Everybody is Searching for Something

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Prelude










Everybody is searching for something. Wealth, Friendship, God, those socks that you never quite seem to find after the first time you wear them. But the one thing that out weighs them all is love. And I’ve found it. I really have. It’s soooo not my fault that he’s a little different. Not like, mentally challenged different, just the whole age thing is off by about 20 years. Now hold up. Before you start to judge me, let me make my case. If I was 30 and he was 50 this wouldn’t be such a big deal. It wouldn’t be so taboo. So why should I be looked down upon just because I’m not 30 and he’s not 50? Let’s be fair here, both of us are happy, and we both feel the same way about each other. And let’s face it, in 2 years I’ll be 18 and none of this will matter. So why should we have to wait? I mean c’mon age is just a number right? Right?



Sapphire Jenkins. My mother named me after her favorite gem. The whole "gem" thing kind of runs in the family. My sisters' names are Diamond and Crystal and my brother’s name is Jasper. This happened to be my father’s favorite gem. At first, he wasn't so sure about the whole gem thing. She somehow convinced him to go along with it, and here we all are. My mothers name is Pearl; she never talks about how she got her name. However, it must have meant something because she seems to have followed suit. Oh, and my fathers’ name is Steve.



So this all started on a cool autumn day in late October. The wind was
blowing my hair back, and I had my eyes closed. I was sitting on the top of the
bleachers. Not the very top (that kind of freaks me out) about the 7th row. I’ll
never forget, Mr. Lopez, or Juan as I call him now, pulled up in his black Cadillac
Eescalade. I remember it so vividly because that is my dream car. Wonder how a
high school English teacher can afford such an expensive car? Yeah. I did too,
apparently his father is the maker of some brand of hot sauce. When he died he
left all of his money to Juan. So there he was, Mr. Black Cadillac Escalade. He
walked out of his car and came to sit at the very bottom of the bleachers. He
had his jet black hair pulled back, and his almond colored eyes were gazing up at
me.



He smiled and said, “Good afternoon Sapphire,” he had a mild accent. My friends and I, when we’re in his class, totally make goo-goo eyes when he talks. I, unlike my friends, am very conspicuous. Or, at least I thought I was, but that part comes later.


“Hey Mr. Lopez,” I didn’t realize how intimidating he really was until then.



“What are you doing here on a Sunday afternoon?” he asked.


“I like coming down here. It’s quiet,” I said trying my hardest to sound nonchalant. “What about you?”


“Well about the same,” he looked as if he were pondering, “I like it here also.”


I nodded my head and closed my eyes again, trying to act as if his presence had not affected me. I hoped my posture hadn’t changed so I tried my hardest to sit up straight. This is of course stupid to do, because I never sit straight so I lost my balance as I tried to lean back further then necessary. I ended up falling backwards into the bleachers behind me.





“Crap,” I whispered, why do the bleacher gods despise me?


“Sapphire?” Juan called as he got up and swiftly started up the bleachers.


“I’m—I--,” I stammered as I struggled to right myself.


Two cinnamon colored hands reached out to mine and pulled me up. He did it with such nimbleness that I was confused for a second as to whether I was still squashed between the bleachers or somewhere in between sitting and standing.


Apparently my face showed what I was thinking because he frowned and asked, “Are you all right?”


Being so close to his face was a totally new thing for me. So I was taking my time as I drunk in the rich almond brown of his eyes, which were draped with full, long lashes. The several minute freckles he had on the outside of his cheeks, his ample dark pink lips, and strong jaw.


“Sapphire did you hit your head? Here sit down,” and he lowered me to the bleacher.




“No I—I’m fine,” I said as I silently cursed myself, “really I’m fine.”


He seemed to be studying my face, “Hmm, okay. What happened anyway?”


“Well, I sort of just leaned back too far and then...you know...” I just drifted off. I could think of a couple dirty jokes that could apply to. But I’m supposed to be mature. I mean he’s 30 for heaven’s sake.


He smiled showing his 1000 watt teeth which were perfectly straight, and also his lovely dimples, “Sapphire...” he couldn’t find the words to say. But I’m sure I can about sum them up:


What the heck is wrong with this girl? Leaned back too far? She’s probably on medication and simply missed it this morning. Yeah that’s it, because what kind of 15 year old wants to spend her Sunday afternoon at the bleachers? Why is she even here? Doesn’t she have something stupid to do? Because that’s all teenagers do today, a third of the time they’re doing something stupid, another third they’re making up excuses for the stupid things they do, and the last they are being punished for the things they did. Kids!



I put my arms around my legs as I lifted then up against my chest, “So how long have you been coming here? I haven’t seen you around.”

He took a deep breath and said, “I just started a few days ago actually.”



“Really?” I asked genuinely curious, “Which day? I’ve been here everyday for the past couple of weeks.”


Wrinkling his nose he sighed, “Last Tuesday.”


I lifted my eyebrows, “Tuesday? I was here Tuesday did you see me?”


I could tell he was hesitant, “Uhh...I…” he stammered.


“You know? It’s alright. I mean...if you saw me. It’s no big deal.”

He chuckled softly, “Yeah…look Sapphire…wow this is harder than I had planned.”

Just like that, he got up and walked down the bleachers. I, of course, was stunned. Was it really such a big deal? I didn’t think so. I went after him.


Slowly and steadily of course, with my luck I would fall down again. In the back of my mind I was wondering how he got down so quickly and he didn’t
even stumble. It was actually pretty graceful, I mean as graceful as a guy can get without being totally gay. No way is Juan gay; I mean my gay-dar SO did not off.


“Hey!” I yelled after him as I reached the bottom of the bleachers, “Hold up!”

He didn’t break his stride as he headed towards my dream car. So I sped up a bit until I caught up with him, “Hey?” as I touched his shoulder, and might I add his big, strong, muscular shoulder, “what happened back there?”


He finally turned around, though he was looking up at the sky, and whispered, “You.”


“Me? What did I do wrong?” as I replayed the last ten minutes in my head.


“No,” and then he started to look frustrated, “it’s you. That’s the reason why I came. I saw you last Tuesday and decided to stay.”


Understanding finally dawned on me, “Oh, wow.” That’s really all I could think of to say.


He finally stopped looking at the sky and brought his eyes down to mine, “I came back because I thought maybe you would be here again. I wanted to tell you here because well there is no other time when we are alone. So here I am and I couldn’t do it.”



“Do what? Tell me what?”


“That I see you and your friends looking at me in class weird and I see how when you get up to walk out of the room you turn around and look back at me. I see every time. And I see you at lunch when you stare. Oh, you try to hide it. Sometimes, you pretend to be engrossed in the sign above my head, or talk to someone who just happens to be beside me. But, I see it. And I just wanted to know why.”


I put my hand on my hip, “Uh huh. You came all the way out here to ask me that? So why don’t I believe that?”


He laughed, “Okay, I wanted to tell you that I like that you do that. Do you believe that?”


I smiled a little, “Maybe.”


He brought his hands to my waist, “And do you believe that I came down here to let you know that I would very much like you to continue?”


I looked down at his hands then back up to his face, “Maybe.”


He brought his face closer to mine so that he was whispering in my ear, “Do you believe that I want to kiss you?”


This time I didn’t have the breath nor the time to say anything because his lips fell on mine.





Alright, so that’s how it happened. That was 3 months and 12 days ago. Juan and I are officially together as of 2 weeks ago. Okay, so it’s not exactly official to anyone except him and I. But hey, it’s perfect between us. Really it is.





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