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The Perfect One

My stomach felt like it was trying to swallow itself. My breathing was short and quick. My heart thumped in my chest, loudly, painfully. My head spun, and I felt nauseous.

“Come on, Chloe”, I told myself. “It’s not a big deal. It’s just a dance. Just one dance. I bet he won’t even think anything of it. Why, I’m sure he won’t. It’s just a dance. You just want a start here, Chloe. Just a start. You’re not proposing a marriage, you’re just asking him to one little dance”.
I didn’t feel any better. I watched the clock; 10 minutes until history class let out. What if I didn’t ask him? What if I simply walked right past him when class was over and didn’t say a word? My nerves liked that idea; I felt less nauseous, and my breathing evened out. My mind, though, didn’t. I had to ask him, or else he’d forget about me. I’d be stuck forever in the dreaded friendzone, or worse, he’s just drop me off and ignore me. No – I had to ask. I had to take my chance. I had to do it.

What if it was too soon? We’d only known each other for a month. What if he thought I was too eager, too quick? What if he was scared off by it? I know that’s how I’d have felt if anyone but him asked me to the dance that fast. If he didn’t feel as strongly about me as I did about him, he could easily be driven away by something that straightforward.

But then again, he was a boy, and I was a girl. I was the one who’d grown up with a complete dork of an older sister for a role model, a sister who had never dated even though she was now 16, a sister who had never had interest in boys – ever – to set the example for life. I was the one with the social anxiety, after so many years of isolation from these sorts of human socialization things. He wasn’t. He knew about things like dating, and crushes, and things, right? Riley, my bad experience, had after all been young back when I liked him. It was 7th grade, and he must have been just as new to the whole scene as I was. He’d been scared off, but that was two years ago. This was high school. Things were different. I was sure Jacob wouldn’t be like Riley had been. He wouldn’t go ignore me for a year and take detours around the classroom to not walk by my desk and go offline whenever I came offline just to avoid me because I’d made the wrong decision and asked him to a dance too soon at the beginning of the year because I was socially awkward and knew nothing about dating and about what rules I was supposed to follow because I was so helpless I couldn’t even get anyone to teach me and would therefore live the rest of my life alone with my books and stories – right?

8 minutes until class ended. What if he said no? What if that was it? What if he didn’t really like me? I didn’t know if I could stand that. I had never liked a boy so much in my life. I loved him. I really, truly loved him. And if I couldn’t talk to him, couldn’t be with him, couldn’t hug him or laugh with him or see his face and tousle his hair…then what? What was there to life after that? I suppose there were always books and schoolwork and grades. I could always just settle my life with that. But I didn’t want to have to take that route. I wanted to be with him! I wanted to be able to love him, and tell him I loved him, and have him tell me he loved me back. I didn’t think I would be able to stand it if I couldn’t.

I was being silly. Why wouldn’t he say yes? Even if it was just as friends, why not? After all, he clearly liked me in some way or another. All that flirting! He talked to me all the time, laughed at what I said. He’d noticed the colors my toenails were painted – a boy, who noticed! He’d opened the door for me. He’d been aggravated when I told him I was leaving! (just for the weekend, though I forgot to immediately mention that little detail). How could he not say yes? Oh, I was being ridiculous to worry. There was nothing to worry about. We were meant to be together. Wasn’t that why I’d felt what I did? That strange, awakening jolt the first time I heard his name? I still remembered it. It was in health class. First period, the first day of school. The teacher was calling role, and I wasn’t paying attention. I didn’t hear any names while he went down the first several rows. But then his name was called – and I snapped to attention. I felt something just then. Something significant. Something important. It was at that very moment that I knew he was going to be important to me, important to my life. We were meant to be together, I was absolutely certain - and how does one argue with fate?

4 minutes to go. I was still nervous, still anxious. How DOES one argue with fate? Could it happen? I was worried it could. I considered the possibility that what I’d felt in health class that day was just a coincidence, but no. It was too perfect. He was exactly like me in every beneficial way, but differed from me exactly where it was important. He could hold a conversation with me, which was something no one else seemed to be able to do properly. He could make jokes about practically anything, which was lovely. He could laugh at so much, and yet tell you exactly where you’ve gone wrong when you’re not being funny. There was so much about him, so many incredible, beautiful things I could hardly even describe. He was…amazing. Absolutely amazing. It was simply too much of a coincidence that the one name that would make my head snap up and my eyes search the classroom for the bearer would be the one person who was so perfect that I never dared even hope for someone who was as perfect for me as he was. And it was too much of a coincidence that this very person would seem just as into me as this boy had acted. No – we were meant to be together. I was certain of it.

2 minutes. I suddenly felt sick. If he did say no – he was lost. This boy, who was most likely the only person I would ever find who could ever understand me so incredibly thoroughly, would slip through my fingers and be lost to the currents. The diamond among pebbles would be washed away to the ocean waves. I would never find anyone like him again – never. If he said no, my heart may as well cease its search then and there. It was over.

1 minute. Oh heavens! My heart resumed its pounding, my hands began to shake. I was going to ask him. Oh goodness, I was going to ask him! “Calm down, Chloe”, I said to myself. “Calm down. Calm down”. I couldn’t. How was I going to do this? What would I say? What would I do? How could I possibly pull this off? What might he say back? How would I start the conversation? How would I begin talking? How could I make it seem casual? How could I make it clear I was in love with him? How could I make sure it wasn’t creepy? Oh, heavens mercy! How could I-

The bell rang. I took a deep, shaky breath and plastered a look of false confidence and happiness on my face. It was time. The final moment. My nervousness evaporated; I suppose my body recognized the need to act, the need to think clearly at such a crucial moment as this. I walked up next to him.

“Hi!” I greeted him, hoping I didn’t sound abominably perky.

“Hey Chloe”, he said back, seeming somewhat distant. Oh, no.

“Um…so, homecoming’s coming up”, I said.


“What are your plans?”. Good. That sounded casual.

“Just going with a friend, unless someone else asks me. I don’t know. You?”. He sounded completely indifferent about the matter. This was clearly not a hint for me to ask him. But I had to ask him. I had to take my shot, take my chance.

“I- ”. Suddenly, I froze up. I couldn’t do this. No way. It was impossible. I couldn’t. “Just going with a group of friends.”. Ok. Regroup. Maybe I could hint at him to drop by and hang out with me a bit during the dance? That would be a start, at least. Baby steps, Chloe. Baby steps.

“Cool”. He walked off before I could say anything further. I rushed away towards where my friends hung out. No rejection, no acceptance. What was I supposed to do now?

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This article has 5 comments. Post your own!

IfLifeGivesYouLemons This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. said...
Dec. 5, 2012 at 8:40 pm:
Yes, normally I would put in something like that, but I was trying to really tell it like it was. I wanted to get the true story out of my head, so I tried to write it down to the last detail. Thank you for your comment, though :)
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Sento_Alucard said...
Dec. 5, 2012 at 8:31 pm:
not bad but it needs something boom like at the end to top it off  
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IfLifeGivesYouLemons This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. said...
Dec. 5, 2012 at 6:45 pm:
No :( He called me obnoxious and started dating someone else. This piece is just a short exceprt of our story. But thank you, I'm glad you liked it! And good luck with that guy ;)
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cooki3 said...
Dec. 5, 2012 at 3:19 pm:
that was should make some more.there very interesting
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Mickey17 said...
Dec. 5, 2012 at 12:39 pm:
omg! that was great! did you end up going with him tho??? i have the same prob with this guy i've liked since kindergarden...yeah kindergarden.
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