May 14, 2008
By Joshua Frailey, Clarkston, MI

On my way to work everyday I go into ‘Billy’s Breakfast’ and get some food. It’s okay food, nothing great though. Honestly I don’t know why I even go there anymore. It’s got to be bad for me to eat there every day. In fact I know it is. Maybe I just go for old time’s sake. I always eat there with my friend Cris. I’ve been meeting her up at that diner for over four years now, but I’ve known her since college. It’s where I met her actually. I was in the Chemistry Lab and a steel marble came flying from across the room and it hit my beaker which was over a Bunsen burner. All of the contents caught fire across my desk; it took me by complete surprise. I sat straight up, confused, and my chair fell backward. I was the only one at the table. I was really upset…I could not think rightly of what to do... I took off my lab coat and started covering the flames but it didn’t help at all. The lab coat just soaked up all of the liquid and caught fire itself.
“Somebody help!” I shouted, but nobody dared help the geeky kid. I started calling some more: “Why won’t anybody help me?!” It was the loneliest and most helpless I think I’ve ever felt in my life. Everybody was just laughing at me. I was used to the laughing by now though... There’s nothing different about that. I’ve grown accustomed to the constant ridicule from my peers. I didn’t really have any friends in high school, just the group of kids who were like me; the kids with glasses, who drew pictures of weapons and mages, who could actually tell you the true meaning of the word geek*.
“-Somebody please!” I yelled again, but nothing but a burst of laughter occurred, I started panicking and as usual, my hands began shaking. Then I saw her. She pushed through the crowd of people who had gathered in the center of the room. She was shorter than me, she had beautiful brown hair that hung to her shoulders and her eyes were very unique, the prettiest eyes I’ve ever seen. Worry was expressed across her soft features, and for the first time, I felt as if someone who didn’t know me had actually felt caring for me. Somebody, even after all of those high school years, had actually felt compassion, and had stuck up for me. I was even more surprised by that than the burst of flames in my face. I stared in awe as she came over to help. I didn’t know who this girl was, but I knew that she was different. I could feel it.

After the catastrophe in the lab I waited outside of the building exit for her. I kept peeping through the glass doors to see if she was coming or not. I didn’t know what I was going to say to her, I had never really spoken to another student before, especially a girl! I knew I was going to screw up, but I think she deserved a ‘thank you’ anyway. It wouldn’t hurt to be chivalrous, now would it? I became pretty nervous though; I started sweating and worrying that she’d notice.
“Damn what have I gotten myself into…?” I whispered. I backed up against the wall and raised my chin towards the sky. I saw the white billowing clouds. It was a nice day, and I could feel the breeze wrap around the building. So I guess it was okay. I closed my eyes and started trying to calm myself down some more. “Where is she?” I said to nobody. It had already been 15 minutes, long enough for her to have come and gone.
Did I miss her? My eyes were closed after all. Maybe she walked by and I didn’t even hear her.
I didn’t open my eyes to check; somehow I thought the shock of seeing my surroundings would remind me of reality and it would make me even more nervous.
“Where is who?” She said.
“Oh! Uhm. I didn’t see you there! Heh.” She gave me an awkward, cockeyed look, and then she smiled a little and remained quiet.
“Well I just was w-waiting for uhh y-you. Actually.”
“Oh? What for?” Her grin spread wider, and she giggled a bit.
What do you mean ‘what for?’ why do you think I’m out here? Are you laughing at me? “Oh well, uhm, I just wanted toooo talk to you?”
“About what? Those jerks who threw the marble at you? I reported them already, so you don’t need to worry about it. They’re cleaning the mess right now. That’s actually why it took me a while before I came out.”
She doesn’t seem to think I’m a complete nerd. I don’t get it.
“Ah, well. Thank you for reporting them.” I said, growing calmer.
“No problem.” She looked at me and waited for a response. Nothing came from my mouth. I couldn’t quite think of anything proper to say. She broke the silence, thankfully.
“Well I’ll see you later then?”
“Oh, sure.” I looked at the ground embarrassed. I didn’t want her to see my face go red. She began to walk away, not too quickly or anything, about a normal speed. Though she did it as if she expected something more to happen between us, but didn’t know for sure. Kind of like she was expecting me to call out to her or something.
“Wait!” Spurted from my mouth, without thinking, “I really wanted to thank you for sticking up for me in there. I really, well… Nobody’s ever done that for me before. I meant a lot” I looked up and started to walk towards her direction, but stopped a few feet short.
Oh god that sounded so corny. Damn…
She smiled and made her way back over to me.
“What’s your name again?”
“Oh it’s- it’s Aiden.”
“I am Cris. It’s nice to have met you Aiden.” She grinned and left me at the exit. I watched her go to her car, start it, and leave. She turned left out of the parking lot. That’s the way I go.

