Dreaming of Italian Boys and Shoes

April 21, 2012
I wake up with a start. All I see is, well, nothing. Its pitch black around me, and for a moment I forget where I am. I calm down when everything comes into focus. I can barely make out my bedroom around me, but I know every nook and cranny by heart. Glancing to the left, I see the numbers 6:00 in bright green. Ugh, five more minutes till I have to get up and get ready for the dreaded school. Maybe I'll just lie back down for a few more minutes, and then get up. Just a couple more minutes…

"Get up sleeping booty!" The scream echoes in my ear, waking me up. I rub my eyes and through bright lights see my sister standing over me, with a pillow in her hand. "Get up, Elise! Get up! Get up!" She yells while correspondingly hitting me with the pillow. You would think older sisters would be more mature, but no. Even twenty year old Alexavia acts like a child. I sigh, getting up. Ignoring Alexavia's yelling, I walk out of my bedroom and get ready to face another day. But there's only one problem.

"There's no more Cheerios®," I knock the empty box against my bowl, stating the obvious. And there's Alexavia, sitting across from me, stuffing her face with a huge bowl of cereal. She just made a whole new definition of 'serial' killer. Sighing, I settle for an apple, it's healthier anyways. That's when I notice the time: 7:55. Ten minutes till school starts. And it takes fifteen to get to school.

"Um, Alexavia," I say, hastily grabbing my bag.

"Yeah?" She says with a mouthful of Cheerios® in her mouth. Eww, I will never look at cereal the same way again.

"The time," When she doesn't respond I get desperate, "THE TIME, YOU IDOIT! ARE YOU GOING TO TAKE ME TO SCHOOL OR NOT?" That shuts her up.

Two and a half minutes later, we are in the car speeding down the highway. There is a sort of awkward cloud hanging low in the car, and to break the silence Alexavia turns the radio on. Lady Gaga's voice fills the car making my ears bleed. Not literally, but me and Lady Gaga don't mix. To make the awkwardness even weirder, Alexavia starts singing in an off-key, squeaky voice. Lord kill me now. That's when the car stops. In the middle of the highway.

"Cr*p," Alexavia's eyes get wide as she checks the fuel. "Looks like we're out of gas." She smiles to make the situation seem less horrible, but I just stare at her. I can't wait till I turn sixteen. Thirty minutes and a couple calls later, Triple A® comes and goes, leaving us with a full tank and me with twenty dollars less. Alexavia conveniently forgot to bring money, saying it was my fault for rushing her. Whatever.

I make it to school in time for lunch. Climbing out of the car, I thank Alexavia for the ride half-willingly. Only when she speeds away do I realize I left my lunch in the car. Lucky me. Grumbling, I walk into school, sign in, and go outside where my friends and I eat lunch. Right as I walk outside I notice something strange. My friends aren't at the bench we always sit at, instead they're with a large crowd near the door. I walk towards them, confused, and tap Lexis on the shoulder. She doesn't notice, so I tap harder. She whips her head around, just noticing me.

"Hey, Lexis," I say, looking around her, "What's going on?"

My other friend Olive turns around, eyes wide, "Come here Elise, you have to see this!" Her normal voice was five octaves higher than usual. Weird. Reluctantly, I squeeze by Olive, and see in the middle of the crowd heaven itself. Well, if heaven is a six foot, curly-haired guy. This guy, who I have never seen before but could be in a magazine, was sitting on the ground playing a guitar. Normally, everyday there are people out here playing guitars and such, trying to attract attention, but none have ever succeeded. Well, until this dude. All around me both guys and girls are goggling at this guy, like he's Justin Bieber or something. The song the guy's playing, I don't recognize it, it sounds almost Spanish, seems to be hypnotizing everybody. Next to me, Olive and Lexis literally are drooling. And so is pretty much everyone else out here. I admit the music's pretty good, better than anybody at this school can do, and the dude's pretty fine, but I'm not impressed. I'm also claustrophobic.

Backing away through the crowd, I retreat from this weird spectacle. I try to tug Olive and Lexis away from the throng, but they're glued to it like they used crazy glue. One, they were crazy to be obsessed over this dude, and two, they wouldn't even look at me. Eventually, I give up trying to bring them to reality, and sit down, alone, on the bench. Next to me is Kami's lunch. I haven't seen my best friend yet out here, so I guess she's in Theater club or Fashion club. Or in the crowd drooling over the guy. But that's so not like Kami. She's too in love with Rev from Remember The Titans. Discreetly, I open her bag and peek at her lunch. Recently she's been on a diet, so she's been eating almost nothing, and when she does its weird stuff like salads and fish. Yuck. And that's exactly what she has tucked away in her little, pink bag. Lucky for Kami, I don't like healthy food, so I give up, and instead try to count the number of people in the crowd.

