DAYDREAMER: Well let me know how that turns out?
POET64: I guess I will. I have to go for a little bit, but listen feel free to text me anytime, no matter how random, okay?
DAYDREAMER: Sounds like a plan :)
Later that night, Joel had arranged to invite a group of friends to the bowling alley downtown. He along with his date had met up with them in hopes of making it a less romantic evening and more of a friendly gathering. Surprisingly he did get a text from daydreamer.
DAYDREAMER: How's your date going?
POET64: Hah! I turned it into a group date ;) Got off easy!
DAYDREAMER: Lucky guy. I don't know what all the fuss is about…you're on a date with a pretty girl… Tell me what does she look like?
POET64: Hold a sec…
Joel called over a buddy of his and had him take a picture of him and his "date". While she probably thought he wanted a cool pic of the two, he was actually cropping his face out so that it was only his body next to her 5'4" figure. He stood at 6'1".
Within moments he received a response back.
DAYDREAMER: She's cute. Is that you standing next to her?
POET64: Yes, do you like how I decapitated myself? Lol.
DAYDREAMER: hahaha! Yeah, quick thinking. Was she suspicious?
POET64: Not at all, maybe flattered?
DAYDREAMER: okay, I need to state an observation…you either play sports or you like to work out?
POET64: That's quite the observation. And it would have to be yes, to both. Are you narrowing me down already?
DAYDREAMER: perhaps...so far I have this body with floating green eyes for puzzle pieces.
POET64: Hey that's still better than the one piece I have of you. C'mon aren't you the least bit curious to know who I am? I'll take a picture of my face right now!
POET64: Fine, fine. What about you though, any chance for a decapitated pic of yourself?
DAYDREAMER: No you perve!
POET64: Agh sorry…I did it again. :/
Joel didn't receive a response right away and worried he had upset his friend. It was his turn to bowl, so he slipped his phone in his back pocket and went to pick a ball. Not his favorite sport but fun to goof around to, since he was one of the worst players. The important thing was that his date was flirting with one of his friends instead, which gave him more free time to check his phone.
Low and behold he had a text with an attachment. When the picture popped open on his little screen he was sweetly surprised. He saw a glimpse of his friend cropped at the neck. She had a bohemian shirt with a messy braid of hair falling alongside her arm. She looked petite and huggable. He tried zooming in on the picture to see her small hands and a turquoise ring on her left index finger. These were all helpful hints that could further his search for her tomorrow at school.
She also wore cutoff shorts and had what seemed like a toned body.
POET64: I hope you don't mind me saying how cute I think you look in this picture. When was this taken?
DAYDREAMER: Just now, my friend took it for me. She was having a hard time not including my face for some reason :p she thought my specific request was rather silly.
POET64: If it matters at all, I agree with her :P
DAYDREAMER: We're not getting back into this :l Go back to your group date.
POET64: What are you up to?
DAYDREAMER: I'm finishing an assignment for tomorrow. And she's leaving in like 20 mins. So we don't have much time.
POET64: At 10 o'clock? Do you mind if I text you then?
DAYDREAMER: Sure why not, I go to bed late anyways.
POET64: ttyl :)
Joel was over the whole evening already. Like a little boy he rushed to get home and await the time where he could text his friend back. Already changed into his black boxers, he lay on his bed starring at her incomplete picture. He was sure that she was just gorgeous. He almost wanted to go ahead and send a picture of himself, confident that he would win her over with his good looks. But she clearly didn't want that, and she was more about just appearance.
All this in just one day; not worried at all that he was getting ahead of himself. How different would it have been if they would have met in person…not much at all. He looked over and his clock read 10:05pm; it was certainly time.
POET64: Hey :)
DAYDREAMER: Hi there, long time huh? Lol.
POET64: Am I bugging you a lot?
DAYDREAMER: No, I actually kind of like this. I don't really text my girlfriends much.
POET64: I think its fun too. So what are you doing now?
DAYDREAMER: Oh you know, just laying in bed…
Joel was feeling even a little more daring as he stared at her number on his phone with his thumb just an inch away from pressing the call button.
