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Her (aka Crush Me)

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There comes a time when you have to tell someone about your secret crush. Usually, you only tell your closest friends who it is, and your crush usually doesn’t know. Then again, your crush doesn’t normally hug you whenever she sees you, or help you find your classes, or tell you that you’re cute, or sit next to you every other day in lunch. And most freshmen don’t bother crushing on a sophomore. So you can see the predicament that I’m in.

It all started when I was in seventh grade. By some miracle, I made the acquaintance of a pretty eight grader. The actual memory of when I first met her is kind of fuzzy; I was very distracted by her beauty at the time. But because I played in the same jazz band and select band as her, I had briefly talked to her before The Night. She never did pay much attention to me until the weeks leading up to The Night, when we began talking during rehearsals for the talent show.

Then The Night came; it was the night of the talent show and at the time I hadn’t realized how important it would be. When she went on stage, I couldn’t help but watch from the wings. Her red cowboy boots accented the pink plaid button down shirt that she had tucked into her faded blue jeans. The country song she was to sing came over the speakers, and she was clearly in her element as she belted out the twanging tune.

After her performance, I barely had time to say “good job” before she was racing to the auditorium. This made me nervous; she would end up hearing me play. I shook off the feelings though, completely surprised at myself. She was already dating someone, and I thought that I didn’t like her like that anyway. All of a sudden, I was being rushed onstage.

My ‘talent’ was playing a theme from a video game. Believing I had the tune memorized, I hadn’t brought out a stand or music with me. That was the big mistake that made The Night so memorable.

Honestly, after I played I was close to tears. Knowing that she had heard my nervous failure was almost unbearable. Somehow, I managed to get back to the chorus room without being interrupted. There was a minute of absolute silence, in which I tried to not cry, then she ran into the room and swung her arms around me. For reasons unknown to me, she spent the next ten minutes hugging me. All I could manage was “you’re a good friend.”
She listened to me cry, and kept her arms around my neck. Out of nowhere, she looked directly at me and told me that she would ask me out if she wasn’t already going out with someone else. Looking into her eyes, I could see that she had feelings for me that she couldn’t show.

Therefore, the hope of being able to get her to truly like me has been a major reason for why I liked her, even two years after The Night. The memories of her from jazz band and select band and various music field trips kept my heart pounding whenever I thought about her. And then, rather suddenly, I was being thrust into high school, where she was becoming a sophomore.

At the high school walk-through, I saw her outside of the guidance office. When she saw me, she waved and ran over to hug me tightly. I nervously hugged her back; she quickly asked if I needed help finding my classes. It took me a minute to realize what she had said, mostly because I was admiring how similar she looked to the last time I had seen her. She continued looking at me with a careful determination, giving me the feeling that even if I didn’t need help she would help me anyway. I nodded, and she immediately took my sleeve and dragged me to the rough location of my locker. Half an hour too soon, she had to leave, and she gave me a quick hug.

And that brings me to the events of lunch on the third day of school. It was a bright and sunny Monday. By chance, I saw her walk by the table I was sitting at. I called out her name, and she stopped and turned, trying to find who was talking to her. When she started to turn back, I yelled again and she fixed on me. Her eyes lit up as she came over to hug me. I only had time to stand up halfway before her arms were tightly around my shoulders. I’m pretty sure I stopped breathing for a moment, but that might have just been because her shoulder was jammed against my throat.

Releasing me, she excitedly asked if I wanted to sit with her. Trying not to sound too eager, I said sure. She led me to her table, then gracefully slid into the center of the bench. I sat down next to her and looked around. Spying my friend L-, I said hi to him; my voice cracked embarrassingly. While she giggled, L- exclaimed happily, “Oh hey M-!”. My face was heating up, but none of the guys at her table seemed to notice. She started to babble about something; I wasn’t listening. I was busy thinking about how wonderful it was to be sitting with her again, after all the time that had passed.

A few minutes later, she held out her wrist ceremoniously. A copper-colored charm bracelet glittered in the lights. It looked vaguely familiar, but I couldn’t figure out exactly why. She happily said that she had recently added a fairy charm. I commented on the music note dangling from the chain. With a big grin, she told me that it came with the original bracelet. Suddenly, it hit me; this was the The Bracelet I had given her when our jazz band took a trip to Broadway to see a musical two years ago.

The fact that she still wore it stunned me. Even after the guys she was sitting with had moved on to playing a card game, I continued to run this useless fact through my mind. Shortly after, they ended the game and we left the cafeteria.

She fell into step beside me and asked me where I was going next. I floundered before telling her I didn’t know. Smiling, she offered to help me find my class, so I pulled out my already crumpled schedule and showed it to her. Once she had studied it for a minute, she took off toward the front of the building with me in tow.

While we walked, she started talking about how sorry she was for embarrassing me. I quickly told her it was fine, but she cut across my statment with a complaint for how high-pitched she had been talking. This prompted me to tell her she had a very pretty voice, and she looked at me and saw that I was, once again, blushing. She giggled and asked me why I was blushing, I said “Because I like you- um… I don’t know.”

Naturally, she gave me a curious look and squealed “Oooo someone has a crush!” I couldn’t do anything to deny what she said, so I just nodded. “Aww the wee little freshman has a crush!” Each time she said that, my face got redder and redder. “How long has this been going on?” Now to tell her the truth: “Ever since I met you.” She stopped short, faced me and said “That is absolutely adorable.” We walked a moment in silence, then she told me where my class was, and gave me a tight hug. Before she turned to go to her class, she told me that I was cute.

All I could manage was a small smile. And the rest of the day I was stuck thinking about her. I couldn’t focus in my remaining classes, and I still had no idea if she liked me back.




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