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'This high school is almost paradise. It feels like I have everything here: good grades, nice teachers, and great friends. I have fun everyday just by being around everyone, yet I feel like there is something missing... but what? What could possibly be missing?'

"What are you making that face for, Brian?" asks Alyssa. I jump and stutter "Uhh.. What? Oh, hi!". She laughs and messes up my hair, "You always seem to be somewhere else, I wonder why that is..." she says suspiciously. I turn red as I always do and she smiles before running off. I continue to think as I was before. As I think I begin to walk, and being consumed by thought I am not paying attention to what was going on around me. After a while of wandering, I bump into someone, "What the- oh, sorry Brian. My bad." he says before continuing on his merry way. Who was that? He is in most of my classes but I have no idea as to who he is. How did he know my name? Although I guess that isn't so unusual, because for some odd reason, everyone in this school knows my name. With this being said, there is something different about this guy, but I can't put my finger onto why that is. I think I want to find out more about this mysterious guy, and his name would be a good place to start. "I'll ask Alyssa who he is, she knows everyone!" I mumble to myself. I set off to find her but before I could find her, I find him, kneeling on the floor pulling morning books out of his locker. He looks up at me and smiles. "Hey Brian, whats up?" he asks. I'm not good at talking to new people, so I begin to get nervous, "Oh! uh... nothing?" I mumble to him as I blush. He starts glaring at me, focusing on me, which begins to make me even more nervous and uncomfortable, when he points at me and accuses "You don't know my name, do you?". I shake my head and say no, waiting to see how he will respond. With the nervous state of mind I am in, I am expecting the worst possible reaction to this, but instead he just smiles and puts out his hand. "My name is John, John Russell. Your name is Brian Morris, right?". My eyes widen and I bluntly shouted "How do you know my name?" as if it were actually a surprise that he knew considering random people talk to me everyday. He laughs and confesses "I've heard it around." This introduction doesn't vary from many others, but this is still strange to me for some reason. He says he heard my name around, but where could he have heard it? We are in several classes together, might he have heard it from a teacher? But then I should have heard his name! I hope he doesn't think I'm antisocial or rude, I'm just extremely shy.

"Well? Are you going to shake my hand?" he asks. I am still incredibly nervous to the point where it becomes awkward, and I look down at my hands as if I was trying to decide which hand to use. He chuckles and approaches me, so I begin to panic because I don't know what he is going to do. I suppose my panic is unnecessary, for he just pats my shoulder and looks into my eyes. "See you later, Brian".

What a mysterious person this John is! He doesn't do anything different from what other people do but I get a certain gut feeling when he is around. It is as if he is hiding something, but what could he possibly be hiding? I couldn't begin to guess, but I want to find out. While contemplating on how I was going to do so, out of the blue I feel a tugging on my arm, "Brian! We are going to be late for homeroom! Move your butt hither!" Alyssa demands. The rest of that day I just couldn't stop thinking about John. What was so different about him? I began to notice him more often than I used to. Knowing where he sits at class and where he sits at lunch, even memorizing what classes he has and when, and all I had to do to find out was to listen closely. One may find that you can gather many details just by listening to everyday conversations. Even though I have only been aware of him for a day, and we don't talk much at all, I am very curious about him and what he might be keeping locked up. The day passes and it is the the next morning, when he approaches me and asks, "Are you coming to the Homecoming Dance this Friday?". What Homecoming Dance? I never heard anything about a Homecoming Dance. I am not even sure what a homecoming dance is for. All I know is that it is a big event. I don't like these big events because I find them very uncomfortable and unpleasant. Being around so many people at once sounds nerve-wracking. Even though there will be snacks there, I don't have any interest in attending the dance. Then again, maybe I should go, for this could be a good chance to further investigate this intriguing John. Besides, he seems so eager for me to go I wouldn't want to disappoint- Wait, what? Why do I care if a disappoint him or not? How can he have such an effect on me as no one else does? What are you hiding John? "Is that a no?" he asks, and I suppose I had a stern look on my face because he asked cautiously. "Oh! I.. I don't know..." I answer with a very unsure expression. He looks less intimidated, but somewhat disappointed. In spite of that he then smiles and says, "Well if you change your mind, I'll be glad to see you there!". He was ready to proceed walking somewhere else, but I smiled before he could do so. I feel like he invited me to come, which is like receiving a great compliment. I suppose me smiling was a shock to him, for his eyes widen and he comments,"That is the first time I've ever seen you smile. You should smile more often, you look better when you do." He then continues to walk away, and I turn around to see him off. He must have known I did this, because he then looks back and winks. Wow! What was that? He must have a really bold sense of humor to have winked like that! I feel like I know that about him, but what more can I find out about him? Butterflies fly frantically in my stomach just by thinking about it!

