I couldn't remember the last time she noticed me. Might have been when she dropped her pencil a couple of weeks ago and I, without thinking, picked it up. There's no way I would have done it if I knew it was hers.
Katie was a firebrand. A strong, intelligent woman who was adamant in her ideas but lacked the ability to show the boys who admired her piety. Which there was a lot, and I was one of them
Even at the age of sixteen she knew what she wanted. She knew about the political environment that plagued this country and was resolute that feminism would solve it all.
She was all of this. Neatly bundled beneath a chocolate curved bob that's color only intensified her emerald eyes. Freckles lined her pale nose pulling the attention from her dangerously curved body that only grasped it back when she required it.
I never really understood what she meant by that but she wore assorted dresses, skirts and leggings during that time. She would be livid if she knew that all I could think about was the color her panties. As if her intimates were an artful doorway into her soul.
I knew I would never know. I mean, she was a pale petite firebrand who would scorch, insult, and destroy anyone who stood in her way. Kryptonite for an awkward introvert like me, even being so damn beautiful.
So, I kept my distance, or, tried to at least.
Having three out of five classes with her made that nearly impossible. Math, Science and Spanish, also the only three classes where I had a C average. What a coincidence.
But even in choosing the life of a wallflower, there are times I falter. Times where I have to go to the white board and set the days since 'being noticed' back to zero. Times like today.
"So you have this group of old white men whom 'by the grace of God' think they can sit in Washington making thousands off the back of working women while, also, making decision that are 'in our best interest.' It's bullshit!" she snaps to a fit blonde whom I didn't know. I paid little to no attention to other girls when Katie was around.
Wait, is that against feminism?
"You are so right! I think we should just do away with all of it!" She replies in a nasally voice. Which is fine. I don't care if one has a nasally voice but if one is stupid, well that's a different story.
"And destroy the very foundation the country is founded on? What does that solve? The issue isn't the system it's how it's established. Women have to be more presentable, be able to connect with the dominantly white male work force of the regions in order to get into office. Look at polling results they are the ones that vote," I think, or at least I thought it was in my head.
Dread overcomes me as both of them look towards me. One wore a dumfounded face while the other radiated with an arrogant smirk. I had seen this smirk before, it was the one she wore before she attacked, a warning siren before the destruction that would follow.
I was not prepared.
"I, uh, um," I was trying to say sorry for my interruption, or at least I think I was. Honestly as Katie turned towards my mind went blank. Her 'friend' veered off holding an air of indifference of the lion pit I threw myself in.
Thinking of any defense material a life time passes as Katie remains quite. Her arms crossed slightly lifting up her breast in a fire red V-neck while the outline of her legs were perfectly visible in her blue skinny jeans. The dangerous curve still tracing her pink lips.
"So," her tone was taunting, "You think that it is the responsibility of women to pander to men before they can start making choices about their own body?"
It wasn't until now the full weight of my words surfaced. I had, indeed blamed women for the lack of their representation in the US congress. A point that is generally frowned upon by beautiful feminist whom one has a crush on.
One of the Atlas's greatest mysteries wasn't if I was an introvert or not. That was a yes. A more fitting question for the man who holds up the world is why when challenged; I can't shut up.
"Majority vote is what determines both district House and State Senate races," I start, which is bad, no stopping this diarrhea of the mouth. "If women want to change the cultural rhetoric then yes, they have to adapt, they have to pander because that's how you win. Politics isn't a game of the just or righteous, it is a cluster fuck of who can make people believe their cynical lies more than the other's."
"Men have mastered this garbage and honestly, though admirable, women have some catching up to do. They have to get out in the fields of Ohio, tour the factories of Michigan, show the blue collar men that they aren't hand maiden's,"
"And that will just solve all of our problems?" she snapped, not giving me a second to turn around from the road I was heading down.
"No, not in the slightest. Generation X and our 'greatest' will still dismiss you, think you're just a handful who want to be more than you'll ever be. But they are dying and stupid. Y is the growing power in politics and they're more than malleable. They'll see the importance and knowledge of women, ignoring the stigma that has settled into our society. . They want results, man or woman, gay or straight, none of that matters, we are the group that will change the world,"
I end my tirade not getting a single glimpse of empathy from her eyes, no genuine smile from her lips. Panic grasps my young stupid heart. She was going to skew me, make it clear how stupid I was, slam the door on ever loving me.
"If I ran for class president would you vote for me?" her voice was solemn, her expression unyielding but yet her words ignited every nerve in my body.
"Would I vote for you?" I question. "I'd run the campaign if you would have me!"
It was one of the few times I saw Katie truly smile. An over the top gleaming smile that nearly sent me to the ceramic floor.
I admired Katie. But as we stood in that crowded hall I knew, without a doubt, I would live the rest of my life loving her.