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When One Door Opens... [Chapter 2]
I don’t know how I managed to seem so calm and collected with Cedric last Saturday, especially when I pulled him down for a kiss. Right now, I’m having so many thoughts that just prove I’m a nervous wreck. He admitted he was drinking at the party, so maybe everything he said was just a lie. For example, he said I had a lot going for me. Hah, yeah right. Jessica was every guy’s wish at Parker High School. Why did he want me?
As I’m placing my books into my locker, I hear Jessica and her friends snicker about me. They’re only a few lockers down, staring at me with piercing eyes. I want to go up to her and just tell her that I didn’t do all this on purpose, but she’d never understand. I don’t even think I’d have the guts to do it.
I’d eventually have to feel her wrath in third period anyway; we all had Astronomy together. I don’t have any friends at my school, so I took my usual seat in the front, the row no one seemed to enjoy. Even Cedric sat in the back, but when he came in, he surprisingly sat next to me.
I then frowned when I heard the girls in the back began to whisper comments, but Cedric looked at me through the corner of his eye and winked. It made my heart race a bit, until the substitute began class.
“Good morning class,” he said in a stern voice. “Your teacher wants you to work in pairs today, defining the vocabulary on page fifty-four in your workbook. I need to step out for a second, so please stay put.”
Cedric immediately turned to me, and I nodded, agreeing to work together. He dragged his desk to mine and opened his workbook. We studied our first word, but his face looked puzzled. It was adorable to me.
“Geo…geo…geosynchronous,” he stuttered. “What the heck is that?”
“I have no idea,” I laughed, shaking my head. “We need to look it up in chapter six in the text book.”
“Let’s make it more challenging,” he suggested. “First person to find ten definitions without using the glossary or index wins.”
“Deal,” I agreed. “I love challenges.”
We began shuffling through all the pages for definitions, and it seemed as if we were in the class by ourselves for a second. After Cedric won the challenge, one of the classmates beside Cedric tapped his shoulder and passed a note to him. I noticed the whole class was watching us closely. Jessica stayed coolly to the back and lowered her eyes to us. Cedric opened the note and his nose began to flare.
The class was quiet as he was staring down into the little sheet of paper. He crumpled the paper and threw it on his desk as he stood up and went to Jessica’s desk. I grabbed the little ball of paper and opened it, still watching Cedric.
The note that was being passed around was titled “All the Things Wrong with Kirsten” and below was hurtful words, such as “hideous” and “desperate”. I looked back to Cedric and saw him jabbing a finger into Jessica’s face. He spoke in a low, angry voice, and I was too unfocused to listen in. Jessica stared at me with an evil look above Cedric’s shoulder.
I began to cry in front of the entire class, and I was embarrassed. I holstered my bag on to my shoulder, looked back at Cedric and Jessica, and ran to sit in front of my locker.
I pulled my knees to my forehead and cried into my thighs for what seemed like a long time. When I heard footsteps running toward me, I looked up to see Cedric. He took a seat next to me and held me in his strong arms.
“Don’t let them…don’t let them get to you,” he advised.
I cried into his shoulder, and we sat there until the bell rang. We got up and fixed ourselves for forth period.
“Meet me at the park at six?” he asked. I nodded and went to class.
I waited forever for six to come. It became aggravating almost. When I dragged myself to where Cedric told me to meet him, my mouth dropped open. The night was dark already, but Cedric brought light to us. He threw Christmas lights and glow sticks all over the trees in a little private area of the park. In a poster under the lights, it was titled “All the Things I Love about Kirsten”. I turned to him and noticed little index cards with different adjectives.
“One thing I love about Kirsten,” he presented his first index card hanging from a branch, “is that she is a great kisser.”
I blushed and turned the other way.
“Another thing I love about Kirsten,” he added, “is that she’s so adorable when she’s shy.”
I giggled and held onto his hand as he led me to another index card on another branch. “She also has the ability to make a guy stumble over his words and trip and fall a couple of times.”
“I remember that,” I laughed.
We looked at all the other words he hanged all over the park, until security asked that we left. When he walked me home, he whispered in my ear.
“Was this our first date?” he asked, holding my waist as we walked.
“If you want to count it as one,” I shrugged, trying to play it cool.
“Hmm,” he thought. “Well, most of my first dates end in a kiss.”
We were on my porch now, the dim yellow light aimed at us. I laughed, and kept my eyes on him as he held onto my waist the entire time.
“Well, kiss me then,” I insisted.
“Maybe you should kiss me instead,” he countered.
“Is that a challenge in your voice, Cedric?”
“No, it’s just that I get really clumsy when I kiss you, so I think it’s just better off if you kiss me. Any time, just stop me, pull me in, and kiss me, because when I do it, it’s so awkward, and I don’t know what to do. It’s like I want to kiss you, but I end up turning my head the wrong way and my hands get all—”
I pulled his face to mine and kissed him.
“You know I can’t resist a challenge, Cedric,” I whispered into his lips.
“Right,” he smiled. “I’ll see you tomorrow, Kirsten.”
And then I saw him the day after that and the day after that. He became the one person I looked forward to seeing every day. Those days then turned into months, and I was glad to say we kept going strong at three months. Nothing could ever get between us, and if someone tried to get in the way, we let them knew that we loved challenges.