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Love Comes In All Different Ways
The drum’s heartbeat pulsed throughout the stands. I could feel it beneath my feet as it vibrated through my body. No one knew I was there; I was invisible. Not literally, of course, but I might as well have been. Clapping fans swayed to the band, pushing me around.
I smiled as I drifted to the sides, slowly walking down the metal stairs and onto the open grass. The homecoming game was the biggest game of the year, and I was pretty sure the whole town was here. Kids filled the areas out here, seeing how the parents filled the bleachers. Our team was behind by two with ten seconds to go, and Jason was taking a shot at a field goal.
Five, four, three…He made it. We won the homecoming game. It sounds like I wasn’t excited, but I was. I didn’t clap, I didn’t cheer. The players jumped on each other, thumping Jason on the back as gratitude of good job.
I waited as the happy fans cleared the fields and the cheerleaders started packing up before I made my to the center of the field, facing the teams. A warm breeze blew into my face, lifting my hair from my face.
That was the moment Jason turned around.
He smiled, dropping his helmet as he ran over to me. “You came? I didn’t even see you in the stands,” he exclaimed.
I smiled. “Of course I came. I said I would, didn’t I?”
He shook his head. Not as a no, more like in frustration. “I still can’t believe you came.”
I rolled my eyes. “Yeah, well, I keep my promises.”
Vivian, the head cheerleader, skipped over to Jason. “Honey, what are doing with Cara?” She glared at me.
“I’m talking to her, Viv,” he replied, gazing at me apologetically.
Vivian turned Jason to face her, away from me. I didn’t need to stick around to what would happen. Instead I backed away, heading back into the shadows where I belonged.
I love Jason. I’ve loved him since we met in the second grade. I had dropped my crayons in the mud outside and started crying. Jason, the sweet kids he is, gave me some to keep.
As I rounded a corner of the block, I heard footsteps behind me, running. I turned, surprised to see Jason.
“What are you doing?” I asked.
“Why didn’t you stick around?” he replied, looking a little hurt.
I raised an eyebrow. “It was clear I wasn’t needed with Vivian around. She obviously didn’t want me there.”
“Doesn’t mean I don’t want you around.”
“I’ll keep that in mind.”
We started walking, taking turns kicking a stone on the pavement. Suddenly Jason reached out and grabbed my hand.
“What…” I trailed off, slowing to a halt.
“I’ve been wanting to do this since the second grade,” he whispered, leaning towards me.
When his lips met mine, I saw sparks. I almost laughed at the cliché.
When we pulled apart, I whispered, “Why me?”
He shook his head again. “Because you dropped your crayons.”