My friend's been dating this guy since 7th grade.
I always secretly wanted a cutesy high school romance too.
I never got one.
So I decided to give it to one lucky, imaginary character named Amy.
Not-to-do #1: Ask for his number, not his pencil.
And there goes the bell. Happy Monday.
Mrs. Smith: two kids currently in college, happily married, lives within walking distance of the school, loves gardening, baking and her weekly sewing club.
Just screams typical English teacher in her fifties.
Even her name is so normal.
Then how the heck is she so cool?
Mrs. Smith is ridiculously funny. She even gets the occasional grin from the school's resident emo, Max. My best friend Sarah once had to ask to go to the bathroom because she was about to wet herself.
She's almost everyone's favorite teacher.
After first period today, she was mine too.
After a long weekend workshop, Mrs. Smith decided that it would a good time to experience with a new creative writing exercise.
"Okay, kiddos. Here's what's happening today," she strolled down the aisle of desks, slapping some kid awake on the back of his head. "Rise and shine, Luke. Don't you dare ask me for five more minutes. I am not your mother. Or your father. That was a joke, students, you may laugh."
Luke sat up sheepishly as some of the girls giggled, and Mrs. Smith continued, "So. Sometimes story writing is about getting into the characters' position. You really have to put yourself in their shoes. And no, Nick, not literally. None of us want to smell your socks."
Nick began to tie his shoes again.
"As our creative writing exercise this week, you're going to be exchanging notes with someone. I will give each person a character, and you must have a conversation with your partner IN THAT PERSONA. Understood?" Mrs. Smith scanned the room with a cocked eyebrow.
"Thank you to my devoted sea of bobbing heads. I'm going to assign partners and there will be a hat of character slips being passed around. Pairs and characters are final. Till death do you part."
There was, of course, a general hubbub of noise as we crammed in short conversations while the hat was passed from person to person.
"I'm going to die if I'm partnered with Dylan. He's such a hottie," simpered Hope.
Ahh, Hope. That bitch.
My school has a thing for misleading names.
Take me, for example. Amy Miller? Probably the typical blonde girl, really quiet, does well in school, short, subtly girly, and has a longstanding crush on the hot guy that doesn't know her name.
Okay, I lied. My name fits me like a glove.
"Well Hope, I'm sure he's got his fingers crossed for you too," I reassured. Yeah, wishing that you'll fall in a ditch and not come to school for the rest of the year, like everyone else is.
"Aww, Amy, you're such a sweetie," Hope pinched my cheeks and blew me a bright-red-lipsticked kiss.
"Miss Mallon, do you think you could keep your hands and saliva-borne diseases to yourself? Thank you," Mrs. Smith smiled sarcastically at Hope.
As soon as Hope pouted and turned to face forward, I wiped off her kiss.
"Okay, here we go. Anthony with Kathy, Sara and Chris, Sophia with Toby," Mrs. Smith rattled on and on. "Amy and Dylan, Karen and Matt, Hope and Nick. That's it. Move, quickly, and I expect writing in the next 3 minutes. Or I'll eat all those chocolate chip cookies in the back by myself."
Desks pushed together, backpacks thrown across the room, textbooks slamming on desks, and I could still hear the sound of Dylan's footsteps making its way from the other side of the room. Or was it my heartbeat?
I was such a goner.
"Honey, lay so much as a finger on him, and I will claw your eyes out until blood drips to your toes," Hope patted me gently on the shoulder and trudged mournfully over to her partner.
Poor Hope. The only work Nick ever did in English was a 2 part analysis of female assets. I pitied her, just a little bit.
Oh, who was I kidding. I hate her. And her boobs.
"Girl, if looks could kill, Hope Mallon would be six feet under."
"Eh? Is that how we greet best friends now? Well. Eh, Amy," she rolled her eyes and looked at the ceiling for emphasis.
"She wants him."
"Why are you referring to yourself in third person?"
"Shut up. Hope does."
"Oh. So do you. It was an honest mistake. She can't help it if Dylan's-"
"If I'm what?" Dylan slid in the seat next to me. "Hey there, Amy."
OH MY GOD. OH MY GOD. HE KNOWS MY NAME. HELL HAS TURNED INTO A GIANT CREAMSICLE.
"What am I, chopped liver?" Sarah grumbled at her next-door neighbor.
"Baby, chopped liver ain't gorgeous like you are," Matt schmoozed.
Yup. Dylan's best friend had it bad for my best friend. I couldn't blame him; Sarah's gorgeous.
"You two go away. We got work to do. Bye Sarah, my dear, darling neighbor. Are you happy?" Dylan threw Matt's backpack at the next empty table over.
Be still my throbbing heart. He's still six inches away. "Okay, so what are you supposed to be?"
"I am your modern Prince Charming. My goal in life is to sweep some poor girl off her feet and ride off into the sunset in a black Mercedes," he swung his arms out wide and smiled.
Damn his perfect, white teeth. And his gorgeous biceps. Oh my, was that a six-pack?
I smiled faintly back, "Well, sorry I'm not a damsel in distress."
Dylan grabbed the crumpled paper from my hand. "An elderly gentleman, living with 3 cats. Loves to do the disco, and gives horrible advice.""
"Yeah, I'm a man, not even a damsel."
"I wouldn't say that," he winked. "I've never talked to such a pretty old man before."
I blushed. Darkly.
Talk about the perfect "insert pick-up line here" moment.
Was he actually flirting with me? Oh my walnuts.
"We could talk then…" I offered shyly.
"Class. I want to see pencils on paper. Moving pencils, Nick."
Crap. I left my pencil case in my locker.
Dylan pulled out a sheet of paper and a pencil, and eyed me.
"Oh, really? Talking? And how do you suggest that?" he smiled innocently.
I'm actually going to do this? Really? "Well, you could give me your—"
Mrs. Smith shot me a Miss-Miller,-why-are-you-still-talking look.
"...num-pencil. Your other pencil. I forgot mine. "
Was that disappointment on his face? It was probably just me.
"Oh. Sure. Here. You can have my pencil anytime."
I broke eye contact, blushing, as we both realized what he just said. He looked down and started to write.
End of one-sided flirting for today.
But he knows my name.
And he thinks I'm pretty.
And at the end of class, he let me keep his pencil. Of the writing variety.
I love you, Mrs. Smith.
I'd love to hear what you thought(: