He Remembered

May 20, 2010
Do I like you? No, no, no, of course I don't like you. It's silly. I met you two years ago. For five minutes. When you asked me to dance. Silly, really. Silly you should ask me, since I didn't like boys. Silly I should say yes. And we didn't even talk that much, really, just danced--you looking over my head, six feet tall. You made me so nervous. So nervous I don't even remember what little we talked about. Do I even know your name?

There you are again. Do you remember me? Probably not. I shouldn't even remember you, not at all. You were a flicker in my life, a flicker that went out as quickly as a firecracker. It doesn't even matter. I see you once a year at the dance and that's it. No, you don't remember me at all.

My friend asked me after the dance if I thought you were cute. Cute? No, that wasn't the word for it. But mature? Yes, mature and gentlemanly. Polite and friendly, but not too friendly. What a mystery. What an enigma.

Did you like me? Oh, please at least have liked me. I don't think I've ever had a boy like me. But I fear you didn't, or you would have talked more. Or you would have come up to me last year and asked me to dance again. Maybe I talked too much about myself? Or was I too boring? Maybe you thought I was all nerves? I'm not, you know. Oh, please have liked me.

I watch you as you dance. You smile kindly at each person you make eye contact with, even the obnoxious ones. You let a lady go first in line. A lady. You treat her like a lady, not like some piece of dirt. Some guys are such jerks, but you obviously aren't. Are you really good like this all the time, or are you just faking it?

Should I like you? Should I fear you? Should I love you for asking me to dance, or hate you for ignoring me almost the whole time we did dance? Should I even care? It was two years ago. No. No, I don't care. Here you come. I have goosebumps.

"Do I know you?"

Your question makes me leap for joy, but it crushes me at the same time. You recognize me! You remember me! But no, no, you don't remember me, you just think I look familiar. Maybe you don't remember me at all. I want to seem cool and collected. I want to seem at ease, graceful, everything you want me to be, everything that I am.

But the words rush out nervously, just the same. "You asked me to dance two years ago." There. I've said it. You must think I'm some obsessed nut to have remembered that. Go ahead and think that. I'm not obsessed. Not in the least. Well, maybe a little, but I only thought of you about once a month since we danced. I know girls who think more about people they've never met. I'm not obsessed. Nope.

You pause. What are you going to say? Will you walk away? Will you remember me? Will you stay to talk? Will you be embarrassed--oh, but I'm sure you won't be. Nothing could embarrass you. Your whole manner is at ease here. But maybe you'll leave. Maybe you'll just give me the polite smile you give everyone else, say a few nice things, and walk away. In my heart, I want to smack you for not remembering me totally and hug you for remembering me the little you do, but most of all I want you to stay and talk to me.

"Oh, yes, that's right," you say, but I don't think you remember at all. I bet you don't even know my name.

But then, you say it. You say my name. Two years, and you still remember my name.

"Yes, that's me," I reply, blushing. I'm thrilled. My heart flies through the ceiling to soar with the birds, and my stomach flips. You really did remember me! Maybe you even liked me. You liked me enough to come up to me. Enough to remember my name.

But then I feel guilty, because I don't remember yours. I don't remember your name. Oh, how could I not remember it? What was it? Did you even tell me? You must have. But now I can't remember. I suppose it's best to just confess to not knowing, so I do. I ask your name.

"My name's Jacob," you reply, with a smile. A smile. What a smile. And your blue eyes remind me of the ocean.

No, I can't like you. I see you once a year at the dance. Maybe this is the last year, even. I have one year left, but do you? You ask my grade, and I ask yours. You're a year older than I, so this really is your last year at the dance. No, no, I can't like you.

Someone calls you away, and we say our goodbyes. I watch you walk away. I see your retreating back, but what sticks in my mind is your face. Your face, and your blue eyes. Your ocean-blue eyes. "Jacob--Jacob--Jacob" I repeat to myself, over and over. I cannot forget.

Goodbye, Jacob-from-the-dance.
***
I walk onto the college campus. Everything looks so different from what I'm used to. A group of boys walks past me.

Wait--could that be you with them, Jacob-from-the-dance? Does it matter? I dare to shout out your name.

"Jacob!"

One boy, six feet tall, turns around. He has ocean-blue eyes. And he smiles.





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This article has 6 comments. Post your own now!

rosykatnip97 said...
Mar. 29, 2011 at 9:55 pm
i feel like this is my story becuase its happend to me so many times! lol. great job in placing the girl's thoughts!
 
Eer320 said...
Nov. 27, 2010 at 9:47 pm
That was so good.  I have felt exactly like that before.  Actually more than once, I think!  Please read some of my stuff, I would appreciate it!  But anyway, you captured that perfectly!  Well done!
 
soletsdance said...
Aug. 27, 2010 at 5:21 pm
Oh...wow! I love this! You totally caught the whole nervous, self-doubting, non-obssessiveness of this girl!! It's like, I could totally put myself there. Great, great job! :D
 
AnneElliot replied...
Oct. 14, 2010 at 11:58 am
Thanks!! :) Your comment is super encouraging 'cause that's exactly the effect I was going for :)
 
soletsdance replied...
Oct. 15, 2010 at 2:43 pm
I just read this again...I love it! Do you mind if I print it?
 
AnneElliot replied...
Oct. 15, 2010 at 3:02 pm
Haha thanks! I don't mind :) Just as long as you credit me. Thanks for asking! :)
 
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