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all the girls are in love with you

The first violins sit to the left of our conductor, even if he’s not there yet. For now, everyone tunes up there instrument. It’s playful the way the strings are plucked, little pops of sweet sounds fill the empty places only air would normally be.
I sit in the second chair with no complaints. Sarah Walker has the first chair and as judgmental, competitive and diseased by a mean tongue as she is, she’s my best friend. She sighs. “He’s always late.” Sarah’s sighs are high pitched. The higher the pitch, the more annoyed she is. “If he’s late this much, I can’t trust him as my conductor. How am I supposed to trust him to cue my dynamics if I can’t trust him to show up?”
“Our conductor needs a conductor,” I chuckle, pulling out my violin Bull, because I sometimes say it’s full of certain stuff.
“Collin,” she frowns at me, “I’m being serious.”
I beef up my chest and mock her, making that hard face of hers, “Collin-I’m-being-serious.”
In a high pitched huff, she hits me. I laugh.
“OHMYGOSH!” A rush of excitement blows through the room. Our heads snap towards the door where Zoey is, eyes wide with stimulation. Zoey talks like this, louder than the entire percussion section, “THE MOST AMAZING THING JUST HAPPENED TO ME!” However, if it were possible, she would talk this way, “@$#!@$#$$%@#@!” It would do her more justice.
She charges over, pushing through the entire orchestra to get to us. She’s a trombone player naturally, able to hold enough air in her lungs to last through symphonies. Her force arriving is too great so she slams hard into mine and Sarah’s chair, which makes Sarah grimace. They’re friends for me.
Excitedly, Zoey goes on, “JUST OUTSIDE-”
“Inside voice,” Sarah reminds her, which makes me laugh.
After taking a relaxing breath, Zoey speaks as quietly as she possibly can, “We just talked a little near the end of class! But then, he asked if he could walk me to class! IT WAS AMAZING!”
“Who?” I asked, finding this to be very amusing.
“JACK!” She gushes, a lit rocket about to explode off into the outskirts of space.
Even Sarah acknowledges the gravity of it, “Wow. That’s amazing.”
“Why?” I ask, raising an eyebrow to it. I see Jack all the time.
“Of course you say that,” Sarah shakes her head at me, “you see him all the time.”
Told you.
“He’s so gorgeous. I thought I was going to burst when he would bump my shoulder while walking,” Zoey tells us, her eyes gleaming towards the ceiling, off in her own world now. Though, of course, she still remains sporadic in her excitement. “I’d kill to go out with him!”
“I would give up first chair,” Sarah sighs and I nearly fall out of my seat.
My mouth is gaped so harshly in shock, it hits two floors down. “Are you joking?!” This is a girl who, sick with pneumonia, spit in the punch bowl at the Halloween party so no one could start auditioning for the solos coming up for Christmas.
“Collin, please, everyone wants to go out with Jack.”
“Come on,” I snort, “not everyone.”
No words, those two just give me the biggest “you’re an idiot” look they can, their brows raised high up their foreheads. I open my mouth to rebuttal, but I don’t know what to say. I can kind of see where they’re coming from. Jack is attractive and funny, just that is enough for a lot of people, but he’s more than that. He has this charm that’s infectious; it could end world wars and cure cancer. Yet, he’s mischievous enough to be interesting.
Still, I’m not convinced.
I raise a finger to my friends to turn to the other chairs behind us. A few girls are there. Stubborn, I inquire of them, “Would you date Jack-”
“Yes,” they say instantly.
“You didn’t even let me finish.”
One smiles, “you don’t have to. Jack is Jack.”
Suddenly, those girls start gushing over him. This doesn’t even seem real. I stand up and move to the clarinet’s section. It’s the same thing. Every single girl I go to, poetically gothic to the painted up and down pink, say “yes” they would absolutely date Jack.
The whole room now is in an uproar over Jack. I’m worried I may have caused a riot. The other guys in the room look at me for help, but I can only shrug.
And then, as if this couldn’t be any stranger, a voice pops in, “Hey Bean!”
The room dies down into a frightened hoard of whispers all about the boy in the door way: Jack. There he is and asking for me, “Bean?”
Bean is my last name, I’m Collin Bean.
“Yeah,” I call back awkwardly, feeling a slight rise in temperature hit my cheeks.
I look back at him, seeing him with that perfectly white toothy grin, “Hey! I need to talk to you.”
“Okay,” I mumble meekly, knowing the new whispers are all about me. I slip out of my chair, keeping my head down, slumped over, and avoiding eye contact. I walk past him and into the hallway, wanting to just get out of there. As soon as we’ve cleared from the doorway, a rush of giggles bursts out of it.
Frightened, Jack spins around, still walking, “Bean, what was that?”
“An epidemic,” I sigh, going over to the wall. Jack is a very social person. If he wants to be surrounded by people, he’ll have no trouble filling a room. However, in the brief occurrences he needs just one person; he likes to sit down with them.
