For some inexplicable reason, she was drawn to him like no other. He would always be the first one that she would locate in a crowd, even if the hallway was jammed pack. Her eyes always wanted to linger on him for just a bit longer, to study and memorize every tiny detail of his face, but she had to force herself to turn away before he caught her looking. If he even bothered to look her way, that is.
Freshman year. That was when she first met him.
It was just shortly after three, twenty minutes after the bell rang, signalling that school was free for that day. Having nothing better to do on a Friday afternoon, she loitered around, shuffling her feet against the tile floors with the tip of her left Converse as she waited for her friends.
They decided to take a shortcut to the first hall by going outside, but as they reached the door, she tugged on it, realizing that it was locked. She pounded on the door, peering through the sliver of glass only to see there was one lone person that was far away. She waved through the glass, hoping he would see her, but was left disappointed when the guy veered to the left. Crestfallen, she backed away from the door, letting her friends take over the job of getting someone's attention.
Two minutes of waiting, they discussed alternative routes back into the building and settled on going through a side door when the door propped open. She thanked the teacher, who was on their way home for the weekend, and the three of them slipped inside and ducked into the first classroom on the right, turning in their application for Beta Club.
All of that had taken them approximately less than a minute and once again, they were bored.
The three of them hung around in the empty hallway, chatting for a couple of minutes before the light streaming from their right caught their attention. Her friend was the first to peer into the classroom, followed by herself.
There weren't many people in the classroom and she thought one of the people in there looked familiar, but she wasn't sure. When the teacher noticed them in the doorway, she invited them in, but she politely rejected the teacher.
It looked like they were doing math problems? On a Friday afternoon?
She frowned to herself before taking a step backwards. Her two friends were discussing something, but she wasn't paying attention. Her eyes were glued onto the guy who was just exiting the classroom, wearing a red Under Armor hoodie. He muttered an "Excuse me" to which she immediately moved out of the way so she wasn't the blocking the entire doorway and watched as he walked down the hall and made a right, towards the direction of the bathroom.
It had only been a brief five seconds, but ever since then, she couldn't get him out of her mind.
So she plotted. After finding out that the person she had seen was indeed one of her friends, she asked how she could join the club. She tried to play it cool, like she was joining because she was interested and in her defense, she always liked math, but she was more interested in the guy who captivated her attention at the first meeting.
Week after week, she was left disappointed as the club meeting was cancelled since it was the Friday before spring break and then it was spring break. After that, she went to one meeting before finals consumed her life. And the one meeting? He wasn't there.
And then she became a sophomore. Since the first meeting began, she attended each and every one of them and while he was usually there, but sometimes he was late since the timing conflicted with another club he was in. Regardless, she would always stay until he came, which was usually the time when people started leaving.
His favorite seats were the ones located in the back corner or off the side. If there was already a crowd of people sitting together, he would always make sure to leave one seat in between him and the next person. His best friend was a blond boy, who was as easily as soft spoken as him.
He kept to himself. He rarely spoke, beyond discussing math problems with his blond friend or with the teacher. When prompted a question, he would answer quietly and straight to the point. When joked with, he would let out a small laugh, but never say anything to continue the joke.
She eventually learned his name, not through proper introductions, but simply from the sign in sheet that was always located at the front of the room. His handwriting was neat, almost cursive like, and he almost always wrote with a black pen or pencil.
Sometimes she would pass him in the hallway and her mind would always freeze up for a second, wondering if she should wave in greeting or just keep walking. Before she could make up her mind, she was already walking past him, but she saw the small flicker of recognition in his dark eyes as they made eye contact as they passed.
Further into the semester, she purposely hung around in the hallways so she would arrive late to the meeting and take a seat near him, but never right next to him. Since they moved around so much during the meeting anyways, it wouldn't be too suspicious for her to drop her backpack in a seat near him.
During the times she sat near him, her mind was constantly racking for an excuse to talk to him. The one time she actually gathered the courage to say something, he didn't hear her, which dampened her spirits altogether.
What was there to talk about anyways? He was a junior and she was a sophomore and they shared none of the same classes. From her observations, she only knew the superficial stuff about him and not anything about his likes, dislikes, and hobbies. The only thing she knew for certain was his passion for math, but even then, his math level was already leagues ahead of hers.
