At the end of my sophomore year in high school, my family decided to host an exchange student. It took a long time before we finally chose who we wanted to stay with us, his name was Robin and he was from Germany.
. . .
My family and I were standing at the airport one hot August afternoon. My mom took a sip of water while my dad stood as lookout, making sure we didn't miss him.
And then, there he was.
He walked slowly, glancing around him every couple of seconds, until his eyes locked on mine. God, he's even more gorgeous in real life. I thought. The exchange program had sent us a black and white photo of him, but it certainly didn't compare.
His face broke into a smile when he realized that I was noticing him. I smiled back and waved at him, hoping that he recognized me. He did.
"Hello Langley family." He said as he walked over to us. Even his accent was beautiful. "It's me, Robin." He said with a smile.
"So nice to finally meet you, Robin." My mom said with a grin. "We hope you enjoy living with us."
"Oh, I'm sure I will." Robin said as he made eye contact with me once more. I blushed and glanced down at my feet.
Perhaps it was bad idea to have a good looking guy stay with us. I thought. Eh, who cares? Who wouldn't want an attractive boy to stay with them? I was snapped out of my thoughts when my father tapped my shoulder.
"Corinne?" he asked. He continued when I looked up at him. "Robin asked you a question."
"Oh." I murmured. I looked Robin and waited.
"Will we be in the same grade?" Robin asked. I nodded and then blushed again when I realized we would probably have classes together.
By now we were all standing in front of the car, my parents loading Robin's luggage. I heard footsteps come up next to me and I looked up to see Robin once more.
"You're not very talkative, are you?" he asked.
"No." I said softly. "I'm actually quite shy when I first meet people."
"Well I guess we'll have to get to know each other then." He said with a smile. Was he seriously flirting with me? "Since you know, we'll be living together." Nope, guess not.
"Yeah." I said as I climbed into the car.
. . .
The drive home was very quiet. Robin would ask a question every so often and usually my parents would answer, which was good. It wasn't until we returned home that things started to get a little more interesting.
. . .
"You're putting him the room right next to mine?" I asked my dad in disbelief. He nodded as he sat Robin's large suitcase on the guest room bed. Actually, the room next to mine used to be the office. Now it had been transformed into a bedroom so a highly attractive boy could sleep right next to me. My parents obviously hadn't thought this one through.
"Would you rather him sleep downstairs, Corinne?" My mom asked. "We just thought he would feel more part of the family if was upstairs with us."
"Um, OK. That makes sense." I mumbled. A few seconds later Robin walked up next to me and put his arm around my shoulders. I tried not to blush, but I failed entirely.
"What are you doing?" I asked. Robin looked down at me and smiled. "What?"
"Does this make you feel awkward?" he asked. I nodded and he chuckled but removed his arm. "I'm sorry." He said.
"Sure…of course you are." I turned and walked into my room, sitting on my bed.
This was a very bad idea. I should have never talked my parents into a boy exchange student. I thought. I grabbed the book "Modelland" off of the floor next to my bed and began to read. Believe it or not, but it's actually a really good book.
I read for a while before venturing out of my room. When I walked past Robin's room, the door was closed but I could hear music from behind the door. Although I couldn't understand a word of it because it was in German; it sounded sad. I wanted to open the door and make sure he was alright, but I decided against that and continued on my way to the basement.
There was absolutely nothing on TV, just little kid shows. I wish we didn't live in such a boring place. I thought. I sat on the couch and day dreamed for a while before falling asleep for a short nap, only to wake up to a pair of blue eyes staring into mine.
. . .
I opened my eyes wide with surprise and sat up quickly, knocking our heads together. "Ow!" I exclaimed. I rubbed my forehead and waited for Robin to move before sitting up again.
"Are you following me around or something?" I asked. Robin gave me a confused look and scooted farther away from me.
"But of course not." He murmured. "I am simply curious."
"Curious of what?" I demanded while narrowing my eyes. "I'm a normal 16 year old girl. I don't do anything special." Robin tilted his head to the side. "What?"
"Oh, it's nothing." He said. "I suppose I'm just trying to make friends with you. But it isn't working. Also, I am already beginning to miss my girlfriend…" Robin said.
