The light was streaming through his wavy, light brown hair as he leaned over me, his eyes boaring into my soul. I got lost in those piercing blue eyes just like you could get lost in an ocean. I had no idea how long we had been staring at each other with the look of pure happiness. This was pure happiness, being with him. It was like everything was right with the world. I had no obligations, no problems. It was just me and him. For the first time in my life I was truly content, overjoyed actually. And then he inched closer bringing his lips closer to mine. I could feel the anxiety building within me. I wanted to jump up and kiss him with more passion then I knew I had within myself, but I didn't. I didn't want to ruin this tender moment, so I let him come to me. His mouth was hovering over mine; I could feel his hot breath warm my face. He inched closer still. This was it the moment I was waiting for…
Beep, beep, beep. "Why?!" I shouted in pure frustration as I slammed down the off button on my alarm clock.
I should have known it was just a dream. It was too perfect. He was too perfect. I should have known that I could never get a guy like him. But it just seemed so familiar, so natural. No, I really should have known that this couldn't be reality. As I stumbled out of my bed I glanced at my image in the mirror. I gasped at what I saw staring back at me. It looked like some sort of tornado had attacked me in my sleep. My hair was a tangled mess, surrounding my face like a lion's mane, one that hasn't been brushed in about 10 years.
"Yep, definitely would never get a guy like him let alone any guy for that matter," I mumbled to myself as I walked into the bathroom in order to try to wash away my hideousness.
After trying to cleanse away my insecurities, which didn't happen, I made my lame attempt at putting on my makeup. I never was really good at it. It seems that the girl gene that enables every girl to do her hair and makeup perfectly and then look flawless but with little effort seemed to have skipped me. I wasn't like every other girl. I tried to be. I always wanted to be that gorgeous girl which made all the guys jump to attention to help her whenever she needed the slightest assistance. However, that girl was not me. I never had guys jumping to help me, let alone notice me even if I fell right in front of them. It seems like I am invisible to the opposite sex. All I managed was to put on a little mascara, scared that I would look like a clown otherwise.
"Agh. Why can't I just be pretty and cute, or at least decent!" I was fuming to myself while trying to pick out something to wear. I finally chose my common outfit of a black t-shirt and jeans. I critiqued myself in the mirror again. Bland; I am utterly bland. Nothing about me stands out, at least not in a good way. I have plain features, almost black wavy hair, dull brown eyes, and a slender build. Blah I thought to myself. It's not like I didn't want to look pretty, I just didn't know how to go about doing it. I am sure my outfit did nothing for my figure, that my hair style didn't work for my bone structure, and that my makeup didn't play up any good features, if I had any. Yet, I didn't know any better. I grew up with my mother telling me that natural beauty was the best beauty and that guys appreciated it more. I'm sure it was for her, she is gorgeous. She is 42 and looks like a model. With her perfect figure, to-die-for blonde hair, and bone structure that made women want to line up to see a plastic surgeon, she didn't need anything to enhance her beauty. I think her looks skipped a generation because I definitely didn't get them. I irritated myself even more by thinking of the comparison between me and her. I wonder if I was adopted.
"Audrey, are you awake yet? It's getting late!" called my mom from downstairs. My mom named me after Audrey Hepburn. She thought she was gorgeous and when she saw my brown hair and eyes, apparently I reminded her of the famous actress. Too bad I turned out to look nothing like the person who my identity was based off of.
I was still grumbling to myself as I was walking downstairs hoping that I would cheer up when I ate whatever wonderful breakfast my mom has concocted.
"Honey, don't forget you have to pick up Joshua for school today, his car is in the shop," my mom reminded me as she handed me a granola bar. "Sorry about breakfast, I guess we are both running a little late today," the remorse showing on her face as she glanced at the clock.
"Wait, you never told me that I had to pick up Josh," I accused with a glare as I mentally skipped over the fact that this breakfast wasn't going to calm me down. "I don't have any time and I look horrible today!" I continued to whine like I was a five year old. Josh was our schools pride and joy, the gorgeous quarterback that single handedly carried our team to state. He was the stereotypical homecoming king. He was also my mom's best friend's son and a year older than me; but, did he ever acknowledge my existence, no! I don't even blame him for ignoring me whenever I am forced to drive him to school. I mean who would want to lower themselves down to my level to even have a conversation with me.