Her prying friends eventually found out as much as she tried to hide it. Even though his identity was still unknown to them, they encouraged her to go after him. After accidentally revealing too many details, one of her friends questioned her boyfriend, who was also a junior at the time, of people who possibly fit her description and found out his name. She had been shocked at the time, immediately jumping to the conclusion that her boyfriend would figure it out and inform him.
Thankfully, there was no change in his behavior towards her, but that wasn't what she wanted either. At least he didn't know or he acted like he didn't know.
Then one day, they spoke for the first time. She had been talking to a friend about something and he interjected into the conversation with a couple of words and she happily replied to his comment. When he answered her question with a one word answer, she knew that the conversation had died. To cover up her disappointment, she turned back to speaking with her friend.
Even so, that gave her renewed hope. Having been patient for so long, since neither of them were really the sociable type, it didn't hurt her to wait a little longer.
The semester ended and during winter break, she didn't think about him at all. When the semester started again, she figured that she might have gotten over him, but from the moment she saw him exiting the classroom across the hall from her chemistry class after first period in his trademark red hoodie and newly issued textbooks in the crook of his arm, she knew she wasn't over him, not with the way her heart fluttered at the sight of him.
Having finally figured out a part of his schedule, she began to like B days more than A days because that was when she would see him exiting AP Psychology classroom every morning right as she left chemistry, if she was fast enough.
He always liked to be one of the first people out of the door.
Upon learning this tiny fact, she almost regretted not signing up for AP Psychology, a class that she considered taking when she was making her schedule at the end of freshman year, but she was glad she didn't. Sure, they would have been in the same class, but more time wouldn't have made a difference.
She was still too shy to make a move.
Soon February came and she found herself on a school bus on her way to a math competition, located an hour away from their school. Among the participants, he was one of them and they were placed on the same team, after she volunteered to be placed on the varsity team to avoid the dilemma of uneven teams.
The morning of, despite waking up at the time she did on a regular school day on a Saturday, she was hyped as she chatted with her friends and asked last minute questions about upper level topics that they managed to teach her the day before. She was hyper aware that he was sitting directly to her diagonal left and out of the corner of her eyes, she attempted to find an opening to rope him into a conversation, but he opted for sleeping.
Though it was a disappointment as it was another missed chance, even that wasn't enough to dampen her mood for the competition because she genuinely was excited for it.
They were in the same room for the individual written test, but she didn't know exactly where because for once, she was focused solely on the test at hand. Despite not recognizing what half of the problems were asking or some of the symbols used, she tried her best and made educated guesses and double checked her work on the problems she knew how to solve.
She walked out of the exam room, feeling relieved, but also determined that she would do better next year. The questions weren't impossible; it was her lack of knowledge that was dragging down the team. There was no question that she scored the lowest among the four member team.
After finally getting her lunch after waiting in a ridiculously long line, she plopped down at a table next to the teacher, who had the answer key for the written exam and she immediately took the opportunity to check her answers. Much to her surprise, he and his blond friend sat down at the table as her.
For two guys who were above her in math, it came to a shock to her when they began discussing the questions over lunch and even valued her input on how she solved those problems. The blond friend was even impressed with her for a couple problems where she literally guessed the correct answer by the minimal trigonometry knowledge she possessed.
That was the first time she had a conversation with him that lasted more than two minutes, but that was also the last time.
The second round was team based, with pairs solving problems in under a minute. Naturally, he opted to be paired with his blond friend as it was clear that he was more comfortable working with him, so that left her to be paired with her friend.
The excitement combined with the adrenaline of being under a time limit made her more hyped than she had been. Each time, they got a question correct, they would hold up the manila folder where they painted a giant smiley face on to the rest of their team so they could score keep.
After correctly solving a particularly hard question, she turned her head towards the bleachers, waving the manila folder in the air. She made eye contact with him and he hesitantly waved back, as if he wasn't sure if she had meant to wave at him or maybe he was waving at the team that was next to her. Regardless, that was enough to put a smile on her face for the rest of the day.
Things returned to a semblance of normalcy where they would acknowledge each other with a slight head nod when they saw each other, but didn't exchange any words. Where her eyes would always land on him first when he was in the vicinity. Where her mind would rack up ideas of how to begin a conversation with him, but always backed out in the end.
The school year ended and then she soon found herself to be a junior and he, a senior. This year, she was on club leadership, but the teacher had been gone for the first few weeks of school for a family emergency so their club meetings were delayed. That meant she didn't get to see him as she no longer had any idea of what his class schedule looked like now.
