Star Crossed Lovers

By
Peter was the cutest boy I had ever seen in my life. The words tall, dark and handsome had a whole new meaning now that I had met him. I’m not one to fall for someone so easily but there’s just something about him that makes me throw the “not falling so easily” thing out the window. He was cute, funny, tall, cute, philosophical, intelligent and did I mention cute? But everything in my life had to be difficult so, of course, no one could ever, and I mean ever, figure out how in love with him I was. No one could even know that I had spoken to him!
My band, South West Cal High School’s band, is South East Cal’s closest competitor. SEC is Peter’s band. Every year, SEC wins all the caption awards and claims first place. The other schools know that we come close to them so they always cheer wildly for us when the winners are being called. Last year, our scores tied. That’s right. Tied. When a band ties, judges go into caption scores. SEC won by one freaking tenth of a point. You can only imagine how determined we are to beat them by roughly a million points this year. So you can see now why I have to keep my love for him a total secret? What’s even worse is that he and I are both drum majors. That means we’re the leaders of our band. Without us, the band has no heartbeat, no tempo. There’s no way our bands would accept us being together.

All I could think about was the up coming competition as I changed into my band uniform with the rest of my band friends. As they jumped around to the music playing over head, I looked at each one of them and tried to imagine what their reaction would be if I told them about my love for Peter. Some, I suspected, would think I was betraying the band or would have to face a problem that could turn me against them. Others would think it would be just the thing we needed to unite bands or at least make us more civil to each other. I looked at my best friend Joanna and hoped she’d understood if I ever found the courage to tell her.
As I drowned in my thoughts, the rest of the day went into double time. All the things we did to prepare for the competition ahead blurred by. Everything reminded me of Peter and all this preparation only served as a reminder that I would be face to face with him in a mere couple of hours! My friends were a perfect distraction from all the “what if” questions and thoughts burning in my mind. The only time I could clear my head of him was when I was up on my ladder conducting during the preliminary performance, with every ounce of passion in my soul. Nothing could distract me from my goal of leading SWC into finals, not even thoughts of the great and amazing Peter.
While we waited for the judges to score our first performance and decide what order we’d be performing for finals, I talked with my fellow drum major Will. He was a welcome distraction. I was trying my hardest to keep from staring at Peter. It had been two weeks since I had last seen Peter and I have a feeling he knew I had been eyeing him that whole time. Can you say ohmygoodnessawkward? The way I figure, if I avoid him


then my feelings won’t grow and I won’t have to worry about the drama. But this is love. It’s never that easy.
“I haven’t seen you in awhile,” someone softly said behind me.
I turned around slowly hoping it wasn’t Peter. It was. He looked better than I had remembered. All the voices in my head telling me “no” stopped. My attention was all his. Everything in me screamed to hug him or touch him or be closer to him or something!
Before we could actually talk, the announcer told us drum majors to line up on the field to accept awards. Saved by the bell!
The host drum majors of each show are the people that give the winners of the awards their trophies and shake their hands. I told you we are SEC’s closest competitors, right? Well, they were the hosts so they performed but they weren’t allowed to win awards. That meant all the captions went to us. Do you realize that means Peter gave Will and I all the awards and shook our hands about 80 times? Something in his eyes made me wonder what he was thinking every time he shook my hand. I know what I wanted him to be thinking because it was also what I didn’t want him thinking.
“And first place, with a score of 92.7, goes to….South West Cal High School!” the announcer dramatically stated.
The crowd went wild and, again, Peter came up to me to shake my hand and give me the trophy.
“Excellent job! My band is definitely worried about you beating us this year,” he laughed. As he shook my hand, I felt something in his hand. I looked down and saw it

was a piece of paper with his number on it. I don’t think anyone could ever blush as intensely as I blushed when I saw the paper. He winked at me as he walked away. It distracted me so much that I don’t even remember the rest of the day!
“I don’t know what to do!” I cried as I flopped onto my bed, exhausted from how much energy it took to pace my room and think about whether or not I should call Peter. Yesterday’s competition had come and gone in a blur. We had won, of course, but now I had so much more to worry about! Do I call him or not? Was it worth all the drama? How do I know what kind of person he is and if he’s worth my time if I don’t call him? I picked up the phone and dialed but left the number sitting there. The light on the phone taunted me. Somehow, I found the strength to push the button.
“Hello? Who’s this?” Peter asked.
“It’s Kelsea…the drum major from SWC,” came my squeaky reply. Why was I this nervous? Ack! I needed to get it together so he didn’t think I was a total freak.
“Oh yeah, of course! How are things?” he excitedly asked. “Now that we’ve seen how well you guys are doing this year, we’re practicing so much harder!”
His eagerness to jump right into a conversation calmed my nerves significantly. Our conversation was so easy to maintain. Both of us had opinions on everything. We may not have always agreed, especially about whose band was better, but we still enjoyed agreeing to disagree. Never in my life had I enjoyed talking to someone so much.
“Come downstairs. It’s time for dinner,” my mom yelled up to me. Her command confused me because we don’t usually have dinner until eight and I