"Hellooo?" a nervous girl answered.
"Ahh, so you are a girl?" Joel responded with a chuckle.
"Oh wow, you're a little crazy… you do realize that?"
"No I'm not…I'm just awfully curious."
"Is that what you call it? And yes I told you I was a girl." She laughed quietly.
"I knew it by your sassy remarks here and there, but it's nice to know I'm talking to an actual person."
Joel was living this moment. He didn't know much about this person, but he felt enough of a connection then he hadn't felt in a long time. There was even an innocence and flirtation thrown in the mix. He smiled every time he heard her giggle and enjoyed the sound of her sweet yet soothing voice. She seemed and sounded older, not high pitched or too bubbly. The thought of her possibly being this "different girl" he had been searching for kept running through his head. But surely it was too early to think that.
"So what sport do you play?" she asked casually.
"I play soccer. Do you go to any of the games?"
"I've been to a couple. It's entertaining to watch." She added.
"Okay enough of me, what about you? What do you like to do?" He asked very interested.
"Well, I'm very ordinary. I enjoy my art class so far. Maybe I'll do more of that in the future, for college or something."
"That seems like a new discovery, a passion for the arts. You should definitely pursue that path."
"Thanks, I think I will." He could hear her smile through her words.
"So if you don't mind me asking, what is it that you DREAM about doing?" He pried.
"Don't laugh, but I like to dance and I've thought about maybe trying out for the cheerleading squad…but that would never happen."
"Because they would never pick me."
"Well you'll never know unless you try out." He assured her.
"Aghhh, I know. I'm just a coward and I don't want to be laughed at."
"I wish you would let me help you. I have connections you know?"
"Thanks, but I need to figure out what I really want. It's getting late though; I should probably go to bed." She admitted.
"Very well, good night then."
"Thank you for listening and not laughing at me. I haven't even told my best friend that."
"You are very welcome. I would never laugh at you, this stranger/ friend thing is a pretty sweet deal isn't it?"
"It sure is, ha ha. Good night."
"Night." Joel waited for her to hang up first.
Satisfied with their first conversation, regardless how short it was. The fact that he was able to give her a little encouragement like she did for him earlier meant this friendship was going somewhere.
Joel woke up from the most amazing dream he had experienced in a long time. He dreamt he was walking down the hallway holding his dream girl's hand. He couldn't make out her face but saw her body next to his, including her long brown hair that brushed against his arm. It felt so real that it took him a while to break from the trance; knowing he was clearly infatuated by her and the mystery. She could be anywhere, anyone. Who knows how many times he's passed by her at school.
He stared at himself in the mirror after taking a quick shower. He was now convinced that he had to find out who she was. His heart was excited, but it was a different kind of excitement. Not like the rush he got before a soccer game, it was more gut felt. So he turned on his stereo and played the right music to psyche him to conquer the day.
Normally Joel was a happy go lucky kind of guy, always smiling and willing to spread his happiness to others. But today there was a different glow about him. It was even catching his friend's attention, who quickly assumed that he might have gotten laid after their evening of bowling. To which he quickly disappointed them by replying "no". Still it didn't take long for his closest friend to tease him by asking if he had a crush on someone. To which he replied "maybe".
After a few classes, Joel was on his way to his locker while contemplating when to text his secret crush; still looking around in anticipation to see if his eyes would meet a brown eyed girls'. But a few steps further, he stopped to replay what he just saw. Images were running through his head of the last 60 seconds and it paused at the glimpse of a hand holding a locker door open. Zooming in as though his mind were a computer screen, he closed in on the hand; it had a silver and turquoise ring…on the index finger. Lights were flashing in his head as it was the right match to the same ring and hand of his friend's picture.
He quickly jerked his head around, desperately looking through the crowd of teenagers. There were so many brunettes how was he to pick her out. And just like that she was gone. He turned back around and impulsively punched his locker. He had reacted too late. Although he knew there would be another chance in the near future, like any heart driven human being, he wanted this now.
