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This Is Not A Fairytale

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The band played their tune with precision and expertise, but more than half of the school weren’t listening. The drums were beating out a steady rhythm, the flutes sang their bittersweet melody and the saxophones howled at the indifferent crowd. Unconsciously, my eyes found him. Back left-hand corner with a polished, golden trumpet in his tan hands. I’d memorised his position and the way his fingers moved across the buttons.

I barely heard my friends whisper about how boring the band was, because I was so caught up in watching him. It was over all too soon and just like that I broke out of my trance as the band walked off the stage. After packing away his trumpet with careful hands, he started walking towards me. I specifically chose an aisle seat so I could congratulate him as he walked past. A goofy grin slipped onto my lips as second by second he got closer.

I opened my mouth, the words formed on my tongue, yet I still stayed silent as I watched him walk by me to where his friends were sitting in the back row. He was so close I could have reached out and touched him, but I did nothing and he didn’t even notice me. Like he hasn’t been noticing me for four years now.

Most people will think this is a love story; girl likes boy, boy secretly likes girl and they both end up happily ever after. Well, that’s where they’re wrong because this is not a love story. This is reality.

The boy I like, for now we’ll call him Brian, is not a six-foot tall, muscular athlete. No, he’s a scrawny kid who used to have braces and plays the trumpet at the back of the school band. He doesn’t have Facebook and thinks Twitter is superficial. And he’s a little bit weird, maybe a little bit different. But somehow he’s worked his way into my thoughts and for the life of me I can’t seem to get him out.

Do I talk to him? Sure, but I wouldn’t call him helping me stumble my way through higher-level physics a good way to get to know each other. Except somehow I have gotten to know him. He sits in front of me and turns around whenever I need help. He makes these jokes that are not funny at all and nobody else laughs, but I laugh because his very smile sends me spinning. He said something one time that I think was supposed to be comical, but my friend didn’t get it. She just looked at him like he was stupid and his whole face turned a dark shade of crimson. I wanted to slap her. I wanted to shout at her for daring to embarrass him. But I kept quiet.

Brian’s a geek and I’m not saying that to be cruel, he says it all the time about himself. He knows everything about everything from the names of all the planets in the galaxy to the reason why E=mc2. I feel like an idiot if I try to talk about current events with him because he always knows more than I can even comprehend. But I wouldn’t mind listening to him to talk about things I don’t even understand forever, just to hear his voice.

Brian got the bus home with a girl in my class once. I just missed the same bus by a fraction of a second and I had to watch them laugh and chat as the bus pulled away. The jealousy clung to me like a wet towel as I sat for fifteen minutes waiting for the next one to arrive. It’s not that we ever ride the bus together; he always sits in the back and I’m too nervous to walk up to him. So I listen to my iPod and watch him mess around with his friends out of the corner of my eye. I wonder if he ever notices me?

I take art, don’t ask me why, I couldn’t paint a stick figure to save my life let alone the intricate projects my teacher makes us do. Brian takes art as well, and no I did not pick art just because he was doing it, I’m not that creepy. He’s almost as bad as I am at art. We laugh about it sometimes and whenever our teacher hands back a piece of graded work we always catch each other’s eye and smile. I feel special when he smiles at me, like we share a secret nobody else knows.

One day, not too long ago, Brian pulled me to the side before lunch and my heart flipped in my chest with excitement. Was he going to ask me out? He smiled awkwardly and rubbed his sweaty hands on his too big cargo shorts. He was nervous. I thought it was my fairy-tale moment, the one where I ride off into the sunset with my prince. My heart fluttered with hope and then the hope was stampeded on when he started talking.

“I was wondering if you could help me find out if Sarah likes me. You’re quite friendly with her right? I was…well…I was going to see if she wanted to go out with me sometime.” He said all this with embarrassment and I had nodded my reply, unable to get the words out of my knotted throat. I was angry and miserable. How could he like her? She was the one who looked at him weirdly when he said a bad joke and he liked her? I was the one who laughed at all of his jokes. Me. In that moment I loathed my best friend with every fibre of my being. She didn’t deserve him.

So he asked her out and surprise, surprise she said yes, claiming she’d secretly liked him all along. There’s no way she could like him like I do. I believed for a long time that my fairy tale would come true and my prince would sweep me off my feet. You know how your parents tell you the usual fairy-tales and you honestly believe you could have your happily ever after ending? Well, I’m only starting to realize now that fairy tales just set us up for disappointment because in the real world the prince always rides off with the wrong princess.

And here I am, alone in Rapunzel’s tower or maybe I’m Sleeping Beauty stuck in a never-ending sleep, but my prince hasn’t shown up. I’ve stopped watching romance movies and I stay away from anything with a fairy-tale ending. I’ve also re-written the model of every love story out there so it fits reality.

Girl likes boy.
Boy doesn’t like girl.
Boy rides into the sunset with a different girl.

Maybe I should move on. Most people would think I’m wasting my time. But I’m still saving every one of his smiles and bad jokes in a jar labelled ‘happily ever after.’ Because I think that maybe, just maybe, he is my fairy-tale ending he just hasn’t realized it yet.

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QuirkStar said...
Jul. 7 at 3:28 am:
I starte reading this and thought, "Oh she is going to get her fairytale dream!" Then when I finished reading it I loved it even more because sometimes you don't always win over the guy you want.
KeepLivingThis teenager is a 'regular' and has contributed a lot of work, comments and/or forum posts, and has received many votes and high ratings over a long period of time. replied...
Jul. 7 at 4:24 am :
Thanks! That was the idea, I always felt that sometimes these fairytale stories are too predictable and unrealistic. 
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LoveBites said...
Jul. 6 at 11:39 am:
I love everything about this story, somehow it feels more real than any romance story I've ever read. I can relate to every bitter and sweet word written. I can only presume that you've experienced something similar because the emotion is raw and true. Thank you for writing this! 
KeepLivingThis teenager is a 'regular' and has contributed a lot of work, comments and/or forum posts, and has received many votes and high ratings over a long period of time. replied...
today at 5:35 am :
Thank you for your comment! When I write I usually take bits and pieces of things out of my own life. 
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