I was alone again. I felt it too. I felt lonely, completely lonely when she left that day. For the first time, I had a taste of companionship, even though it was brief, I still had a taste. I craved more of it. I really liked this new feeling. I liked it a lot. Everything that mattered to me now took a backseat to seeing this girl again. I didn’t know how I was going to go about doing it, but I knew that I needed too.

In the following days, as I walked from class to class, I kept a closer eye out for her. It turns out she wasn’t even a student in my chemistry class. She just happened to be walking by and saw me shouting for help. Talk about coincidence, eh? Well, it had been two days after the incident that I finally caught a glimpse of her. She was actually running down the hallway looking worried half to death. She ran right by me and didn’t even notice. I took this as bad sign. I decided to dart after her and I quickly realized just how much more in shape she was than myself. I could not catch up to her for the life of me.
“Hey! Cris!” I yelled, but it wasn’t answered. She couldn’t hear me. We continued running and suddenly she stopped, looked up at the clock, and started laughing.
What the hell?
It wasn’t a small little airy giggle either, she was laughing pretty damn hard. It made me grin to see her laugh so hard actually. I started laughing too, even though I had no idea what was so funny. I guess laughter is like that though. It spreads. My mother used to say: “Laughter is contagious.” I guess she was right.
“What’s so funny?!”
She looked over at me surprised.
“Oh! - Didn’t see you there. Ha-ha! I uh, - am so- stupid!” She had trouble speaking due to lack of oxygen.
Is she okay? I mean really?
I held my distance; I started feeling uncomfortable around her again, similar to the first time we officially met... I guess it takes a while for you to get used to something (or in this case someone) new. She sat down on the nearest bench and started to slow her breathing closer to normal rate.
“I thought I was late for class, and I have this program due today, I’ve been working on this thing for months. I finished it late last night; my professor considers it ‘a program of pioneering interest among universities.’ I guess, so it’s kind of important. Anyway I’ve been working on it for a long time, and I woke up late today, so my mind was rushing and I must’ve read the clock wrong!” She started smiling again. “I read the clock switching the two hands! Ha-ha! I was so scared! I was worried I was late!”
Oh was that all? Her program was due toda… program??
I looked at my surroundings. We were in the computer science department.
“I had no idea you... that you”
“Knew how to code?”
“Uhm... Yeah I thought only”
“-geeks were like that?”
I hung my head for thinking of saying such a thing. I didn’t mean it very badly or anything; I was just repeating what I’ve heard before. I guess it didn’t sound very nice though. Maybe it was my tone.
“Aiden, did it ever occur to you that I might be a ‘geek’ also?”
No, Not at all. Not once.
“Well I...”
“‘Well I’ what?” She seemed to be really serious about this. The joy had ceased.
Have I offended her?
“I just thought you were way too pretty to be… like me”
She stood silent for a moment. Something must have struck her on that one. I was hanging my head still; I had felt bad for misjudging her. I thought that I had lost something special to me by saying that. Then, the unexpected happened. She walked up to me, placed her hand under my chin and gently pulled it up. She looked directly into my eyes.
“Thank you Aiden” She wrapped her arms around me and held me. I was stunned.
What do I do!? I’ve never been hugged by a girl before! I decided to cautiously put my arms around her. She didn’t really react, but you know what? It felt right. I had only known this girl for a few days, and this is only my second time seeing her, but I knew holding her was the right thing to do. I was a new man. I walked her out to her car.
“Uhm, Cris.”
“Yes Aiden?”
“I was wondering. Uhm, W-would you like to…”
“Of course…” She softly spoke. My heart leaped. She wrote down my phone number and I took hers. “How about we meet at Billy’s tomorrow for breakfast?”
“Sounds wonderful.” I said. I was about to explode.