Joel was beginning to feel out of control, only no one else would've suspected it. His feelings were driving him crazy, reminding him once again that he was indeed a teenage boy. How could I feel this way after only one day? What's wrong with me? He struggled with many thoughts. Way too distracted in class to focus. Fortunately for him, there was an announcement from the office of a scheduled school meeting. So in order the students were lead down to the auditorium. The seating ranged from freshman in the front all the way up to the seniors in the back.
It was just another safety meeting, with special guests from the police and fire department. The students weren't too enthused but at least it was better than being stuck in the classroom. There was always the 'sleeping with your eyes open' skill to be mastered.
Joel thought this was the opportune moment to take out his phone.
POET64: ZZZZzzzzzzz -_-
DAYDREAMER: LOL. I know right! How are you? :)
POET64: Aside from bored to death, I'm alright and you?
DAYDREAMER: Same. I was going to text you earlier :)
POET64: So why didn't you? ;)
DAYDREAMER: I know this might sound stupid, but I didn't want to bother you I guess.
POET64: Nooo! Don't think that way! I enjoy texting with you. I thought that was pretty evident.
DAYDREAMER: Yeah it is. I guess I feel like you have better things to do than to be texting with me.
POET64: Well if it were that way than I wouldn't be initiating most of the time, would I?
DAYDREAMER: Good point. I'm maybe a little intimidated…and a little insecure. :/
POET64: Oh I see. Is this why you don't want us to meet?
POET64: Well you shouldn't feel that way either. I like to think that we are friends now, so it shouldn't matter what we look like…right?
DAYDREAMER: Yea :)
In Joel's mind he was already sold that this had to be the most beautiful girl and no one could tell him otherwise; even if she didn't believe or see it. Perhaps it was his job to prove it to her…someday. Joel looked up in slight frustration, wondering when they would ever meet. Now knowing of her insecurity he feared it would be longer than he could bare.
As he rolled his eyes in disappointment, his eyes caught sight of a shiny light. Only it wasn't necessarily a light but a reflection coming from several rows down. He bowed his head and leaned forward in his chair to get a better look. Squinting he saw what appeared to be the ring from before. Yes, he was sure of it. The girl in the messy bun, also a brunette, was leaning on her hand while her elbow relaxed on the arm rest. His attention was peaked, now sitting straight up and piercing her with his stare. He kept texting to see if she was also engaged on her phone.
POET64: So here's a thought…we are sitting in the same room.
DAYDREAMER: Yes a rather big room. But you are somewhere out there I know. The very thought makes me a little nervous. :)
POET64: Nervous of being spotted? He he. So tell me what color is your shirt?
Every time Joel sent out his text, his eyes would dart to the same girl to see if her body language gave her away. He did notice her fidget in a way that gave sure signs of her being uncomfortable and even …nervous.
DAYDREAMER: Nope. It's too risky. Ha ha.
POET64: No fun! :( Just kidding. It would still be hard to find you anyways there's probably 500 students in here.
DAYDREAMER: btw, I was meaning to ask you what does the 64 stand for?
POET64: Oh but if I told you I would be giving out way too much information ;)
DAYDREAMER: Darn it! So it's very important. Hmmm…
Just before receiving her next text he saw her hang her head back, and caught sight of her lit cell phone. And immediately reading her response he put one and one together, and it fit perfectly. That's got to be her. He gave a wide smile and sat back in his chair. Gotcha!
A little while longer and several playful texts later, school was now dismissed. Kids started gathering with their friends and exiting the auditorium together. Joel on the other hand remained with his eyes glued to that girl. No matter who talked to him or tried to get his attention, he simply nodded to whatever they had to say and made his way slowly to the end of his row. Across the aisle a couple of rows down, she sat chatting with her friends. He observed her laughing and fitting the personality she so easily displayed to him over the phone the night before.
Even though he was clearly stalking her, Joel still managed to look cool while doing it. He was carrying a light conversation with a buddy, careful still not to lose sight of her every time he made brief eye contact with his friend. Then she finally got up and made way her way up the aisle. And there he felt a sharp stab at the gut. He was finally seeing her face and she was coming closer. While others would agree that she was rather average looking, she shined brightly before him; everything from her polite smile and warm brown eyes, her creamy colored skin and shiny tresses.
