Remembering a Moment That Changed Everything

October 27, 2011
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Guys were never a problem for me when I was younger. I didn’t like them and I’m pretty sure they didn’t like me; that’s just the way it was. I didn’t dislike guys, I just wasn’t interested in them or the whole young love thing everyone around me was distracted with.
I was all about art; I didn’t care much for school or popularity. Art was my life.
When my friends would ask me who I liked, or how they worded it, “Who do you think is cute?” I didn’t want to make my reply sound stuck up so I just simply said, “no one yet.” I know it must have bugged them that I didn’t think anybody was cute. I believed just because someone is good looking didn’t mean you needed to like them.
I figure they didn’t know the difference between physical and mental attraction, to be quite honest I wasn’t sure either. I just knew I wasn’t ready to figure it out yet. There were more important matters in my mind at the time; after all, it was only 8th grade, I figured love can wait.
I transferred schools second semester that year. I decided to go to my hometown’s public school. I’ve never been to public school before, it was always boarding school. The same boarding school I chose to go to in the middle of my elementary years. It seems stupid to have made the decision to leave the boarding school that I loved so much for public school that I was unsure about, but for me the decision was simple. The boarding school I attended only went to 8th grade, than afterwards it was public school or another boarding school for high school students. What made me pick public school in my hometown instead of another boarding school was the fact that my grandmother was having medical problems and needed someone to live with her and take care of her. In my eyes, I was the only one in my family willing to take on such a task because my grandmother is a difficult person to live with. So I just decided to rip off the band aid fast so it would hurt less.
I remember clearly that first day of public school in that small junior high. It seemed everybody knew everybody and it was big news that I was the new kid.
I was walking down the hallway trying to figure out where to find my locker; I never needed a locker in boarding school. Somebody tapped me on the shoulder and I turned around to find a childhood friend from elementary school. She smiled, “I thought I recognized you, do you remember me?”
I didn’t even have to answer her; she was always so persistent and lead me down the hallway. She seemed happy to know something before everyone else, and that was me, the new kid. She started the typical “show the new kid around the school” routine. I was relieved to at least know somebody there. She showed me to my first class even though I was hesitant to go.
“Great, earth science, I love earth science.” I told myself sarcastically.
Of course being new, the teacher did the typical new kid routine, introduced me to the class, had me say something about myself, and sent me my seat next to an assigned lab partner.
My partner was an ordinary guy; I didn’t think anything of him at the time, I just hoped he was good at science because I knew I wasn’t.
I took one glance at him and it was easy for me to remember all his features that instant. Very ordinary, he had dark brown hair, eyes, and even skin. He wore a plain black hoodie with a plain pair of denim jeans. Nothing special about his clothes and nothing special was done about his hair. The look on his face was expressionless; he nodded his head when he was told I was his new lab partner. I wondered if it was because of his silence that he had no lab partner.
Not saying one word, we listened to the lecture the teacher was giving up about the earth and I eventually lost interest and started doodling random things in my notebook pretending to take notes and then it happened, the one moment I will always remember after she called on me.
I looked up puzzled pretending to not know what she asked, “Huh?” I said, sounding unsure.
She looked at me like she knew I heard her, “I asked you to tell me what a Tectonic plate is Lyra, since you’re so avidly taking notes.”
I could feel my face getting hot. I opened my mouth to answer, “Uhhh….”
I really didn’t know what else to say, that was the only sound that would come out of my mouth. I could feel my face turning red while the class waited for an answer. There were a few giggles in the back of the class.
“Earth's outer shell, the lithosphere, long thought to be a continuous unbroken crust, but are actually a fluid mosaic of many irregular rigid segments, or plates, known as ‘tectonic plates’. Is that what you wanted to know Mrs. Adams?”
How could he have possibly known all that? Relieved that her question was answered before I embarrassed myself more, I looked beside me at my lab partner who was grinning at me.
I turn my face away from him automatically and looked down at my notebook in front of me. Why did I do that? Something felt weird, something was different, was it this guy? I didn’t know yet. I just knew I couldn’t look at him the rest of that class period; it was too awkward for me.
Minutes felt like hours, during that one class hour. I wasn’t paying attention to the class. I was trying to figure out what it was, what was it that made me feel like electricity was circuiting up my spine and made all my nerves tingle? It felt like I could feel my heart beat for the first time. My mind was fogged up and all I could see was his big bright grin. I was trying to figure out exactly what it was; what was the proper word for this feeling? It felt almost exciting when my blood felt warm every time I pictured that smile in my head.
Love!
It was almost as if that word smacked me across the face and said, “Duh!”
Already I felt unsure about the feeling, such a strong word that I couldn’t even say out loud.
Was I crazy to think this is exactly what I’m feeling? It was impossible to think there were any other words for that could describe this feeling. I felt embarrassed even thinking of the word.
Such a word didn’t even exist in my vocabulary before the image of that smile embedded itself in my mind. Is it even possible for something as small as a smile, which only happened in a few moments, could change the way I thought about love. I couldn’t think of it as being unneeded anymore. Was I one like one of my friends who had become starry-eyed at first glance? Is it possible that just being by someone for a few minutes could change the way you thought about this strong emotion called love? All I knew at that moment was this guy, who I knew nothing about changed something. His smile changed everything.





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