"Well I knew you would argue about it, so I was trying to put it off. Plus, I think you look really cute today!" she encouraged trying to get me to somewhat cheer up.
Oh course she would say I look cute. She is my mother, so of course she isn't allowed to tell me the truth that I look like some hideous hag who was never going to get a guy.
"Fine," I mumbled not wanting to fight with her, she really is just trying to be nice.
"Thank you, sweetie. See you after work," she said with a kiss on my forehead as she headed out the door.
"No problem, after I drop him off I can just die because it will once again reinforce the fact that I am a social pariah," I announced somewhat sarcastically to myself since she had already left the room. This was going to be another demoralizing morning, me staring at him like there was no one else in the world, him ignoring me like the car was driving itself. Yep, it is going to be a fantastic start to my day.
As I drove up to his house in my 2004 Black Jetta, I saw his gorgeous body that looked like a greek god leaning against his garage. He sauntered over talking on his cell phone and climbed in my car without even chancing to glance in my direction. His conversation with his obviously preferred companion continued the whole way to the school. He seemed to be very interested in the football stats for the San Diego Chargers. It's all he talked about, football, the whole 10 minute drive to school. I mean, how much can you really say about some stupid football team. I was really just proud of myself for recognizing it was football. By the time I parked my car in front of our school, I felt like I had lost 10 minutes of my life. Josh's hotness level definitely just dropped a spot.
Weird, I thought to myself, this whole time I thought it was going to be him who was annoyed with me, but it was actually the other way around. Ok, I guess I did have to admit to myself that for him to be annoyed with me he would have had to acknowledge my existence. But I always hoped. Sometimes being invisible feels worse than being disliked. I would rather people make me feel like I was standing among them, instead I felt like their world is completely different than mine, but that theirs is definitely better and I would never get a chance to discover it.
As we got out of my car he darted away almost as fast as he could without being outright rude. I guess he didn't want to be seen with me, who would. I got out a little slower, collecting my books from the back seat of my car and looking around to see if I missed anything. I really was trying to take my time today; I knew Josh didn't want anyone to realize that he arrived with me. But I didn't do it just for him, it seemed like something was a little off today, like nothing was going as it usually did. This was weird because so far the day was perfectly typical. I let the thought drift out of my head as I took a second glance in my car before heading to English.
I just made it before the second bell rang, usually I am one of the first ones in the class. I don't go to most of my classes early, just this one. English was my favorite subject, you could write down anything you feel and be praised for it. It seemed to me that my thoughts came out more clearly when I write them down. If I try to say them out loud, they just become this jumbled mess that no one including myself understands. That isn't the only reason I like this class though, Mr. Black was my favorite teacher as well. He is extremely funny, and genuinely kind to me. He is the only person, besides my best friend, who regards me as a person. Not in that teacher student way, in the way that a person is supposed to act towards another person who they see the good in. Even though this thrills me to no end, he is my favorite for another reason. The most interesting reason in my point-of-view, Mr. Black is mysterious. Sure, he tells us stories of his life and treats us like peers so we feel like we know him. Yet there is something else. Some piece of the puzzle is missing to make Mr. Black complete. I always feel like he is intentionally leaving something out and I always come to class hoping that today might be the day that I figure it out. Until that day, I will settle for the information that all of the girls in my class know, that Mr. Black is seriously gorgeous. The way his black hair is just shaggy enough to fall lightly onto his face and his nicely structured features are only put to shame by his rock solid body. Oh, did I mention that he is only 22. Yeah, with him around English is everyone's favorite.
Even though I am usually enthralled with the books we read, today I just couldn't pay attention. My mind kept wandering back to the brown haired boy with the piercing eyes and I couldn't concentrate on anything else. Why couldn't I have just slept 10 more minutes? Couldn't the world allow me 10 small minutes of bliss? I am starting to think the universe has it out for me. God, did I do something to smite you that you are trying to punish me for? I couldn't help but question the forces that had power over everything. Don't you think I could just have one happy moment? Please. My pleading suddenly got disrupted when the bell rang for the next class rang. Great, I missed today's lecture entirely. Well, at least I was getting a good enough grade that one absent-minded day wouldn't be too problematic.
