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It was Wednesday night. On Wednesday nights, there was a teen group at Randy's church called 'Common Ground'. In Common Ground, they did various, usually fun, activities. Tonight they were going to clean up the youth room where they met, followed by snacks.
Randy stepped out of his car into the freezing cold. The wind bit his face. Randy squinted and started toward the church. The main reason why Randy went to these things was Hannah. To Randy, Hannah was so beautiful that to even get a look at her was a luxury. That being said, Randy's thoughts on Hannah were more love/hate than anything else. Randy, in a desperate plea for her attention, wore a shirt he got from running the 'Hospital Hill Run', a half-marathon he ran the summer before.
'God, did I run 13 miles?', Randy thought, 'I can't believe I've improved that much.'
Randy, Hannah, Hannah's boyfriend, Matt, and several others met in the youth room. The leader of the group, Steve, divided them up into tasks. Randy would wipe down the tables while Hannah would vacuum. Randy started wiping a table while Hannah, oblivious to any thoughts Randy had about her, started vacuuming.
In about thirty minutes, all their tasks were done. The tables were spotless, the floor was debris-free, and the whole room seemed to sparkle. The group then gathered around one of the tables and ate snacks. Hannah and Matt started to talk, and even kiss. Randy started to hear an odd, high-pitched screeching in his ears. When he looked away from the happy couple across the table, it got softer, but it was still there. When he looked at them, it became overpowering.
He tried to tune it out, but it just kept getting louder and louder. Randy started to become nervous and shifty. The others started noticing, and became nervous themselves.
'What's wrong, Randy?', Steve asked.
'Does anyone else hear that?!', Randy yelled, he felt insane.
'No, I don't hear anything.', Matt interjected.
'What are you hearing?', Hannah questioned. Randy looked into Hannah's face. He saw the delicate curves of her face, and her angelic perfection seemed to taunt him, telling him he was not, nor would he ever be, good enough.
This was too much for Randy, the screeching now was so loud he felt his eardrums would burst. He ran out of the room, yelling, 'I've got to be alone!', leaving the rest of the group craning their necks, wondering what was going on.
Randy walked in the endless hallways of the church, an virtual labyrinth, but what he had memorized. Randy brooded.
'How could she not notice me?! I'm half my old size! No one has ever worked that hard to impress anyone! I may not have a six-pack, but I can outrun most people who do. Doesn't that count for anything? I don't recall her boyfriend giving up an hour and a half of quality time every day after school to improve himself. Why does he get to just waltz in and have her, while I work my ass off and get nothing?!! It's just not fair.'
Then, turning round yet another corner, he saw something that caught him completely off-guard. Hannah, sitting against a wall, sobbing. Randy's feelings of loathing all of a sudden disappeared and were completely replaced by empathy.
'What's wrong?', Randy asked.
'Oh, nothing.', Hannah tried to cover her feelings. She failed, and started weeping again. 'It's just' my--my parents.', she said between sobs. 'My dad is being t-treated for cancer, and m-my mom has just had'a-another heart attack. I feel like my life is just--just a long, downward sp-spiral.' Randy had no words, and just stood. Hannah looked up.
'You really look better.', Hannah said, now calmer. 'And you ran a half-marathon? Wow. How many miles is that?'
'Thir'thirteen miles.', Randy mumbled.
'Wow, I wish I could run that far.'
'S'so, is there anything I can do to um' help?', Randy felt so selfish now.
'Thanks for hearing me out.', Hannah said, standing up. 'C'mon, let's head back to the youth room.'
Randy started biting his pen, thinking. The air was now pleasantly cool and wet. Randy started thinking about Hannah some more. It has been a week since his chance encounter, and he now wanted to express his new, gentler feelings. Randy started to write:
Your beauty has never ceased to amaze
Where you walk, there are sunlight rays
I'll admit, there were times when this caused me to hate
But then I learned to get over myself and wait
I rued the fact I'd never be yours
Every time I saw you, I got rather sore
There were times when I even cried
When you kissed someone else, I died
Just a little, on the inside
But then I found you had problems, too
I began to see another side of you
You're a human being, just like me
I must apologize, for I did not see
--Your secret admirer
'A little corny,', Randy thought, 'but it'll do.' He taped the poem to the handle of Hannah's car and walked away into the darkness.