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I pull out my favorite black tank top and dark jeans with studs on the back pockets. My favorite purple sweater is lying on my floor in a heap; I grab it and put it on. I’ve put my dyed red hair up in a ponytail and have a few strands purposely falling in my face. It’s almost time to leave, I have to brush my teeth and put on my lip gloss. But I have to pack my bag too, I have to hurry.
I empty my backpack of everything from the previous day and fill it for the classes I have today, Algebra, World History, English, and band. My IPod blasts in my ears as I brush my crooked teeth, I’ve been begging my mom for over a year to let me get braces so I can fix my them. I reapply my lip gloss and double check myself in the mirror.
It’s still cold outside, despite it being mid-April, so I put on the coat my uncle gave me. I slide my Sketchers on and take a deep breath. In less than an hour I’ll be standing in front of Cameron, talking and trying to get out what I’ve been dying to tell him since I switched into my current Spanish class.
My annoying little sister prattles on about her sixth grade friends and problems as she carries a blank poster board. The whole project was due today, but she waited too long to work on it. So now she’s after school and it’ll be late. I put my IPod back in and turn it up. I love David Archuleta, especially the song Crush. It calms me just a little, knowing that he went through what I’m going through now.
The wind whips and blows, I’m afraid my hair is going to get messed up. Today has to be perfect; I need to be perfect for this. My friends tell me not to worry, but they haven’t had to ask out guys for months, they’re in steady relationships with boys they love. But I never ask guys out, I get too nervous and scared.
The bus finally comes up and my sister runs up to grab her bag and poster board before getting on the bus with our seventh grade neighbor. I sit in the back of the bus and look out the window. My town flashes by me, kids get on, some I like, some I don’t, others I don’t even know. The music is loud now, pounding, like my heart. I can hear it over the music, I’m scared. This is going to be a disaster.
My friend Pat gets on the bus, a smile on his face. He’s never on the bus on Mondays, unless he gets up really early. I sit in the front of the bus on Wednesdays, when he rides. And I sit up front in the afternoons, when he’s on. I say hello and we argue a little. We’re friends, but he thinks we’re more than that because of a stupid dare from the summer. He made me drink pool water so I made him kiss me when we were in his room talking about what kind of cell phone he was going to buy. It wasn’t my first kiss, but I still didn’t count it. My first one was forced and I didn’t even like the guy anymore.
Pat is an eighth grader, I’m a ninth grader, so I get off at the high school and wave as I walk away. Pat says goodbye to me as I squeeze down the aisle. Kids move aside, my sister says goodbye, and my bus driver grumbles for us to hurry up. I get off and swallow. It’s time to talk to Cameron. I’m not ready, my hands are sweaty, and I want to puke.
My two best friends, Nicole and Kat, meet me outside, encouraging smiles on their faces. I’m still not ready, but they’re practically shoving me in. “Ask him over to watch a movie,” Nicole suggests.
“Or to just hang out,” Kat adds. Our friend Rebecca comes over, her dyed black hair bouncing behind her. Kat was the only one who had their natural hair color. Nicole and died hers brown in sixth grade.
Rebecca, Cameron, and I are all in the same Spanish class. Rebecca is trying to encourage me, telling me that Cameron is sweet and won’t be mean about my crush. But everyone is always falling all over Cameron; he wouldn’t go for a girl like me.
“You practiced in a mirror, right?” Rebecca asks. I shake my head and swallow.
“Maybe I’m not ready,” I whisper.
“I could do it for you,” Nicole offers. I shake my head again; I have to do this myself.
“I want you to stay behind me though, just in case.” I look at my three closest friends, then turn around to face Cameron. He’s on the other side of the cafeteria, wearing the same thick black glasses and brown and white striped beanie he wears every day. The beanie conceals most of his dirty blonde hair; it falls in his wonderful green eyes. He has on a sweater and jeans and is laughing with his friends. I don’t know who they are, but I don’t really care.
The four of us go up to Cameron, he’s taller than us, but compared to Kat, they’re almost the same height. He smiles down at me, his perfect teeth gleaming. I regret not asking my friends to double check my makeup and hair before coming over here. I smile back, my heart still pounding, my hands still sweaty, and butterflies flittering in my stomach.
“Hi Cameron,” I manage to get out.
“Hey Macy,” he says, blinking a few times. “What’s up?”
I take a deep breath and look at my friends. I swear to God I’m gonna pass out. “Um, do you want to hang out over the vacation or something? Watch a movie?” I ask as casually as I can. I’m almost shaking now. I want to run and hide. I’ve never done this before.
Cameron’s smile widens. “I thought you’d never ask.”