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It's Been One Week This work is considered exceptional by our editorial staff.

“It's been one week since you looked at me..”
The opening credits for “10 things I hate about you” flash across the screen, and I smile at James sitting next to me on my couch in the basement of my house. I knew he hated this movie, but when I'd asked him earlier in the hall at school if he wanted to come over, he'd said yes, with a funny look on his face. I'd ignored it, figuring it up to be what the lunch ladies had slopped on our plants five minutes earlier. But now that I had time to think about it, I was starting to worry about him. “James?” I asked, for once ignoring the beginning of the movie. “Hmm, yeah?” he replies, his eyes, I notice, never leave the screen, and the tips of his ears are red. “Are you okay?” He glances at me quickly. “I'm fine. Let's just watch the movie.” I opened my mouth to say more, but at the last minute I decided not to say anything. I could tell something was bothering him, and I knew I'd get it out of him, no matter how long it took. I never let him wallow in his despair. I guess I've always worried about him. Ever since his dad left last year, and his mom fell into depression, he's been different. Quieter, and more reserved with his more personal thoughts, but acting out to cover what he really felt. He's gone through tons of girl in the last year, as if he's trying to find the right one. I hated watching him try to find himself, when I've always known who he is. He never asks for help. I guess now would be a good time as any to say that I've been in love with him for five months. I remember the day I went over the edge, from just liking him, to full out, crazy loving him.
I was sitting in the bleachers, watching the football practice, just like I always did, looking for good photo opportunities. I have a thing for taking pictures. I guess it started with Annie Lebowitz, just looking at her photo of celebs made me want to take pictures like that. So I started out with a cheap digital camera, and from there I've advanced to a large, and very professional looking camera. Anyway, I was sitting, watching the guys run around and tackle each other, and snapping the occasional picture. Practice was almost over, when James sat down beside me. Now, you have to understand that James is a very outgoing guy, and he definitely likes to be in the spotlight. After his dad left, he covered up how he felt by acting out. Teachers worried about him, but they let him slip by in his classes. Anyway, he sat down next to me, and took the camera out of my hands, and started snapping off picture, ignoring my protests. “James, please!?!” He started laughing, and took off running down the bleachers. By then the entire football team was watching, having heard me yelling at James. He ran up to the top of the bleachers, and dangled my camera out over the edge. My heart stopped, and I swear I've never run so fast before. I was beside him in a second. “please” I whispered, looking at the result of days of work, and hours of pain. I had put my entire life into that camera. James looked at me, and I saw his eyes darken, and his face changed, and his expression was one of apology. “Hey” he said in a soft voice. Suddenly my camera was back in my hands, and his hand was brushing the hair back from my face. “I'm sorry, Anna, I'm really sorry” My heart nearly stopped at the way he was looking at me. And in that moment, my heart was totally his. Of course the football team started making kissing noises, and he let me go, and headed down to talk to his friends, leaving me standing there staring after him, a stupid smile on my face.
Now I look at the boy sitting next to me on the couch, laughing, his blue eyes full of happiness, but I know that happiness has nothing to do with me, and everything to do with the fact that Julia Stiles didn't happen to wear a bra at all during 10 Things. “Anna, earth to Anna?” I jerked out of my thoughts to find him grinning down at me. “hey, you just missed your favorite part, where the hell were you?” I ignored him, and glanced at the TV. It actually was my favorite scene, when Kat flashes the teacher to get Patrick out of detention. I looked back at James. He was looking at me, he smile slowly getting wider. “I bet you were daydreaming about Mick, eh, his wonderful, um...voice.” He said teasing me about a boy I used to like, before I fell in love with him. Mick wasn't the most, well, lets just say that he was no Chris Evens. He was nice, but that was about it. That was before I realized that I could do better for myself. a.k.a James. “You know damn well that I'm not interested in him anymore. Jeez...” He laughed, and shook his head, not believing me. He shook his blond hair out of his eyes, and it reminded me of the time he tried to cut his own hair in 4th grade. He'd cut his bangs higher then his hairline, and he looked so silly for a couple week, until it grew back out.
“What are you thinking about?” James asks. He's never asked me that before, and the question catches me off guard.
“About the time you cut your hair in 4th grade.”
He laughed. I realized he was closer to me on the couch then he'd been before.
“What are you thinking about?”
“That time you cut your hand, and had to get stitches.”
“Here, you mean?” I said, flipping over my hand, and showing him the long, thin scar on the palm of my left hand. “Yeah, that's the one.” he said, sliding his finger along the scar, sending shivers up and down my arm. He flipped my back over, and slid it into his own. I could feel my pulse skittering at his touch. He squeezed my hand, urging me to look at him. I very slowly brought my eyes up to his. His were very serious, when he said
“You do know that...”
“That what?”
“Never mind. It just, well, you know how I've been with tons of girls in the last year, trying to find the right one?”
I nodded
“Well, I had the right one the whole time, right under my nose, taking care of my the whole time. You've been here the whole time, and it took my so damn long to realize that you were the one. That's it, you the one, and I know it's taken me so long to figure it out, and I know that I might be too late, and that you might have moved on, but can we give it a chance? Please?”
I gasped. He'd just said that he needed me, and I couldn't say anything.
“Anna?”
I felt tears trailing down my cheeks.
“S***, what's wrong?”
I shook my head, and before I really knew what I was doing, I flung myself into his arms, and pressed my lips to his. His lips are still for about a second, then the press back into mine, his hands on my waist, slowly sliding me onto my back, and pressing me into the cushions. He tongue pressed against the seam of my lips, and I opened my mouth. I slid my hands up under his shirt, sliding them up his back, kneading it with my fingers. I knew it was going to get out of control soon, and I was looking forward to it. I was pushing back against him, wrapping my legs around his waist, when the door to the basement flew open, and I heard my dad's voice come down the stairs, followed by his footsteps. I flew off of James, and sat primly on my side of the couch, and watched James grab his shirt from the floor, and pull it on. He'd barely gotten it on when my dad walked in, carrying a plate of cookies.
“Are you guys having fun?” My Dad asks, not noticing our flushed faces, and heavy breathing.
“Lots of fun Dad, lots of fun”
He smiles, and heads back up stairs. I practically pass out from relief when I hear the door close. James grins at me.
“Fun eh?”
I grin back, and we meet in the middle.



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