So that’s how I met her. We’ve only grown closer since then. That first breakfast at Billy’s was quite a performance by me let me tell ya. My hands were so shaky that I managed to spill my coke on her twice. Heh. Quite an experience indeed. We never really started officially dating though. It’s always kind of puzzled me. I don’t really know why I didn’t just ask her. Maybe I was just too afraid to? I guess that’s it. She never really seemed to mind though; neither one of us would date another person, and we seem perfect for each other. The case is that I just never officially asked her… I guess. I think that it is too late in the game now though; I think we’re too much like brother and sister now. It would be weird kissing her like lovers do. Although I kind of like the thought of it actually. I’ve never kissed a girl before. I often think about kissing Cris like a boyfriend kisses his girlfriend though. I wonder if she wants to kiss me too…? I wonder what she would think; I really hope she would like it as much as I would. And you know what? I don’t think I could survive without her either. I guess I’ve have built my life around her actually. I couldn’t imagine it if she were to leave, or stop visiting me, or date another guy. I couldn’t put up with that; especially that. I’m pretty sure I’d slit my own throat if she ever were to leave me. I’d do it twice if she left me for a guy.
Why am I getting jealous? It’s not like she’s my girlfriend or anything…
I really don’t think she would leave me for a guy though.
I say that like she’s my girlfriend, what the hell is wrong with me?
Maybe that’s the reason I don’t ask her. Maybe I’m afraid of her saying that she doesn’t love me. If that was her answer then she’d obviously not feel comfortable around me anymore. She would undoubtedly leave, or move away or something. I’ve seen it happen to guys before. I don’t want that for me at all, but I guess I actually do love her. I’m just too afraid that she won’t love me back.
Well this is just great. Now I’m going to have this stuck in my mind all day long. I have to know how she feels .I have to find out…

I know that it is better to have loved and lost, than to have never loved at all, but is it better to love and lose, then to love and never know if she loves you back? I don’t think I can handle not knowing anymore.

I arrived at Billy’s and drove into my parking spot. Yes I said MY spot. They give Cris and I our own spots next to each other because we’re there so much. Cris’s red Impala is already here. I got out, locked up my vehicle, and walked into the diner. She was sitting in the usually spot, next to the first window. We sit there because nobody else sits around there. We really can’t figure out why, but it’s always empty near there. I walked over to our table. She had coffee already and she had taken the liberty to order mine as well. I smiled at her. She smiled back.
“Morning Aiden.”
“Good morning Cris. How are you?”
“Fine, fine. Here sit down I ordered your coffee already. Also, our food should arrive any minute.”
“Oh thank you.”
“I’ve been thinking about something on the drive up here.”
“About what?”
“Remember when we first met, how shy I was? Or the first time we came here and I-”
The waitress came and gave us our food. My eggs and bacon were in the shape of a smiley face, as usual.
“Thanks Lexi” and continued with what I was saying. “Anyway I was considering our first breakfast at Billy’s and I’ve been doing a lot of thinking lately.”
“Oh that’s cool. Remember when you spilt your coke? Ha-ha.” She smiled at me. That’s the smile I love. There’s nothing better than seeing your girl smile at you. Nothing at all. That smile made me decide right then and there. I knew that this was it. Today, right now, I was going to tell her. I started shaking and getting nervous.
What if she says no? What then? Maybe I shouldn’t do this.
“Uhm...” I paused, thinking, criticizing myself internally. “I was thinking, and I realized something.”
“And what would that be?”
I love your smile-
“I love it so much when you smile, do you know that?”
You mean so much to me-
“And you mean more to me than you’ll ever know.”
I love you
“Cris. I think I love you. I’m sorry I’ve never told you before!” I started speaking faster. “It’s j-just that I was afraid and I don’t want you to go! Please Cris”
Please say you love me too…
“Aiden… I…” she stopped peaking and looked down.
S***… she doesn’t…
She continued to gaze at the floor. She wouldn’t look at me at all.
Cris got up from the table and beckoned me to follow her. I did as she asked. I became so anxious. She held her hand out, still looking down. I took it, holding it loosely. She led me out into the parking lot by our vehicles.
“Aiden, I… I love you too.”
I pulled her into my grasp and started thanking god. I started becoming choked up and I just held her like no one was watching. It started to rain a little bit. We were getting wet but neither of us released our grip. She adjusted her body a little bit, though.
“Took you long enough” She whispered to me. We left without paying; we went home in her car.

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