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Wanting to be wanted

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I never noticed how handsome he was until that night when he smiled at me with his awkward boyishness, the kind where his freckles and the corners of his mouth stretch up to the sky. It was then when I noticed the glimmer in his eyes as he looked at me, and then looked down and then tugged at his navy blue polo and shifted in his khaki pants. I walked to where he was standing and he instantly tensed up. I could tell he held his breath as I coyly looked down and smiled, but when I looked up, he looked at me with tremendous honesty that made me think about his actual feelings towards me and our friendship. I couldn’t resist being shocked and gasp when he said “hey” and extended his arms toward mine for a casual “friend” hug. After this brief encounter with our feelings, we chatted about politics and weather, about sports and our drama club, which was the usual conversation among any teenager who just wanted to talk to someone, who just wanted to be wanted.

A song came up, one that I desperately wanted to dance to, and I bit my lip and pulled him on the dance floor. He was undoubtedly surprised and did not know how to dance to this song so I smiled and sighed. I thought he could have tried a little harder. He saw my disappointed expression and took my hand and waist in a ballroom style dance position and started to sway back and forth. Once again I was surprised with how he impressed me and I laughed, genuinely. I now noticed that the roles had been reversed, that he was now the confident and cool one while I was the one laughing and being taken by this new morphed person, a person who knew what he was doing and although he looked like a nerdy kind of boy-man, I still was persuaded by his charm and I believed he was a movie star who was sweeping me off my feet. I didn’t even notice that the song had changed into a hip-hop song about guns and hoes; I was too wrapped up in the idea that I was captured like a bird in captivity that never wanted to be free.

I was with him now, but I knew I couldn’t be. It hurt when he begged.
I had disappointed myself.

It was the end of the night when I told him that I would have to go back to school and forget this, forget the way we almost were. I made it sound like I was in one of those 80’s movies, but he shocked me into reality. He told me I was a b**** for doing this, that I wasn’t all hot and cool like people thought I was, that I had a cold heart and that I teased him. And I noticed I was crying. I noticed that I wasn’t crying because of his words and because they were right, but I was crying because he was someone that had just recited the words of my diary, the words that I scream every night because they are too real not to believe. After he stopped yelling at me, I noticed that he was crying. And I knew why. It was because we were in a parallel universe on the dancefloor and he wanted to go back. He didn’t want to be in this messed up society where I was too ashamed to be with him. And that’s when I realized that he was better than me, that I couldn’t and didn’t want to be who I was.

I noticed that it was 12 a.m. and that if I didn’t get sleep, I wouldn’t look right in the morning. The girls would glare at me and ask me why I didn’t sleep and I would be fighting back tears because I would be telling them a completely different story.

I said goodbye to him and walked home.

I burned my diary and packed my bags. I wasn’t here anymore. I noticed it was nearly 4 a.m. when I got to the bus station and I noticed that my makeup was smudged and my clothing wrinkled. I noticed that I had finally reflected my wretched personality through my clothing. I smiled, yet I was scorned.



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