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The Old Crush
I looked up in the direction of the voice and my mood dropped a good 50 points. On the list of things I wanted to do that day, seeing a guy that happened to be my old flame was not on that list. His name’s Keon King, by the way. I used to like him so much but I don’t anymore.
I obviously couldn’t hide the way I felt about seeing him again because he said, “You’re not happy to see me.”
“You’re right, I’m not.” Why did he have to show up again? Why did he have to show up ever? He had supposedly graduated last year giving me the chance to get over him, which I did. Now that he was here, it was like he was rubbing in my face the fact that feelings might still be there.
“May I sit?” he asked politely.
I wanted to yell ‘No’ and slap him but the librarian was shooting daggers at us and she would be quick to kick me out if I made any loud noises. Dang it. Wordlessly, I slid my books farther down my table and gave him room to comfortably take the seat across from me. I leaned back in my seat. “What do you want?”
“To talk to you.”
“Why?” I asked. “Why here?”
“You’re here and you can’t yell at me here.”
“Lucky for you.”
“Come on, Maya. Don’t be like that.”
“Don’t sweep this under the rug, Key. You know I liked you. We flirted the greater part of last year. And then nothing. You don’t talk to me. You don’t listen to me. Those last months you were here, you barely said two words. You should know that hurt.”
“I left, I’m sorry. I put the barrier up, my bad,” he said. “It was for the best.”
“You’re right about that, my parents would never approve of us. Not like you cared.”
“That’s the main thing I was worried about, your parents. But hey, we didn’t go farther than flirting, I don’t know why you’re upset with me.”
“It’s ‘cause I liked you and you ignored me. How was that supposed to make me feel?”
“I was a flirt then, Maya, why did you take it so seriously?”
“You were older (only by a year, but still) and you gave me all the attention I could have ever wanted and I liked you.” I pronounced every syllable so he would really get it.
He repositioned himself in his seat nervously. “I didn’t know all that,” he said.
“Even if you did, it wouldn’t have made you stay, wouldn’t have made you ask me out.”
“We were a no-win situation from the beginning.”
“That didn’t keep me from wanting more.”
“You were so smart. You shouldn’t have been hanging out with guys like me.”
“Flirts, druggies, underachievers. I was ready to take my chances, you know?”
“And I couldn’t have that.”
“Well, it’s ancient history now but that doesn’t explain why you’re here now.”
“Oh, right, you sort of bombarded me with your pent up aggression.”
“I had to make sure you knew. Don’t know when I’ll see you again.” He just nodded. “What do you really want?”
Without hesitation he said, “Will you go out with me?”
Time stood still for that split second. My eyes widened taking up half of my face. My bottom jaw hit the table. I was surprised, really surprised. If he had asked me last year, I wouldn’t have been able to say yes enough times but now . . . “You have got to be kidding me?”
He shook his head no. “No, I’m not kidding.”
“No,” I said flatly.
I shook my head. “I won’t go out with you.” I had liked him. I’m sure of that but things were different now.
He looked at me weirdly. He was surprised that I had turned him down. I was sort of surprised, too. “Why?” he asked flabbergasted.
“I liked you, really I did. But that’s past tense. I moved on. Did you expect me to stay in love with you forever and wait for you?”
“Well, yeah,” he said honestly.
I couldn’t help but chuckle. “That’s funny, but sorry I’m taken.”
“You have got to be kidding me?” he said shaking his head. “I came here to get turned down.”
“You sort of did, sorry.” I looked past him. “Oh, here he is now.” I pointed behind him and he turned around. Walking toward us was my boyfriend of 3 months, Zachary Brown. He wasn’t taller than Key or cuter, but he had the greatest sense of humor and he a good soul, he loved me. He was perfect for me.
“Hey babe,” he whispered as he sat next to me. “Who’s your friend?”
“You remember Keon,” I said introducing them. “Keon, this is my boyfriend, Zach. Zach, Keon.”
“Boyfriend?” Keon asked. It was sort of funny how hard he was taking it.
“Nice to meet you,” Zach said.
“Yeah,” Keon replied.
Zach looked at me. “We got to go, Maya, or we’ll be late.”
I looked at my watch, “Oh, right, dang. Time sure flies.” I got up and gathered my books. “It was nice to see you again, Keon.”
Zach and I were turning to leave when Keon said, “Wait.”
I interrupted him. “They say good things happen to those who wait, but not if you wait too long.” I leaned closer to him and whispered, “You waited too long.” I stood straight up, waved goodbye, and walked away with Zach.
“You alright,” Zach asked me when we were in the hallway.”
I nodded and smiled. “Of course I’m alright. I have you.” I laughed. “Did you see the look on his face?”
Zach laughed as he reached for my hand. “Yeah, I did. What did you do to him?”
“Absolutely nothing,” I said. “That’s the thing about flames, especially old ones; the heat sort of dissipates over time to the point where no one really cares. I fell out of love with him along time ago.”
“Which is good especially since you have this hot stud standing next to you.”
I laughed. “Only you can say that and it be funny.” We laughed and walked hand and hand down the hall. Looking at Zach, I had a love in my heart that no old flame could ever accomplish. Man, do I love him.