Wow, there's like no bugs out here today. They're probably listening to this guys' music, too. Ugh, am I the only one who hates guitars? I bet this dude's a magician from Mars come on a mission to destroy earth. His plan is to hypnotize everyone, make them into his own evil army, and annihilate mankind. The problem is I'm the only one immune to his hypnosis, so it's my duty to save the world. Or he could just be a fine guy with amazing guitar skills. Naw. I like the first one better.

RING, RING. The school bell chimes, indicating that lunch is over. Before the crowd disperses, I go inside and to my locker. My locker is color coded by binder, I hate when things are messy, so it's easy to get all my things for my next class, which so happens to be civics. I sigh dramatically. Civics is probably the most boring class of all time. My teacher Mrs. John is nice and such, but her mouth overrides her teaching. We never get anything done, so I'll probably be failing the next test. I pick up my green civics notebook, and stand up, glancing at my watch. BAM. I hit my head on something above me. At first I thought it was the locker above me, mine's a bottom locker, but when I open my eyes, guess who's standing there. Heaven himself, of course. We both rub our heads, and I say sorry, starting to move around him, into the traffic-filled hallways. That's when he grabs my arm, and starts to say something, but I'm not listening. Instead I'm screaming in my head, and not thinking I elbow him, hitting him in the gut. Of course he lets go and I dissolve into the hallways, not looking back.

On my way to civics, I go through the reasons why he grabbed me, in my head. He could realize that I am immune to his hypnosis, and want to destroy me. He could be a convicted criminal that does bad things to girls. God, I hope not. I could've had something in my teeth, and he was being polite by telling me. No, I didn't even eat anything at lunch. Maybe he needed directions. No, he could've asked anyone. I finally decide it was my active imagination, and I just hallucinated. Yeah, I like that, even if it makes me sound crazy.

As I walk up the stairs to the second story, I see Kami waving at me. I catch up to her, and she starts squealing. Okay… weird.

"Have you seen Giovanni?" She asks me, her brown eyes wide. I just blink. "You know," she says slowly, "The new transfer from Italy?" My ears perk up at 'Italy'. I love Italy. Even though I've never been there, it's my ultra favorite location.

"Oh, you mean the dude with the guitar?" I say nonchalantly, examining my nails.

"Uh, duh!" She squeals again, and I cringe. I can't believe she's obsessing over the dude, um I mean Giovanni, like everyone else. "He's like the cutest thing! Do you think he'll like me-" I half listen to her ramble on about how hot he is, and how he can play guitar and stuff.

"Yeah, uh-huh," I agree with her vaguely, as we walk into Mrs. John's classroom. "You ready for that test today?" I ask her, in order to change the subject.

She shrugs as she sits down, and immediately starts talking to the person next to her about Giovanni. Sighing, I walk across the room, to my seat under the flag. I put my stuff on the seat next to me, the girl who used to sit there moved to California, and plop down in my seat. That's when I hear a collective gasp. Glancing up, I see the Italian guy in the doorway. And apparently so does everyone else in the room. He walks in, gracefully, handing Mrs. John a note, and even she is burning holes in the dude with her eyes. Eww, she's like… middle aged, and hitting on a sixteen year old? Just then Mrs. John laughs hysterically at something Italy said. Spittle flies out of her mouth, and I swear I'm about to throw up, but Mr. Tall, Dark, and Handsome just politely nods and says something inaudible. Luckily, I'm an expert at reading lips, so I catch him say 'where can I sit' or was it 'you have a lot of spit'? I don't know.

All that I do know is that Mrs. John is looking around, and pointing at me. Oh my gosh, she's going to make the magician sit next to me. Not even bothering to move my stuff on the seat next to me, I immerse myself in my civics textbook, pretending to be interested in the constitution and such. I hear grumbling and sighs from my Italian fanatical peers, as the guy walks across the room towards me. I shove my face in the book, mouthing the words I see. Then I feel the stare of not only Italy, but the whole room.

"I am sorry to bother your studying, but is anybody sitting here?" His accent and lack of contractions annoys me, even though he's Italian. I glance up and his blue eyes stare down into my soul. My soul shivers, and I give the guy a thumbs up, and nod my head. It seems he takes my 'Yes my imaginary friend is sitting there, but stepped out for a smoke' for a 'Nobody's sitting here, but be careful there's a bomb in my bag' by the way he carefully moves my stuff and sits down. I roll my eyes, staring back at the textbook.

After the class settles down from Giovanni's entrance, Mrs. John starts talking about our lesson for the day. I still keep 'reading' my book, and risk a glance at Italy from the safety of my book. He is staring at me, his eyes not blinking. Creepy. I look across the classroom, and see Kami wiggling her eyebrows and smirking at me. When I realize this action is meant for my next door neighbor, I laugh. He takes it like I'm laughing at him, which I sort of am, and shifts uncomfortably. The rest of the class period goes by tortoise slow, and nothing weird happens until I sneeze.

"Dio vi benedica," Italy says in his accent to me.

"Grazie," I say, subconsciously. You see since I love Italy- not the guy, the country- I started learning Italian with Rosetta Stone®, and sometimes accidently say things in Italian. Well anyways that 'thank you' set the guy off on an Italian monologue.