As a senior, he was considerably busier than he had been before so the time spent at the club had lessened, especially since he was on leadership for the other club whose meetings coincided with math club. Between his stacked class schedule, applying for colleges, other commitments, she saw him less and less.
The competition came around again, but this time he didn't attend because it happened to be on the same day as the competition for his other club. She went and still had a lot of fun, despite being forced to admit that she had a crush on a certain someone to her friends knew very well. Despite their endless teasing and suggestions to do something about it, she knew that her secret was safe with them.
When she heard that he had won a couple of medals at his competition, it placed a smile on her face even though it meant a missed opportunity to spend the day in his presence.
The end of the year was rapidly approaching and she knew that she was running out of time because soon he would be walking across that stage and subsequently out of her life, even if he didn't know it.
Two years and some months later, he still didn't know about her crush on him. It frustrated her friends, to the point where one of her friends threatened to tell him if she wouldn't do it herself. She assured him that she would tell him at graduation, that way if he rejected her, she wouldn't have to see him again.
During graduation practice, her friend texted her informing her that he was sitting next to him. During graduation, she heard his name being called and watched him walk across the stage from afar. She texted her friend to grant him the permission to tell him that she liked him.
But her friend respected her too much to do that, so he left that day without knowing.
And he still didn't know.
She thought that was the last time that she would ever see him, so she pushed all thoughts of him to the back of her head.
Senior year. This year, she was going to focus solely on her studies, applying to colleges and scholarships, and running the math club as she had taken over as the club's president.
She knew that he had a younger brother after she had once seen him in the hallways and noted that they were strikingly similar appearance wise, enough for anyone to assume that they were twins if they stood side by side, but as she got to know the younger one more, she realized their personalities were completely opposite. While he was more reserved and what would be considered the "silent type," the brother was very hyper, very social, and very strange.
A brief thought crossed her mind that maybe if his personality was more like his brother's then they would have become friends, but she quickly banished those thoughts from her head. He wouldn't have been him if he didn't have his personality and that was one of the things that she liked about him.
Through his brother, she found out some things about him, like which university he went to and what his major was, but she took in the information with indifference. It didn't matter because she wasn't going to pick her university based on where he was.
She didn't think about him once the entire year.
It didn't really hit her that she had moved on until she saw him again, after she promised his brother that she would pass a message to him since the brother didn't have any cell reception. It was the end of the school year and as a senior, she was able to leave early, so she promised that she would pass along the message on the way out.
She knocked on the window to his car door, about to initiate a conversation for the first time. But this time, there wasn't any planning of what she was going to say or thinking about what his response would be.
When the window rolled down, she noticed that his facial hair grew out and his hair was longer than it had been when she had last seen him. She passed along his brother's message to him in two sentences and he nodded his gratitude.
And then she left.
There was plenty of opportunity to ask him follow up questions about advice for college or something along those lines, but she didn't take it because when the window rolled down, she realized that she had been focused on how he had changed over the past year. No longer was there the fuzzy feeling in her chest or the desire to keep looking at him.
She waited, watched, and wished for more than two years.
In the end, she moved on.
A/N: Hi guys!
So I had the crazy idea of revamping one of my old one shots that I wrote more than two years ago. If you read the original version, it was less than 700 words based on a writing prompt of writing about the first word that comes to mind. For me, that word was: crush.
In the original version, I felt that I was limited by the word limit, which made me squeeze so many events into a couple of sentences, so this is basically the fleshed out version, even though there's literally not much to say.
One of the main critiques that I received from my original version was that this story had no character names so it made it hard to distinguish who was who from just "she/he," so I tried my best to define the other characters based on their relationship to the main. For the most part, most of the pronouns refer to the leads.
The reason why I don't use names is that this is a true story, so I literally cannot imagine calling these characters any other names than their actual names, but that would be too personal, so I left it as such. I hope you can understand.
With that being said, the first version was written as this was all happening, so it didn't really have an ending. It left off on a hopeful note, but this version is written after the fact, so it has a concrete ending. And it is what you have read above. If you are interested in reading the original version, it's posted in the next chapter. I left it up so you guys can see both versions. :)
I would really appreciate feedback on this, but thank you for taking the time to even click on my story! It means the world to me!