All he could think of was jumping in front of her and revealing who he was. But that wouldn't be the best approach, especially not around all these people. And especially not with her insecurities; that would turn out to be a disaster. Instead he just casually stared, the closer she got the more intense it became. And then finally just a few feet away, Joel started to step out into the same aisle, pretending not to see her. She almost stopped to let him through, but he nodded at her to continue. And there, finally, their eyes met.
Joel noticed her eyes quickly lose grip of his. She looked uneasy and a little shy in that instance. He would dare even say that she looked like she was blushing. Then he heard a giggle between her and her friend. And before he could do anything else, he needed one more confirmation.
POET64: So what are your plans today?
He waited and kept on walking a few steps behind her. Not noticing that his buddy had caught on with his odd behavior. Ah hah! She took out her phone again and typed quickly.
DAYDREAMER: Talking with you on the phone later :)
Joel clenched his fist in victory as he read her text. Now to find out her name…
"Care to tell me what that was all about?" asked Joel's friend.
"It's quite the funny story David."
"That wouldn't happen to be the girl you have a crush on…would it?" David pointed.
"I'll explain it all in a second." Joel smirked. "Just follow me."
So they continued to follow the sophomore crowd back to their side of the building. Joel kept his distance but still had a clear visual. He watched his girl say goodbye to another classmate and leave. After a couple of seconds he walked over to that student and politely asked her what that girl's name was.
"Megan" Joel repeated slowly as if to memorize it.
After a full hour of venting all his feelings to David, Joel dropped his friend off his house and drove off to his own. He now knew her name and what she looked like, and couldn't wait till she knew who he was as well. Yet how was he supposed to contain all the excitement of knowing yet remaining as if nothing had happened? One thing was certain, it was sure going to feel amazing talking to her again and imagining her face talking back to him. She definitely was different and still everything he was hoping to find.
DAYDREAMER: Whatcha doing?
POET64: Waiting to talk to you, sitting on my porch.
DAYDREAMER: In your Porsche? Geeze, brag much?
POET64: How did you know I had one? Lol. Joking of course!
DAYDREAMER: Yeah right! Well I am pleased to say, I signed my name for the cheerleading tryouts next week :)
POET64: What? That's fantastic! :D
DAYDREAMER: Yes! I have you to thank for that. So thank you very much for believing in me, even though you don't know who I am :)
POET64: Yeah, about that…
DAYDREAMER: Oh no…what?
POET64: Oh yes! Let's meet. I think we're great friends it could only get better if we actually met. Trust me :)
DAYDREAMER: We will soon, I promise. All I ask is for your patience.
POET64: You are going to make me wait till after these tryouts aren't you?
DAYDREAMER: How did you guess?
POET64: As if these tryouts or making the squad were to determine your self- worth. You are so much more than that. Don't ever belittle yourself.
DAYDREAMER: Thank you, and as much as I appreciate what you just said, I've made up my mind.
POET64: Alright. Well I might have forgotten to mention that I have a game in an hour so I'm going to have to start getting ready here soon…
DAYDREAMER: oh okay. So no talking on the phone tonight? :(
POET64: I'd love to. I will text you when I'm back from my game. :)
DAYDREAMER: Great. Have a good game!
POET64: Oh and btw, 64 is my jersey number ;)
Joel and Megan talked all throughout the weekend. They shared childhood stories, among other things were the best and worst dates, favorite quotable movies, embarrassing moments and their families. Joel could tell she was so comfortable talking to him now and all he dreamt about was them hanging out on his couch talking like this for hours.
Come Monday, Joel had thought of the perfect plan to reveal himself to Megan. Her tryouts were on Tuesday after school and he had planned on being there. Luckily Joel had soccer practice, so he and his team mates decided to simply wear their clean jerseys to school today. Joel was going to make sure Megan saw him wearing his number.
