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She wasn't usually one to catch an eye. Her teeth were crooked, braces trying to straighten them out. Her foundation, too dark for her face; a line ended where her neck began. Not the prettiest or the skinniest, or even the smartest, but he noticed her. And to her, it meant everything.
After an exciting last day of summer, she was ready to begin school. Her new school. She knew a limited amount of people, except a couple of her step-brother's friends. Quiet and keeping to herself, she never imagined it would be him. Jokes were made about the two of them, but she really never paid any attention to them.
She went to all of her classes. She met a few people who introduced themselves. It was still hard. Nothing is harder than starting fresh. Not knowing anyone. Not having anyone to talk to. The hallway walls were white, filled with students. People she didn't know. They talked, and walked together. Telling each other about their summers and where they went on vacation. Her books were tightly locked in her arms. She walked quickly, trying to remember which class she had next. Mrs. Finch, geometry. Finally, finding the class in which she would next take, she took a seat at a table by herself.
"Hey Sadie," she heard. She glanced back. It was someone she didn't know. His name, Travis. Jokes had been made about the two of them too. She had an idea of who he was. "You're Sadie, right?" She nodded, and he took a seat across from her. Another boy, to whom she knew to some extent, took a seat beside Travis. "How's your day going so far? Do you like this school?" Travis asked her.
"It's okay," She managed to say, a little afraid to talk to the stranger. "You must be Travis?" He smiled. She knew he knew what she meant by asking. The joke.
"I know someone who wants to ask you to homecoming," Brodie, the other guy, told her. She knew he was joking, so she just shook her head, trying to hide her flushed cheeks. "I'm not kidding," He reassured her.
"Who?" She continued writing the notes which were given to the class to copy. Brodie whispered to Travis, who then mouthed the words "Derek Burnham". She wondered who that was. And then she knew. Her stepbrother had made jokes about Travis, Derek, and herself. She'd met him before, at Derby Days. Her grin and expression let the two boys know she didn't believe them.
"He is my best friend, I'd know," Travis said. The rest of the class period, she ignored the boys, doubt still filling her mind.
The next couple of days, they had her convinced. And she was excited. Someone had finally noticed her. She'd ask Travis every day,
"When is he going to ask me?" And he'd tell her the same thing every day,
"I'll ask him." She began to grow impatient, and her feelings changed. He wasn't just some boy who wanted to ask her to some stupid dance. The fact that he noticed her made her notice him. Her sneaky ways eventually led into her giving him her number. And they talked. Night after night, hour after hour, telling each other about themselves. They became very close over the days. Then one day they took a leap of faith.
“Don’t skip football for me. It's not that big of a deal," She lied. Reverse psychology had worked in the past, but not this time.
"I think you're worth it." He smiled and then she smiled. She was nervous. They walked to her house after school, and she had absolutely no idea what was about to happen. "So...uh... I don't know how to ask you this...." The butterflies in her stomach turned to knots.
"Don't be shy. Just ask me." A small breeze on the hot day blew her hair. She prepared herself for it. Her teeth sank into her lip, and she clenched her fists together.
“Will you... uh.... go out with me?" This was it. What she had been waiting for. She began to speak, but no words came out. The nerves. Oh the nerves!
"Of course I will. But seriously, we have to get over our nerves. We never talk in person, and it can't be this way. And... since you got over your nerves, I'll get over mine." She grabbed his hand and pushed the bag on her shoulder closer to her neck. She felt safe in his hands. No other feeling in the world could top it.
The days passed and they shared their first kiss. She was very weary at first, but liked him too much to refuse. A glimmer of hope in their eyes, they shared conversations about where they wanted to go in life and how they were going to last until next summer. Everything was perfect.
After months of dating, sharing long endless talks every night, and being a real couple, she began to worry. He was acting different. He mentioned breaking up. And the only reason he gave her, "I have no self control when I drink, and I don't want to hurt you." It was a good reason. She completely understood. It was better to break up with her now then she find out later that he cheated on her, which would've hurt far worse. Yes, it was over. She was hurt. And maybe it was the fact she fell so hard and so fast for this boy. Maybe it was all the stuff he said to her that hadn't been followed through. Maybe it was even the fact that she no longer had someone to notice her.
Remaining friends, she continued to support him at his football games. She wore his number and forced a smile onto her face. She wanted it to be the way it had been before. When everything seemed so perfect. When she felt safe in the hands of someone she could potentially love. But it was over, it was really over. Sure, they went to homecoming together, as friends and nothing more. The feelings were still there and are still there today.
You see, I’m not one to catch an eye. It might have been the fact that I was being noticed by him. And maybe it wasn't everything. Maybe it was just another bump on this road called Life. One thing I do know, a crush isn't a crush, until someone gets crushed.
....In this case, it was me.