Several days go by and I continue to observe him. I am finding other small details about him, such as his fear of public speaking. It is now the day of homecoming, and everyone is very excited to go. I later told him I wasn't going, but he seemed so disappointed. Alyssa and her friend Brittany have also asked me to come to the dance, but I still said no. If only I could have kept my word on that, but I couldn't stop thinking about John and the thought of me possibly finding out his secret by going to the dance, so I decided to show up. I go in a white stripped black collared shirt and dark blue jeans. Regardless of if this sounds stylish to wear or not, I feel as if I look like a whale. The shirt is one size too small and I'm not the skinniest person in the world so it probably looks bad, but no one seems to notice. I scan the gym to look for people I know, for most of these people are in the upper class levels. Then I see a group of people from my class, the freshman class. They notice me and scurry over to me exclaiming "Hi!" and "You actually came!". For whatever reason people love to talk to me, which is ironic because I don't talk much at all. Everyone is coming out tonight for this dance as if were prom, because everyone looks so dressed up. I continue to look around for other people I know when I see John, he is standing towards the center of the gym under a blue light. He is wearing half open button down shirt with a black tank top underneath, black jeans, and subtle chains dangling from his neck. This may not be impressive to other people but it caught my eye! I wish I could clean up that nicely! I was going to go over to him and say hi, hoping to surprise him by approaching him first for once, but before I could do anything he saw me came running over, "Brian! You actually came!" he exclaimed. He put his hand out for what I thought was a handshake, but instead he gripped my hand and pulled me into him, and was bear-hugging me. I didn't hug him back, for it happened so fast I don't feel there was enough time for me to react. Wait, why do I care if I didn't hug back? Why did I even allow that to happen? Normally I would have resisted if anyone else were to pull something like that. Normally I wouldn't waisting thought on a person such as him, a person I barely know. What if-

"Brian! You actually showed up!" shouted someone behind me. I turned around to find that It was Alyssa and another girl I don't know. "Hey Alyssa, who is your friend?" I politely ask, and she immediately responds, "Oh yea! Brian, this is my friend Felicia" she announced as she pushes her friend forward. I believe she has told me about Felicia before, that this is her friend from elementary school. Alyssa and Felicia then take me to the other side of the gym and I see some of my other friends there, such as George who was the first friend I ever made in this school. He randomly started talking to me during a free period, which is ironic because he is so shy towards other people. Then there is Brittany and her boyfriend Joe. I don't know Brittany well, all I know is that she is just good friends with Alyssa, and because both she and I are friends with Alyssa, the three of us are usually together. I had never met Brittany's boyfriend before, but he seems nice. The night continued, my friends and I had fun, talking, gossiping, joking laughing, and we even did alittle dancing. Eventually the dance was over and everyone began to leave. For some odd reason I feel like the night is incomplete. Is there something I didn't do? What could possibly be missing? Then it hits me, I didn't find out his secret or even anything new, which the reason I came to this dance in the first place. I only saw him once or twice, mingling and dancing just as everyone else was. I feel like this night was a waste, although I suppose I had fun. Then all of a sudden I feel a patting on my back. I turn around and there he is, standing there, smiling at me. But this smile was different, it wasn't a smile of his usual good humor, it seemed to be more from satisfaction."Thanks for coming tonight, Brian. It means a lot." he says, but after saying so, he continues to smile and look into my eyes for what feels like an eternity. What.. what is going on here? Why can't I say anything? Moreover, why isn't this awkward? Normally this type of silence is awkward right? What is it about you that makes everything different? He pats my shoulder and leaves. Now the night feels complete, and now I think I know why. He isn't mysterious, he isn't suspicious of a secret, he isn't hiding anything. He is not the one who is different, it is me. I stared at him and his great clothes because I admired them, but that and him and under the blue light were jaw dropping. I think he looked dazzling, just as a god would. I didn't resist his hand because I enjoyed the contact. It is all clear to me now, but what do I do about it? I made my way outside into the bright night to look up to the moon. I don't know what I can do about this, I don't know if good will come of this, but there is something I do know now. I begin to tear as I gaze at the moon and it's beaming white light, and I whisper to the sky, the moon, the stars, as if I were announcing to the whole world in its entirety. I know whats missing now, and without this my life is far from paradise.

It is you.

"I love you, John Russel."

TO BE CONTINUED