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Never Talk To Strangers

"Do you want a ride home?"

I stared at Dallas through his open passenger window. How many times had I imagined him asking me that very question?

We'd never spoken a day in our lives. I walked by his house on the way home nearly every day after school for the past year. We were in the same classes. We went to the same tanning salon. I'd friended him on Myspace and Facebook; and still had yet to work up the courage to simply say, 'Hi'.

I used to spend the ten minutes walking home, fantasizing about the different ways I'd do it. I'd imagined a courageous me, running into him after tanning, and striking up a conversation. I'd thought about how, conveniently, my step-dad knew his dad. I invented a situation in which we'd be walking by his house, and they'd both be outside. The adults would talk, while Dallas and I would hit it off. Sometimes he'd pass me on the way home, and I'd wish he would recognize me from class, and stop to drive me home.

I didn't really know him, but I imagined him being a good boyfriend. Dallas was one of those good guys, that went to church. He complained once in class about how people give him s**t for waiting till marriage to have sex. I commended that, privately, in my head. He played baseball - he was one of the popular kids in school, of course. And maybe, when he spoke up in class, he sounded a little like the typical dumb jock. But, in my fantasy, he was secretly really smart. I told myself repeatedly, if I had a guy like him, I wouldn't have any troubles at all.

I pretended that he was the guy of my dreams. Lusting over thoughts of him taking me out to dinner and a movie, kissing me on the porch step after dropping me off, and watching movies on his couch. I smiled when I thought of the butterflies I'd try to calm later in bed, only to think of the kiss again and again. I'd hoped futilely that he'd ask me to prom - with no luck. If only I could walk through school with him holding my hand, then I wouldn't be so alone, I told myself. People would look up to me. They'd envy me. They'd respect me, and think of me as more than just 'the quiet girl in class'.

As he stared expectantly with his perfect, white-toothed smile, a worrying thought nagged at me. I could see myself climbing in the truck, and instantly blanking on conversation topics. I'd walk in my front door later, cringing at the awkward silence that suffocated me the entire ride home. Even now, my stomach curled inward, as reality sank in. He probably wouldn't be interested in me. Compared to his radiance, I was as horribly plain as Jane Eyre. And I could let that fear control me, or I could take the chance, and if nothing else, get a ride home.

I flashed him a smile of gratitude, and what I hoped was confidence.

"Sure," I answered, hopping into the truck and shutting the door.





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Inherinerd said...
Jun. 12, 2010 at 5:04 pm

this was really cute! and well written. i like the reference to jane eyre! could you plz check out some of my stuff, it would be really nice of you. thanks!

 

 
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