The next few of my classes drifted past like a daze. Different subjects were swirling into one another. Biology seemed to take forever, but I wasn't paying attention. I was just doodling swirls subconsciously on my paper while I was staring out the window into the sunlight of a gorgeous fall afternoon, wishing that I could be anywhere other than here. I wanted to be anywhere outside of this biology class, outside of this school, and outside of this small town of Crawley.
In Government, I started imagining myself packing up and actually leaving. I could take on a new identity. I could get a makeover move to a new school and no one would have to know how lame I used to be. All they would know what that there was a cool new girl at their school full of mystery and everyone wanted to talk to her to get a chance to unfold her secrets. I imagined that I would sleep in my car and work in restaurants in order to make good tips. I would save up enough until I could pay for my own tiny apartment and I would live like an adult, the only girl my age out on her own. I would be confident and carefree. I would finally get respect. The more I imagined this other life and the more I wished I had it, wished I was strong enough to go out on my own and do it, but I wasn't. I would never get the courage to do that. However, the biggest thing holding me back would be my mom. Ever since my dad walked out on us when I was five years old, we have been inseparable. We grew together as a moral support when he ran away. She needed me just as much as I needed her. I couldn't ever do that to her. I couldn't just pack up and leave. The more I thought about it, I couldn't really see me ever leaving. Sure, I would eventually move out of the house, I didn't want to be one of those 30 year old washouts living in their mother's basement. But, I couldn't move far away from her, she was one of the only good, solid things in my life.
The bell finally rang for lunch and I was ready for it. I didn't even realize how hungry I was, I guess my thoughts didn't let me pay attention to my grumbling stomach either. When I got in front of the cafeteria I stopped right outside the doors. The multitude of people walking right past me without seeing me usually would have bothered me, but right now I wasn't paying attention. My mind kept drifting. To no place in particular, just anywhere but here. I started to close my eyes and just relax letting my thoughts carry me. It felt like the wind that I was floating on was calling my name Audrey a sort of a whisper bringing me to who I wanted to become.
"Audrey! Hey are you okay?" asked Sam while poking my arm.
"Oh, hey, yeah I'm fine, just a little out of it today," I replied when I realized it wasn't the destiny calling my name, but my best friend instead.
"Yeah, I see that. Want to grab some food or what?" Sam asked with a questioning glance trying to determine if I had gone crazy.
"Definitely, I am starving," I exclaimed as we walked into the cafeteria. Sam has been my best friend since 6th grade. With her long blonde hair and fair skin she looked completely different from me. The 5'6 beauty has green eyes that I have always envied. She would probably be popular except for the fact that she had an eclectic style. She loved vintage which is actually really cool, but when you live in a town where people only like what is new and trendy, vintage doesn't work so well. I think that may be why we get along so well, we are both slightly different in our own way, me with my complete lack of self and her with her completely unique self. We are bonded souls who were destined to be best friends.
So as I follow my fellow kindred spirit to the lunch line I actually feel like I can be myself. When I am with people I care about it's like that, I don't care what the world thinks of me because at least I am not alone anymore.
Sam turns to say something to me, but I didn't catch it because my mind was getting away from me again.
"Hey, Audrey!" She almost yelled in order to get me to snap out of it. "Geez, what is with you today? I have never seen you daydreaming this much before."
The truth is I rarely ever day dream. I am usually focused on my work or my friend, keeping my mind busy. I have no idea why today I have been stuck in la la land.
"I don't know," was all I could reply. I really had no idea what was with me. But, I knew I should probably snap out of it or Sam would want to take me to a hospital to get my head checked. This was just that much out of character for me.
She just answered me with a skeptical glance and then walked away towards our usual table. I followed her like a little puppy glowering because she got caught doing something she shouldn't. Once we got to the table it seemed like all was forgotten of my little mental moment, Sam started talking about this random new guy who was in her class. In a small town like ours, a new arrival is something to gossip about, so everyone does. If I wasn't so out of it today I probably would have heard all of the conversations that were surrounding this new boy. People seemed to be obsessed. Everyone wanted to discover what was with him, but according to Sam, he didn't talk that much.
In a single moment, it seemed like the whole room grew silent. I looked around and realized why everyone was no longer talking in audible volumes. I felt the tightening in my chest and the gasp that came out of my mouth, but I couldn't hide the surprise that was written on my face. It was him.