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Lance was everything that a girl would look in for a guy. He was cute, smart, funny and intelligent. He made heads turn his way, mesmerized every single girl who ever came across him. He made hearts jump up and down the ribs at the very thought of him. He was what they conventionally call, a ‘bad boy’. The kind that parents are afraid their daughters would lose their virginity to. The kind that simple girls like me are afraid to fall in love with. The kind that every girl would want her boyfriend to be like.
I wasn’t a particularly girly girl, if you know what I mean. I didn’t giggle around guys, nudge them or let them flirt unnecessarily with me. In other words, I wasn’t what most of the girls in my tenth grade were like. Guys didn’t fancy me or ask me out. And this, in turn, didn’t bother me much as I preferred staying home on a Saturday Night rather than getting stoned at some party and then making out with a guy that I’d just met.
Interestingly enough, Lance happened to be a good friend of mine. He used to call me his “extra special girl.” We used to talk about everything, be it politics, the naïve high school cliques, or his latest girlfriend. He was easy to talk to and I knew that I could confess from anything to everything in him, without the fear of beans getting spilled.
Lance was the most unique person that I’d ever come across. He made me feel special when he called me by that name. He made me feel beautiful and everything that I knew or thought that I wasn’t. I used to wait for the school to be over every single day so that I could meet him and talk to him. Girls used to envy me and gossip about me. But I didn’t care because I was and still am, proud to be his best friend. But I knew that things were changing. I had started becoming extremely enthusiastic about out daily sessions together. I couldn’t help but envy all the girls that he used to talk to or flirt with. My heart had started jumping ridiculously, every time he used to smile or wink at me. His smile…the way he used to turn his head on one side and smile that half, naughty guy grin…It still makes my heart skip a beat. His touch made sparks run down my body. I couldn’t help going to sleep every night, thinking about him. He had me going crazy for him. With every time that he shoved me or punched me on my arm or winked at me or smiled that special smile for me, I knew that I was falling for him. Yes, I, the girl totally against teenage love and high school romance, was falling in love. I was afraid of telling anyone about this, especially Lance. What if he didn’t like me back? What if it ruined our friendship? How will I be able to live with that, let alone, face him?
It was hard, trying to keep it to myself. I had to, just had to tell it to someone. That someone turned out to be my other good friend, Rachel.
“Rachel, swear on me that you won’t tell it to anyone, especially not him.” It felt such a relief to finally tell it to someone.
“But why not? I mean, you guys tell each other everything. You have to tell him that you like him.” It was so easy for her to say that. Had she been in my place, it would’ve been killing her as well. The way it was tearing me up inside. I couldn’t tell him. I just…couldn’t.
Our debate on what to do and what not to do lasted for ages. I was so confused.
Rachel somehow convinced me to do it. I don’t remember how, but she just did. I must admit that I had to think a trillion times before coming to that decision. I finally managed to brace myself up for the big confession after school the next day. I knew what was coming. This was going to be my last conversation ever with him. I saw him coming towards my way from across the school lawn, looking cuter than ever. I quickly looked behind me to see Rachel standing a few feet behind me, pretending to be engrossed in checking out our high school mascot’s hideous statue. My hands had started sweating so much that I was almost afraid that something was seriously wrong with my pituitary gland.
“You will not believe what just happened.” He was almost jumping up and down, he was so excited. Clearly, he had something to tell.
“What happened?” I asked. My heart had started doing that weird flip flop somersault thing that it had been doing a lot lately.
“You remember Stacey?” I racked my brains. Stacey? Where did Stacey come from? Oh yeah, she was this new girl who’d come all the way from New York. I’d overheard a bunch of guys talking about her, about what a catch she apparently was.
“Uh-huh.” I murmured. Somehow, deep inside, I knew what was coming.
“I heard from a bunch of girls that she likes me. Ain’t that cool?” He gripped my shoulders and squeezed them. How much I wanted to die right there.
“Uh-huh. Pretty cool.” I looked down, afraid that if I would look up at him again, I could start crying. I knew it. I knew this was a bad idea.
I looked down behind me to see a bunch of girls walking down the mud path that runs alongside the lawn. There she was, the lucky Stacey, with her long blonde hair and glowing white skin.
Lance gripped my shoulders tighter.
“What should I do? I’ll do whatever you tell me, I swear.” He was clearly nervous. Very nervous. This was so unlike Lance. He never used to get nervous. He was always so confident around girls. He really must like her.
I looked up, trying hard not to cry out loud and scream, “CAN’T YOU SEE? I’M IN LOVE WITH YOU!” What I did next took a h*** of a lot of courage and strength and I’ll always be glad that I did it. I took Lance’s hands from my shoulders and squeezed them tightly. Then I looked him right in the eyes and said, “You should go talk to her.”
I don’t remember when he ran towards the group of giggling girls walking down the mud path. I don’t remember when Rachel came. I don’t remember when the tears began to fall. There was only one voice in the back of my head which was loud and clear. “You just let him go.”
Lance was and will always be a free bird. I should’ve known that I couldn’t catch hold of him. I was so happy that I didn’t say anything to him because it would have totally ruined our friendship. And then, Lance was happy with Stacey and in turn, I was happy for him. Isn’t that what “special friends” are for?
The next day, Lance came running down the same mud path and hugged me hard, telling me that Stacey had said yes. As we broke free from the tight embrace, he looked at me and went, “You are the best. I love you.” A chill ran down my spine and I closed my eyes, trying to let the beautiful words seep in. The warmth that they brought to my body and soul was amazing. I opened my eyes to look at him.
“I love you too.” I said.