I slide down the wall and he does the same. “Okay,” he starts, turning his whole body towards me. He’s confident enough to stare me directly in the eyes. As I’m stubborn hence I try to stare back, though; I admit it’s hard when they’re a piercing blue.
“For class, we have to do a duet with another instrument and it has to be from a musical. One that’s a classic,” on that he makes a face. He has trouble with anything old school.
“Do you want me to suggest something?” I ask, finding old school to be a fantastic school.
“Bean,” he drops seriously, “Can you not tell that I’m hinting for you to do the duet with me?”
“Oh,” I blink. I never realized that we were close enough for him to ask me that.
Making a hesitant frown, he sheepishly cocks his head, “Do you want to?”
Who is supposed to say no to that? He looks like a puppy begging for a treat. “Uh, yes,” I stumble with the words, “I would love to, sounds fun. Um, yeah, okay.”
Something about that made him chuckle. Jack’s eyes still pierce through me, “Is something wrong? You’re never this jumbled.”
“Sorry, I just learned something surprising.”
He grins, using a baby voice to tease “Is it dirty?”
“No, no,” I shake my head, but I stop to stare at him. I wonder if I should tell him. It’s amusing. He’ll probably get a good kick out of it. “Do you know?” I say, looking at my hands. Maybe it is a little embarrassing. I just tell him, “All the girls are in love with you.”
Genuinely, he chuckles and looks at me like I’m crazy, “No way. Maybe some,” he admits. Well, at least he’s a tad aware of his sexual presence. He still shakes his head, “but not all.”
“Of course they do Jack,” I laugh, amazed I have to enlighten him about this. Gesturing to him as he stands, I sum it up for him. “You’re good looking with a sense of humor. You chose the biggest babe magnet instrument, the piano and you even play the guitar. You’re name is Jack, which is the biggest cliché hot guy name in literature history. Plus, you’re charming to boot.”
Sincerity in his smile, he doesn’t seem to believe me. I have to restate it just because of what he did there, “Look at you, you’re so charming you can’t even help yourself.”
Suddenly, a blush flashes across his cheeks. Never, not since I’ve known him has he ever turned that red. I’m more surprised by that than anything else today. Knowing it, he covers his cheek and mouth with his hand, actually embarrassed. I can’t believe I embarrassed Jack. He even makes an excuse, “Well I have to go, uh, sorry, but thanks for doing the duet with me.”
He scurries off.
“Okay,” is all I can say.
“So,” my friend Simon hops onto the side walk with me. My school has a very large campus. The track runners here are very happy campers. The air outside is still crisp enough to feel refreshing but the sun is still close enough to counter it. I still tuck my hands away in my pockets.
Simon has this way about him. He bats his eye lids in the most innocent way, but still, nothing goes past him. “I hear Zoey wishes she were you. What could that be about?” He bats those eye lids.
“Doesn’t everyone want to be me?” I tease him back. He knows exactly what’s going on. He just wants me to tell him.
“I just heard from some girl-”
“Simon,” I frown, urging him to tell the truth. If he lies once, he’ll just keep on lying. Call it his bad habit.
“Fine,” he huffs, “I overheard some girls were saying you asked every single person in class, if they’d go out with Jack.”
I glance, sheepishly at him, “Would you go out-”
“Yes,” he nods.
“You didn’t let me finish.”
Simon is gay. It’s the one common trait between the two of us… that only we know about. Sara acts as if she knows, but being proper she doesn’t ask about it, and if Zoey knew, there would be no way that knowledge could be contained behind her lips.
“It sounds like you were in a jealous rage,” He comments, batting the eye lids.
“You wish. I like Jack. I do, but I’m not in love with him.”
“Really?” He raises, stepping and walking in front of me. He speaks as if he holds all these words of wisdom, “Actions are more honest than words and in the mention of Jack, you light up like the forth of July.”
I don’t even know what to say to that. No wait, I do. “Everyone gets excited about Jack,” I remind him.
“But nobody knows Jack like you. I don’t know Jack. When I see him, I see a smile. Jack is just a gorgeous smile to me.”
“Gorgeous,” I chuckle, but stop short, realizing something. I catch up to him, so he can stop feeling smug about the conversation. “You know, I’ve only been called cute. That kind of adjective hasn’t hit me yet.”
“There’s nothing wrong with that,” Simon remarks, giving his eye lids a break.
“But it’s nice.” We come to some steps and I stop at the first, making Simon turn to me on a lower level. I hold his shoulders, directing him. “Just listen. What sounds better?” I let him go, pretending to be in the moment of a casual conversation, “Aw, Simon you’re so cute or,” I hold up a finger as he giggles. Trying to appear serious, I step closer to him, “Simon you’re very beautiful.”
Pleasantly, a flicker of surprise sparks in his eyes. I beam, walking ahead, “See! You felt better after the second one!”
