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The day I turned around and saw you staring at me was the first day I dreamt of a life outside of high school, outside of a career and grades. Granted, I didn’t dream much, but still. It meant something.
The summer before, I had decided to make a few changes. Changes like, let my hair down with all its natural dark brown waviness. Changes like, wearing contacts instead of glasses (I still do, just in the confines of my bedroom when I write). Changes like, letting go once in a while. Today I was taking a walk with my best friend Samantha.
“Hey, earth to Catarina.” My best friend was waving her hand around in front of my face.
“You need to pay attention. We have to cross the road.”
We waved to cars as we walked across the busy town street.
“Chase Marshalls is looking at you.”
“Oh yeah, like you haven’t noticed.” She looked back over at Chase, the best musician in the school, -and cutest- “See, I told you that makeover did wonders for you.”
“Oh yeah, your turn. Maybe you can flaunt your stuff to Brandon when you’re done.”
“No way! You did not just say that out loud! He could have heard you.”
“He’s all the way, halfway across the park.”
“Maybe you should go talk to Chase. Stop him from needing glasses like you from straining his eyes too hard to see who you are.”
“Looks aren’t everything Samantha. And no. I absolutely will not go over there. Let’s just go get our food please.”
“Fine. But you’ll have to actually talk to him soon. School starts in 9 days.”
After we’d gotten our food at a local produce stand we turned back and headed home. Of course we passed the park again, and there he was. He was looking away this time so I just kept facing the sidewalk and the street as we crossed over. I turned around when we got to the other side, and guess what? He was smiling at me.
“Catarina, my mom just called and I have to be home to make dinner for my brothers. I’ll see you tomorrow okay?”
“Sure. Bye.” We parted ways and I headed home. “Hey mom!”
“Hey sweetie! I’m upstairs. I got the paint for your room and I started this morning.”
“Where am I going to sleep?”
“I put your bed in the guest room along with your clothes. This should only take 3-4 days at most though.”
“Thanks mom.” I went to the guest room and turned on my laptop. I went to the mirror and took out my contacts and replaced them with my glasses. I put on my pajamas and went back to my laptop and started where I’d left off writing my story.
“Oh my gosh!” I gasped when I woke up at 2:00 in the morning. I couldn’t believe what had just happened. I’d dreamt that we were at my vacation house in Georgia and Chase had been there holding my hand as we waited for Samantha and Brandon to get out of the water. I fumbled around in the dark for my cell phone and dialed Samantha’s number. It took her 7 rings to pick up.
“Cat? What’s up? It’s 2:00 in the morning.”
“Oh, I’m so sorry. I had this dream and I wasn’t thinking. You have to hear it.”
“What was it this time? Failing SATs?”
“NO!” I recounted the whole dream to her and took a huge breath when I was done. “What do you think?”
“Well obviously your subconscious is telling you what you already know but don’t want to admit.”
“Chase is into you and it’s only a matter of time…”
“No. My subconscious is telling me I need to focus. School starts in 9 days, I’m sorry, 8 days, and I need to go shopping.”
“Uhuh. Right. Don’t know how you got shopping out of that dream, but whatever. I’ll see you in well, more than a few hours, more like 10. G’night.”
“G’night.” I was starting to feel the sudden vertigo of waking up so fast and went back to sleep.
The next day Samantha and I went shopping for a back-to-school outfit. We’d gone through quite a bit when I felt someone behind me.
“Can I help you?”
I knew that voice. “Um, no thank you. I think I’ve got I covered.” I turned around to see Chase looking down at me. “Oh! I didn’t know you worked here.”
“I’ve been working here for a while now. I guess you just didn’t notice me.” He shot me a dazzling smile. I smiled back not knowing what else to do.
“You ready for the new school year?” Samantha asked him. I gave her a grateful look.
“I guess so. What about you guys?”
“Sorta.” We both said at the same time and smiled.
“Well I have to tend to other customers, but I’ll see you around.” He said that last part while staring straight at me.
“Sure.” After he’d walked away I let out my breath and turned to Samantha.
“He was trying to keep you in the conversation and definitely implied he wanted to see you. Do you believe me now?”
“Maybe.” After another half hour of looking we purchased what we’d picked out and were walking out when Chase caught up to us.
“Hey, my shift is over. Mind if I walk you to your car?”
“Not at all.” I was proud of myself for keeping my voice steady.
We walked out with his hands in his pockets and our hands full of shopping bags. I was trying to get my key out of my front pocket when I almost dropped my bags.
“Here, let me get it.” Chase reached into the front pocket of my shorts and retrieved my key. I turned away before he caught my blush but I saw that he was trying to hide a smile. I looked over at Samantha and she was beaming at me. Chase popped the trunk and took half of my bags and half of Samantha’s.
“Just set them in there wherever.” I told him.
Once we’d gotten all the bags in I turned around to say thank you and caught him blushing. I caught Chase Marshalls blushing!
“Hey you want to come to the Coffee Shop with me tomorrow night? There’s going to be some local bands playing.”
He smiled down at me and wrote a number on my hand. “Text me the address.” He started to walk away and turned back, “Pick you up at 7:00!” He waved and walked to his car.
I walked around to the driver’s side and got in dumbstruck.
“I told you so.” Samantha said. I looked over with a huge smile on my face.
“I’ve got a date with Chase Marshalls!”
Samantha helped me pick an outfit to wear to my date and went home. I had a hard time sleeping, but I did sleep. In the morning I skipped down the stairs and told my mom about the date and spent the rest of the day helping her paint my room. When it came time, I took a shower, texted Chase the address and got ready.
Chase showed up at 7:00 on the dot and I ran out the door.
“Well hello.” He said as he pushed my door open from inside the car.
“Hi.” We talked about school and everyday things until we got to the Coffee Shop and walked in to hear a band just starting. He got us drinks and we moved up toward the stage. A while later he took my hand and began to dance with me.
I’d like to tell you he kissed me that night after our first date, but no. That came a few dates later. J Now, we’re standing on the shore at my vacation house hand in hand waiting for Samantha and Brandon to get out of the water (Yes Samantha got to date Brandon in the end).