His plan of action was to make sure she saw his number but not give away the fact that he knew who she was. So he got his friend to join in on his little scheme. David was already updated on everything Megan, so his job was to observe and report.
The bell rang for lunch break. The whole soccer team sat in their uniformed shirts at their table. David caught sight of Megan and told Joel of every move she made. Joel acted as normal, clueless of her existence for the time being. Regardless, he wanted to know when she'd finally notice him.
"Okay she is sitting a few tables behind you and her and her friends are looking over here. I think she's looking for your number." David announced quietly.
"Can she see you staring? Do we look too obvious?" Joel asked worried.
"Nah, we just look like we're talking like normal…oh wait. I think she finally saw your number on your back." David said with a blank stare, trying not to give away any suspicion.
"What's she doing now?" Joel said with his back still facing her direction.
"She just nudged her friend and pointed at you…now they're talking and she looks like she's turning… red."
"She's staring straight at you bro. She doesn't even realize I'm looking at her" David laughed.
"I can feel her piercing eyes on me…it's weird." Joel laughed quietly. "Okay, now I'm going to go throw this away across the room. And you watch how she reacts after I pass by her." he explained.
Joel did just that, in an ever so cool and smooth fashion, he carried his trash out of the cafeteria; making sure to glance at Megan and every other girl at her table. Once he was out, he waited around the corner for his buddy. A few minutes later he was reunited with David and waited eagerly for the details.
"Okay so, as you are walking by, her eyes were widening and her jaw even droped a little. Like she couldn't believe it was you. And after you left, her and her friend looked back. Her friend was pulling on her arm and had a goofy smile on. And Megan was bright red and rubbing her face with her hand. And I'm pretty sure she was saying 'oh my god'." David finished narrating.
"Wow man, thanks for the details!" Joel laughed.
David got a little embarrassed as he suddenly realized he probably sounded like a girl rambling off.
Joel lifted his eyes up to the ceiling, with his hands resting upon his head; thinking what to do now that she knows who he is. Was she going to act like nothing or tell him she knew? He guessed only the texts would tell.
Later on that day, in between the change of classes, Joel was walking down the hallway and out of nowhere he felt a sharp pain in his stomach. It took him a moment to realize it was because Megan was walking in the opposite direction, towards him. It took everything to fight the urge to stare at her. He knew that she was now going to look at him in question, trying to figure out if he knew like she did. But he didn't want to clue her in…not yet anyway.
He acted as though she were a nobody. But from the corner of his eye he saw her look longingly at him. He struggled not to look back. "Just one more day." He whispered aloud.
Joel perceived that Megan's texts that night were very superficial and short. He knew she was avoiding something. She did mention her tryouts and how thrilled she was. He wished her luck and told her to text him after she was done.
The day was too slow and agonizing. He couldn't wait for it to be 3:00 already. As Joel walked down towards the gym, he noticed girls scurrying off that direction all giddy and hyper. David accompanied him on the stands along with several other people. The gym remained fairly empty still. Once it was 3:30 a herd of girls came in and sat at the bottom rows of the stands. Immediately Megan stood out to him, though she looked too nervous to even realize that he was in the room.
3 cheerleaders in uniform came out with clipboards at hand. They gave instructions and a small demonstration that pertained to their routine. Afterwards they started calling the girls in pairs to perform their audition. It was then Megan's turn. Joel sat up and focused in on her; wishing she'd do well. The girls began to mimic the moves and every step Megan did she nailed, also incorporating her own style to it. Joel quickly noticed the cheer captain smile at her and knew she had a good chance of getting in. Now that that worry was out of his mind he could relax and observe her fully.
He couldn't understand why Megan didn't see and believe how beautiful she was. What was it going to take, other than this audition and the acceptance into the squad? After they had finished and sat back down, the cheer captain had just realized who was in the stands.
"Hey Joel and David, so glad you could join us. How do these girls look so far?" She spoke loud and clear.
"Amazing!" Joel shouted back without trying to sound too cocky.