“Oh, Collin,” Simon sighs dreamily, latching himself to my arm so he can lay his head on my shoulder, “Will you marry me? You make me feel so good.”
“Darling, you know I would, but gold turns my fingers green.”
After walking a little, I look down. “But with Jack-”
Groaning, Simon lifts off my shoulder, “Jack. Jack. Jack. He really is all people can talk about. Let’s talk about something else.”
I don’t like the sound of that. It’s making Jack out like he’s not a person. He is though, a great person. He’s not just a topic of conversation on a boring day. Jack is an actual part of my life, a concrete piece of my routine. I truly don’t know what my day would be like without Jack in it… I’ve never realized it.
The realization causes a flutter in my stomach.
Watching me, Simon is batting his eye lids again.
What a strange day.
“I don’t want to do anything obvious for the duet,” Jack mentions spinning around on the piano bench.
“But something easy though, right?” I tease him. I’m sitting on a separate plastic chair, not far from the bench. I’m on my iTouch, trying to find a good song.
Quickly, he points at me, “I didn’t say it.”
I laugh and look at him, catching him smiling back. It’s softer than his grin. A nice warmth fills my chest, making my own smile last longer. He turns fully around to the piano, fiddling with songs that I recognize from the radio.
I still watch him, wondering. I don’t think anyone here at the school has honestly thought about dating Jack. It would be hard dating Jack, knowing how many people, how many beautiful people adore him. He would also still need to like me. I may have loved a few guys, but I’ve never actually been loved back.
Feeling a heavy weight pull at my heart, I look at my iTouch again. I’m not really messing with the screen. It’s just hard having these feelings stir inside. I don’t know if I want them to fully emerge.
“Hey, Bean,” Jack eases in, glancing towards me and then away.
“Yeah, Jack,” I whisper, not meaning to. I clear my throat to play if off like I needed to.
“I’m sorry about being weird earlier, leaving like that.”
“What?” I spout, taken aback, “No, I was the weird one.” I stand up and move next to him, “It was awkward for me to tell you that.”
“It surprised me,” He nods and I notice he’s not looking me in the eye anymore. Great, I’ve made him uncomfortable. He’s probably bothered talking to me now.
“Sorry,” I find myself looking at my hands again, “I just thought you sort of knew.”
“Huh?” He blinks, which makes me. He tells me, somehow puzzled, “I wasn’t talking about the girls. Well, I sort of was, but it’s not about them liking me.”
On impulse, I can’t help it, I look at him. Those blue eyes slice right through my defensives, leaving me crumbled under a heavy blush. I didn’t realize how close we are. I can’t speak.
Sweetly, his voice is soft out a shyness foreign to me, “I just knew the same was for you. I mean, all the boys are in love with you.”
“Wha?” I can’t even compute such a thing.
Self-conscience, he scratches his neck, “All the ones who can at least… I asked.” The blush surfaces on his cheeks again and he’s tongue-tied. “Sorry, I just-it was because…”
He takes a breath when I need resuscitation. All my insides are squirming around in anticipation of where this is going. I’m so much on the edge of my seat, I may fall over. I pray he’d catch me.
With a nervous itch, Jack starts rubbing his hands on his pants…
I’ve never seen him so adorable. The Jack around all day, I admire. My time with him is like a gift that could never be paid back. He makes me feel so special, making me happy. He tries making me laugh, even goes out of his way coming up to me all the time. I love it when he just pops up, I look forward to it. Then, even in his serious times, I take him to heart and right now, my heart is beating so loudly, it’s begging me to do something.
Grabbing all the courage I can find within me, I touch my hand on his. Just as I’ve always thought, his hands are warm, and of course, my hands have to be sweaty. I don’t think about it, opening my mouth, my words pouring out slowly and unsure, “How can the confident Jack be at a loss for words?”
I smile, encouraging him to go on. That perfectly white toothy grin spreads across his face and my heart leaps on the words, “I like you Bean…” Nervously, he chuckles, “that’s actually why I call you Bean. It was secretly, just to me, a pet name. It was something I kind of possessed you by. Sorry, I don’t know what to-”
Smiling like an idiot in complete blissful disbelief, I jump in, “Now you have to stop rambling.”
“Sorry, I’ve never been so nervous.” He takes another breath, and when he exhales, he reverts back to my confident Jack, “I like you.”
“I like you too,” I say back, just as confident.
“Would you go out with-”
Without missing a beat, I say instantly, “Yes.”
“You didn’t let me finish,” He laughs, even redder if that was possible.
“Jack,” I shrug, shyly, “You didn’t need to.”

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This article has 2 comments. Post your own!

Traivole said...
Jan. 13, 2012 at 7:44 pm:
It's really good. Loved it really.
Auburn-Morrow replied...
Jan. 16, 2012 at 9:39 pm :
Thank you, thank you very much. I really appreciated your comment. This is my favorite short story I've written so far, so I'm completely sincere about the "Thank you"
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