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Carl Thompson.

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The bell rings. And everyone races to the door like a bunch of wasps going after someone who just stole their nest. Big deal. You nest is already ruined. We still have to go to our next class. Getting in and out of the doors faster won’t make it any better. I’ll take my time. Besides, that new kid’s coming today. His locker’s just next to mine. I’m secretly nervous to meet him. I’ll never tell. I’m not shy. I’m class president for goodness’ sake. I don’t know why I feel this way. Maybe should I just walk faster, so I don’t miss him. “Excuse me, Jackie.” Mr. Turner puts his arm around shoulders, speaking into my ear as quietly as possible, in such a loud environment. “Today’s Carl’s first day.” Mr. Turnery points in his direction. “Please make him feel welcome. Help him out if he needs anything. Can you do that for me?” Carl? What? No. Can’t be my Carl. “Will do my best, Mr. Turner.” Carl? Thompson? The one who broke my heart and moved away in fifth grade? Never called or anything? He still looks the same. The crooked smile and sparkly eyes. It’s all the same. I wonder if he still thinks of me as the tomboy down the street. He probably doesn’t even care. Everyone’s still swarming around like wasps, when I realize I’m frozen. In the midst of all of it. Everyone’s filled with giggles and smiles. That’s usually me. Catching up with friends between classes. This isn’t like me. What’s going on? Get a grip, Jackie. Get over there before he walks away. I start walking as quickly as possible without making it too obvious. Millions of thoughts are searching for a place in my mind. What should I say? Should I even say anything? I should wait for him to say something. Do I look okay? I hope I don’t have anything stuck on my teeth. What about that day when I got ink on my face and didn’t realize it. How embarrassing. Is my hair too messy and careless? I look too nerdy. I should take my glasses off. No, I want to look smart. Some guys like that. Finally. I reach my locker. I look fine. And I know exactly what I want to say. But… He’s gone. Some other girl already found him I bet. I shouldn’t have been so busy worry about me and my appearance. I hope he’s not lost or something. I should have been here. Maybe it is better to race to the door when the bell rings. It just seems silly. I didn’t do my best, sorry Mr. Turner. Oh well. There’s no such thing as love at first sight anyway. I must have been wrong. Caught up in the moment. Besides, it wasn’t even my first sight. I’ve seen him millions of times. When we were younger. I used to see him all the time. I’m heading to calc. It’s done and over with. “Jake. I was hoping you’d be here. You look wonderful.” Was he walking toward me? Or past me? Is this for pity? He just wants to make me feel good, I’m sure. “I… um… well. Most people call me Jackie now. Where’re you headed?” It’s then I realized I’m holding my breath. “Well I’d like to call you mine, if that’s okay.” I breathe out. No, I’m glad I didn’t race for door. I like meeting him here. “Yes. I think I’d like that.”





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