He looked back at Megan who seemed now flustered knowing that he was there and had just seen her perform. He thought she couldn't feel that bad if he still supposedly didn't know it was her. Once all the girls were done the 3 cheerleaders huddled together momentarily. Then the captain called out a half of the girls on her list. The ones that remained were dismissed. Now round 2…
An hour later it was down to 4 girls, Megan included. Not once did she look back up at the stands. Joel understood why, with him being there it probably made her even more nervous. The head cheerleader told them to wait outside, so all 4 girls took their things and walked out. Megan did manage to escape one last look at Joel.
Joel watched the 3 girls discuss each audition. He overheard them saying they would only pick two.
"Carmen," Joel called out to the head cheerleader and walked down toward her.
"Did Megan make the cut?" He asked hopeful.
Carmen shot back an inquisitive look.
"Could you do me a huge favor?" Joel began.
One of the cheerleaders went out and called each girl individually. Megan was purposely the last one to get called in. When it was her turn, Joel saw her walk in very timidly. He stood in the center of the court, blocking her path. She already looked sad. He could only imagine that she thought she didn't make it. He took a couple of steps closer. And when she saw that he was heading in her direction, her eyes grew bigger as she began to smile bashfully.
The cheerleaders along with David sat and waited as they anticipated what was about to happen. Joel now stood before Megan with his hands in his pocket but with a smile that lit up the whole gymnasium. Megan's hands were clasped over her mouth hiding her smile and happiness.
"How long have you known it was me?" She spoke while biting down on her lip and puppy eyed.
"Since last week." Joel replied softly while leaning on his tippy toes.
He gave her his dashing smile that was guaranteed to make her weak at the knees. But for being overwhelmingly nervous she continued to make straight eye contact.
"Whatever the verdict is, I want you to know something…" Joel took his hand out of his pocket and boldly reached for hers.
She looked like she was beginning to turn pink then pale. He on the other hand was trying to control the whirlwind in his stomach he got whenever he'd see her, and now it was 10 times worse. But all to finally get to hold her soft hand and look at her face to face.
"I didn't make it did I?" She whispered.
"…I want you to know how awesomely beautiful I think you are. You stand out to me every time I see you in the halls or anywhere else for that matter. And I like you so much it hurts…in a good way." He smiled.
Her head began to fall as she kept on blushing but he grabbed her chin gently and slowly began to raise it to his level.
"You're that girl." He finished.
He watched her eyes glisten and at that moment it seemed like it was enough.
"And one more thing…" He said as he looked back at the audience.
"You made the squad!" The cheerleaders shouted gleefully in unison and ran to her to congratulate her.
In the midst of the hugging and praise, Megan never let go of Joel's hand. As soon as she was told when her first practice was, Joel escorted her out into the hall to get her things. Megan kept a firm hold on him, he wondered how she was feeling, what she was thinking. They kept walking in silence but the emotions were too loud and confusing.
"Why are you so quiet?" He asked while leaning by her locker, gazing.
"I can't believe…I feel like I'm day dreaming and I can't snap out of it…There's no freaking way I made the cheerleading squad! And I still can't get over the shock that the guy I have been texting was YOU!" She sighed.
"We both wanted different things. And we got them." He smiled while folding his arms.
"Now that you know who I am, you still want to continue…with this?" She asked doubtful while closing her locker door.
"I don't think you heard what I said earlier. And I don't want to be just close friends…"
"No way!" She exclaimed in disbelief as if thinking aloud to herself.
Joel scowled. Did she still not believe him?
"You don't want to go out with me?" He wanted to make sure he understood right.
"Do you even have to ask?" She assured him.
Joel took a step closer and placed her hand in his. He moved his fingertips over her wrist and felt her pulse racing, like it had been for a quite some time. He then took her other hand in his and placed it over his chest, so she too could feel how fast his heart was beating. She was speechless.
He looked in to her eyes one last time, searching for trust and a dwelling place.
"It is taking everything inside of me not to kiss you right now. I just thought you should know that in case you had any further doubts of how I feel about you." He finished.
He caringly kissed the top of her hand and walked away.