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It was the second week back from Christmas Break, I was relieved. Staying home with my little brother the entire break wasn’t my ideal Christmas. He would always yell “Zelle! Why are you not talking to me!” or “Zelle! I’m telling mom on you!” I had enough of him, I just wanted to get back to school with all my friends, and not deal with his nagging. Well, so I thought.
Walking through the halls of Santa Rosa High School, I overheard my name and people pointing at me. Confused, I ran to my first class and slipped into the seat next to my best friend, Sara.
“Zelle, I heard a rumor about you…uh…you like Carlo!?” said Sara.
I started blushing, so many emotions rushed through me, embarrassed, sad, mad, and confused. No one knew that secret about me.
After a pause I said “Uh, no! Where did that come from?” I hope I didn’t sound sarcastic.
“Well it’s going around the whole school, don’t you have next hour with him? Watch him talk to you about it,” she said in a serious tone, then the bell rung for class to begin.
As I left my first hour, I was so nervous, I was unaware of what would happen. The first person I saw when I walked into my second hour Spanish class was my best friend since kindergarten, Carlo. We met when our parents made us have a play date. Our parents met each other in college and have been friends ever since.
He called me over, “Hey Zelle! Come over here a sec.” I started panicking, and did as he said.
At first, he acts like nothing is going on, just having the normal conversations of what we did the night before.
But then it comes up as he said, “So I heard this rumor about you…”
My heart dropped.
He then continued “…that you liked me. Is this true?” I didn’t know what to say, I just stood there starring into space. He gave me a little push, making me realize he was waiting for an answer. I couldn’t lie to him, I didn’t know how to, so I just had to tell the truth.
“Well…uh…kind of…yeah…” I said while looking down at the ground.
I felt tension, and all he said was “Oh okay.” And I walked away.
I went to go sit down, and the bell rung. “¡Hola! ¡Buenos dias!” is all I remember from the class. It felt like the longest hour of my life. I sat there twirling my long black hair, not paying attention. I felt like I was going to burst into a trillion from what just happened, at least he knew. I eagerly waiting for the bell to ring, then realized, my last hour…Nadine was in the class, the prettiest girl in the entire school, and also Carlo’s girlfriend.
The rest of the day felt like it was coming too soon for last hour, but it came. I was early to class and went to go sit in the corner, hoping Nadine wouldn’t see me. As Nadine walked in talking loudly to her friends, I thought she wouldn’t see me, but I spoke too soon. She put down her phone and the first thing that came out of her mouth was, “WHERE’S ZELLE?” The teacher pointed towards where I was sitting and she came stomping over to me. I was getting ready for it.
“So I heard you like my boyfriend, you better not. He isn’t yours.” Nadine sassed at me. “He chose me, not you, you guys are nothing more than friends, you will never be anymore. Never. Ever.” I just sat there, starring at her, not knowing what to say. “So you’re just going to say nothing? I see how it is.” And Nadine flipped her long, shiny hair, and walked away.
My head was hurting, trying to figure out what to do. It was getting out of hand. I, finally, decided to confront to her. “So Nadine,” I said in a stern voice, “I never said I wanted to date him, so you can be quiet about that.” This felt good, I should have done this a long time ago, I thought to myself. I continued, “I don’t know what your problem is, but leave me alone for once.” Nadine sat there with her mouth open. She knew she had been picking on me since kindergarten when Carlo and me first became friends. She was jealous back then, I knew it. I walked away, I felt proud of myself, finally doing what I was holding back on all these year. I sat down back in my seat, waiting for class to start.
After school, I was on my way home when I remembered; Carlo’s family was having dinner at my house like they do every other week. I didn’t know whether to be happy or scared that Nadine could have possibly told him what I had said. I just had to wait.
Around seven, I heard the doorbell ring; I ran downstairs from my room and greeted Carlo’s family in. Carlo smiled and motioned me to follow him back outside. I went. Sitting on the front steps, he looked at me with his deep brown eyes and smiled.
“So…I heard what you told Nadine.” Carlo said.
He interrupted me. “You finally fought back after so long, that’s pretty cool of you. I remember how you were scared of her back when we were younger.”
I laughed to myself. I didn’t believe I could do it either. Him saying it just reassured me that I did something right for once.
“Anyway, I know you might like me…but you know we’re too tight to be like that, we’ve been friends since forever, and I don’t want to ruin anything about it. You’re one of my closest friends, and I’m happy we’re friends” Carlo said in a soft tone.
I just smiled and said, “I understand.”
“Cool.” He said, and stood up. He helped me to my feet, and we went inside.
I knew nothing more would happen, but still… I still liked him anyway.