"I'm sorry, Robin." I said. "But we need to get to know each other before we can be friends." I paused for a moment and tried to hide my chagrin. "I didn't realize that you have a girlfriend. It must be hard." I looked down at the floor and then stood to walk away.
"Where are you going?" he asked.
"But why do that when you could stay with me?" Robin asked. OK, what is with this guy? He says he has a girlfriend and then asks me to stay with him. Are Germans man whores or something?
I decided not to respond and marched upstairs. This boy is confusing. I thought. I don't think I'm going to survive this year.
Robin only had a week to settle in before school started. Both of us were going to be juniors at my small high school. Three days before the first day of school, I drove him to see the guidance counselor and schedule his classes. The drive out was a little awkward. Neither of us spoke. We simply say in silence with him glancing over at me every so often.
It was hot inside of the school, they obviously didn't believe in air conditioning. "Follow me." I said to Robin. Robin followed silently behind me, looking all around him. "What do you think?" I asked him. He strode up next to me and smiled.
"I think it is great." He said. "Although it's smaller than my school back in Germany." He was silent for a few moments then turned to me. "Will we have any classes together?" he asked. I glanced down at my shoes and shrugged.
"It's a possibility." I said. We arrived at the counselor's door, but Robin stopped me from opening it.
"Do you not like me Corinne?" Robin asked with a frown. "Because if you don't, I can find another family to live with..."
"It's not that Robin. I do like you, but I've never had a boyfriend, let alone lived with a boy. I guess I just feel a little awkward. That's all." I said. Apparently the only thing Robin got out of that was that I had never had boyfriend.
"You have never had a boyfriend? He asked with surprise. I rolled my eyes and nodded. "But why? You're…never mind." He said. "Let's just go in now."
"Um, OK." I said as I pushed the door open.
. . .
The meeting was very boring. At the end of it though, Robin ended up being in my English class and Spanish III class. Funny. I didn't even know that he could speak Spanish.
We walked out of the building in silence. God it was hot outside. Robin glance over at me and frowned.
"Are you sure you're OK with me being in classes with you?" he asked me once more. "It really seems like you don't want me to have class with you. Will my presence make you nervous?"
Honestly? I wasn't sure if he would or not. My main concern was what my classmates would think. "I, um. I'm not sure." I stammered. "I suppose I will feel better when we get to know each other better." Robin looked down at the ground as we made it to my car. He frowned and then continued to open the car door. "Are you okay?" I asked him.
"I'm fine." He said after sighing. Robin slid into the passenger seat silently and waited for me to get in.
What is this guy's problem? I thought. I got in the car and started the engine, then sat for a few moments. "Robin…" I said. He looked over at me, his blue eyes glazed over. "Are you really fine?" I asked. He looked down at his lap and shook his head no. "Then what's wrong?"
"I…I really want you to like me, but I feel like you don't want me here." He said. I was stunned. "I just really want us to be friends Corrine." He said. "But you act like…how they say it? You avoid me like I am the plague? Yes, that's it." Robin said slowly.
"Robin I…" I had no idea he felt this way, that I was the one making him feel this way. "I'm sorry. I didn't know I was making you feel this way." I looked over to see him still staring at his lap. "But I mean…I'm kind of nervous because I mean…" I was having a hard time figuring out how to say this. "Look Robin. You're really attractive. And I don't know how to act around boys, especially cute ones." I said while blushing wildly. I stared out the window and waited for him to respond.
"That's it?" he asked exasperated. "You are afraid of me because you find me attractive?" Then he started laughing. I whipped my head towards him and narrowed my eyes. Why the hell was he laughing?! It took a lot for me to say that! "I'm sorry," He said between laughs. "but don't you think that I'm afraid too? I'm in a new country, new school, new family, and you're nervous because you think I'm cute? That's just a little ridiculous." He said.
I frowned at him and drove out of the school campus in silence. Jerk. I thought. Robin looked over to see me boiling and stopped chuckling.
"Corrine, I truly am sorry. He paused. "And for the record, I find you attractive too." I looked over to find him blushing a deep red.
What? I thought.