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There was something about him that kept me hanging on for two years. To be flat out honest, I hated everything about Charlie. He wasn’t the tallest guy, about 5’7”, and he had a small lanky body, about 120 pounds. His hair had no style to it whatsoever, it was just washed, and whatever way it dried, that was the way it stayed. His teeth were yellow and crooked, and I wondered if they were ever brushed. His face had some scars from acne, and above his wide, discolored eyes, he had thick, bushy eyebrows. I even hated his voice, it was like a little boy’s, and I wondered if this guy-who was two years older than me, 18-would ever go through puberty.
This was a guy who failed the seventh grade, and compared to my straight-A’s, and ability to skip the third grade, things just didn’t add up. We didn’t add up at all, everything was different about us. We had nothing in common, and didn’t agree about anything. Yet, for some odd reason, I was completely attracted to him. My dream was to be with him, and it was just a dream, because no matter how hard I tried, Charlie was never mine.
I think it was the way he gave me attention at first that made me so attracted to him. I didn’t see him much when I first met him, but when I did, he talked to me and would jokingly make fun of me. I would laugh it off, and maybe I fell for his ability to make me laugh. Anyone could make me laugh, but when he did, I didn’t forget about it so easily.
You couldn’t exactly call us friends, for our friendship was constantly absent after awhile, lingering in the back of my head. He seemed to only talk to me when he felt like it, or when it mattered for him. Before homecoming, that all changed. He came up to my locker after school as I was collecting my school books and said, “Hey, Lisa.”
“Hey Charlie,” I smiled instantly, and looking back, I wasn’t sure why. Maybe I smiled at his silly smile. He didn’t really look at you when he talked to you, just kind of gazed off somewhere behind you, his mouth hanging open in an awkward smile. This guy was the same height as me, but with my curvy body, literally shaped like an hour glass, put me twenty pounds heavier than his bony figure. I liked guys who were extremely tall and muscular. Believe me, this wasn’t my ideal guy.
“Homecoming is coming up.”
“Yeah,” I answered awkwardly, shifting my weight to my right foot, “Are you going?”
He always answered awkwardly and short like that. I didn’t even know why he would talk to me, if all he had to say was, “Yeah.”
“Oh, I might go.” I offered some information.
“Wanna be my date?” He asked abruptly, and smiled weirdly, which made me think for a moment if he was joking.
“Sure.” I answered without much thought, and as he smiled and walked away, butterflies fluttered inside my stomach. This would be my first date to a dance.
That night I went shopping for my homecoming dress, and came across the perfect one, at, of course, the most expensive shop. It was red, and flared out right before my hips, which made me look thinner. It made me look good, and in this dress, I felt sexy and confident.
The price tag was a little shocker, but I knew homecoming night would make up for it. I am the person who would look forever and forever for a dress, and never find one I was okay with, but when I found one I did like, I liked it, and that was that. This dress was perfect, and I anticipated the night would be the same.
It was the night of homecoming, and I was all ready at my house, hair and make up done, in my stunning red dress, and when I looked at myself in the mirror, and felt truly beautiful. I couldn’t wait to show off my dress, even if that thought sounded a little conceited.
Charlie was supposed to pick me up at 6 for dinner. It was already 6:15. Did he usually run late? Did he decide to do dinner after? I think he copied my number down right; wouldn’t he call to say he’s on his way?
I called up my friend, Ben, to see what he thought. He said if he wasn’t there by 6:45, I was probably stood up. He then said if I wanted to, I could be his date for the night, but on “just friends” terms. When 6:55 came, I agreed.
Ben was at my house by 7:05, and we got to the dance only about ten minutes late, which wasn’t bad considering the line was still out the door. Ben was my best friend, so it was fun to dance with him on the dance floor, joke around, and make fun of other couples who were dancing.
After about an hour of dancing, Ben led me off the dance floor into the cafeteria. We sat down and talked for a little, and Ben suddenly said, “Lisa, Charlie sure is missing out.”
Mentioning his name didn’t make me feel so good, because my throat suddenly felt like it was on fire, and my heart sank so low it hit my stomach. I knew Charlie blew me off after asking me to homecoming, and I didn’t understand why.
“I just feel so stupid. I don’t know why he blew me off.” I confessed to my best friend.
“I don’t know why you said yes to him in the first place, to be honest.” Ben said.
My eyes widened, “What?” I questioned.
“Sorry, Lisa, but he’s not that attractive, and doesn’t have anything going for him. And here, you’re beautiful, absolutely stunning, and you have something going for you. You have all A’s, good friends, good morals.”
“Thank you Ben, really.” I said after a moment. I smiled and kissed him on the cheek softly.
He returned the gesture, and said, “Anytime, Lisa.”
It was the Monday after homecoming, and Charlie came up to me as if homecoming never happened.
“Hi.” I said slowly, trying to figure out what he was doing, why he was talking to me, and why he wasn’t apologizing.
“Can I talk to you? In private?” He asked, not looking at me.
“Sure.” I said, hoping this would be his apology.
I followed him out to the parking lot, and sat in the front seat of his black Mustang. I hated Mustangs. It was something else to add to the list of things I hated.
He tried to kiss me, but I stopped him.
He grabbed my hand, and I took it back politely.
“Lisa, I really like you.”
“Really?” I said without believing him, my back against the car door, as far from him as I could be.
“Yes, I do. I want to have a relationship with you, Lisa.” His smile looked stupid.
“I don’t know, Charlie, do you?” I asked after a moment.
I hated everything about him. Why did I like him in the first place?
I never got into that black Mustang again.