"Lei parla italiano, anche tu? Infine, qualcuno che apprezza le bellezze d'Italia! Sei mai stato lÌ? E 'incredibile! In particolare, il Vaticano e Roma è troppo spettacolare! Oh, è cosÌ bello sapere un altro amante L'Italia, come me!" He stopped blabbing when he saw that everyone was staring at him, once again. "Oh, sorry. Sometimes, it is hard to stop my language from coming back." He laughs nervously, and everyone else laughs like he said something funny. Mrs. John goes back to teaching.

My table buddy turns towards me, "I did not know you spoke Italian-" he stops whispering when he recognizes my face. "Oh!" His eyes light up, "It is you! I was going to speak to you, but you ran away so quickly!" I'm sure my eye twitches. "My name is Giovanni. I saw you sitting by yourself at lunch, and was going to speak to you, but everybody wanted me to keep playing the guitar. I just wanted to tell you-" Fortunately for me, the bell rings, and before Italy can hypnotize me, I grab my stuff and run out the door.

My last class of the day is a class about Shakespeare. At first I didn't want to take it, but after awhile William Shakespeare's grown on me. We just finished reading Hamlet and are going to start reading The Tempest, which just so happens to be placed in Italy. It's like every time I try to stop thinking about that dude, he pops out of nowhere. Like The Tempest, that guy's a storm that blows people off their feet. But he's not going to take me down with his wand or rabbit in a hat. I walk into Mrs. Mount's classroom, to see a substitute writing on the board. Since I rushed out of civics, I am the first in this classroom. Taking advantage of the sub, I sit in the chair next to Lexis's, and pull out my homework from last night.

People rush in the class, five minutes before the bell, and I see Lexis. I wave to her, beckoning her to the seat next to me. But right behind her is Giovanni. It's like he's stalking me. He thinks I'm waving at him, and he waves back. Lexis doesn't see me, and instead walks over to our friend, Shanna, and starts talking. Giovanni, smiling, walks towards me, and heads turn as he passes. A guy named Andre stops Italy and starts talking to him about music and such. Giovanni keeps glancing at me, but I ignore him, instead trying to call to Lexis. She sees me, and strolls towards me. I sigh with relief. Finally I won't have to sit next to…

"Ciao!" An annoyingly cheery voice says from my right. I turn my head slightly to the right, and next to me sits the stalker. I want to cry. Lexis looks at me quizzically, then walks away and sits next to Shanna, periodically glancing back at me. I give her a help-me-get-away-from-this-gorgeous-Italian-stalker look, but she just grins at me wildly. Rolling my eyes, I decide to face this guy. I turn towards him and start rampaging.

"Okay, I don't know who you think you are, Mr. New Guy, but the stalker attitude has to go! I'm tired of your smile, your eyes, hair, smile, annoying laugh, your Italian… Everything! I just want to have a peaceful day after a hard morning, and you show up! You've got everybody under your Italian charm, and I'm sick of it. Sick of hearing 'Giovanni this' and 'Giovanni that'. I'm sick of your guitar playing skills, sick of you acting all innocent, and European, when really you're just a girl-molesting, magical Martian who has an Italian accent! So please. Let. Me. Have. One. Moment. Of. Peace!" I'm normally not the yelling type, so everybody's staring at me like I grew another eye. After I cool down, I look at Giovanni. In his eyes are tears. Did I make him cry? What a wussy.

"That was beautiful!" He yells. I have never heard someone speak Italian so gracefully, and with so much passion. And you are American, too!" Wait, what does he mean by 'speak Italian'? I look at Giovanni, and he's cooing with his eyes closed and hands folded like he's sleeping. Everyone else in the room, just stares at me.

Then someone breaks the silence by saying, "So Rosetta Stone® really works…" And then everyone in the room starts babbling about my burst. Some people actually got it on tape, and are starting to load it onto YouTube® and Facebook®. I roll my eyes, and look at Giovanni. He has stopped making bird noises and now smiles at me. For once I actually smile back. This makes him smile larger, and I scowl.

"So, Elise," He says, his accent not that annoying anymore.

"What?" I asked, still not totally trusting this guy.

"I was going to tell you something earlier," He says scooting his chair closer to mine.

"Yeah?" I started leaning, slowly away from him.

"I… I like your shoes. Are they Gucci®?" He asks, staring at my cheap, wanna-be shoes. Under that accent I can place another accent. Oh. My. God.

"You're gay," I say it as a statement, not a question.

"Duh, isn't it obvious?" He crosses his legs and I can see his shoes. His Gucci® shoes. "I mean it's not like I've been hiding it." I glance around the room, and see all the girls staring at him longingly, and literally fall on the ground laughing.

"Are you alright?" He asks.

I just keep laughing. Then I yell out, "HE'S GAY! GIOVANNI'S GAY!" And all of the girls- and some boys- faint.

Boy, this is one good day.





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