remembered getting on the phone with Peter at three. I looked at the phone and saw that we really had been on the phone for a full five hours without even realizing!
“Oh my gosh! We’ve been on the phone for five hours!” I exclaimed.
Peter laughed for the longest time and then finally said, “Wow. That’s really intense. I can’t believe we lost track of time like that! I’ve never been on the phone with someone for so long. I’m glad it was with you…”
My heart skipped ten beats and pitter pattered like crazy while I said, “Same here. I’ve gotta go before my mom flips.”
I could barely wrap my mind around how incredibly wonderful our conversation had been. When I finished dinner, I was still in a daze. My phone sat on my bed. Maybe he wanted me to call him after I ate. I mean, we were still in the middle of our intense conversation. As if the phone had read my mind, it rang. I jumped and lunged for it. It was Peter.
“Hey…I hope you don’t think it’s weird that I called again but I just couldn’t help myself.”
I laughed. “Actually, it’s not weird at all. I was just thinking about if I should call you or not.”
“So, I know we don’t really know each other…I mean, we met a month ago and are just now starting to talk…but I’ve never been able to talk to a girl so easily, especially not one as pretty as you.” My heart did somersaults while he continued after taking a deep breath, “Ok…here goes nothing…Will you be my girlfriend?”


The emotions I had kept inside for so long came bursting out. “You really want me to be your girlfriend?”
“Of course I do! How could I not?”
“Then yes. A thousand, million times yes I will be your girlfriend.”
We both laughed a relieved laugh. It was physically impossible for me to smile any bigger than I was. Thoughts of how everyone’s going to react flooded into my mind but I pushed them aside. I was going to let myself fully enjoy my excitement tonight. He said his good byes and I said mine. Tomorrow, I’d think about what to do. And that’s exactly what I did.
A new day had started and my mind was already ready to explode. I wanted and needed to tell someone. That someone was my best friend. I had lasted the whole day without saying anything but now we were on the field practicing the marching show and I was running the metronome like I always did. My mind kept drifting off into my worries and I kept messing up the tempos. People were continually asking me what was making me so happy because I apparently had a really dumb smile on my face. I shrugged and laughed at them when they asked. But when Joanna asked for the millionth time, I couldn’t keep it in anymore.
“Alright, fine. I’ll tell you. You know Peter, SEC’s drum major? At the last competition, he gave me his number. That night I called him and we talked for five hours straight,” I explained. “The only reason we stopped talked was because I had to go eat dinner. After dinner, he called me…andthenheaskedmeoutandIsaidyesandnowIdunno-whattodo!”

“What the heck did you just say?” Joanna said with a super confused look on her face. “I got the part about Peter and you guys talked forever, which is bad enough, but what did you say after that.”
I took a snail paced breath and watched Joanna’s expression change from one of confusion to one of horror as I clearly stated, “After dinner, he called me and then he asked me out and I said yes but now I don’t know what to do. Every – “
“OH MY GOD YOU SAID YES TO OUR RIVAL DRUM MAJOR? ARE YOU OUT OF YOUR MIND?”
That was exactly what I was afraid of. Everyone, and I mean everyone, in the band turned around. They looked at her and then looked at me. I shut my eyes as tightly as I could while my face began to boil from embarrassment. But I couldn’t shut my ears. All my band friends were asking what had happened and Joanna was telling them what I had said. When I opened my eyes, I saw a mixture of glares and happy expressions. I looked to Joanna for comfort and reassurance but all I could see was her back turned to me. What have I done?
“Joanna, please don’t be mad!” I pleaded
She stared at me hard for what seemed like an eternity and replied, “How could I not? I thought I was your best friend. Best friends don’t keep big secrets like that from each other. Did you really think I was going to get mad at you or something? You, of all people, should know that I would for sure support you.”
“I know, I know. It’s just…I didn’t know if talking to him at all would be worth the drama. Then he asked me out. It just happened so fast. I totally let impulse take

over,” I said as I tried to rationalize breaking the number one rule of best friends: don’t keep big secrets, especially ones about boys.
Joanna stood there. All her emotions were flooding out of her eyes and covering me in shame. I felt helpless because there was nothing more I could say to get her to see I didn’t keep this from her because I didn’t trust her, I just wanted to see if I could figure things out on my own first. She knows she’s the first person I go to when I need help with something! But knowing that probable made her feel even worse. I imagined being in her shoes and I knew I’d feel untrustworthy. There was no convincing her I didn’t mean any harm by keeping a secret like this from her. As if in slow motion, she turned her back on me and everything inside me felt cold.
To make matters worse, the rest of the band was still demanding answers to know how something big like this could happen right under their noses. Most of them were, unfortunately, really pissed off at me. They thought I was betraying the band. I tried and tried to reassure them that my personal life was not going to conflict with the finals competition the next day but they seemed to be convinced otherwise. Did they not believe I could separate business and pleasure? Obviously not which really sucked because if they didn’t believe in me, how were they going to believe in themselves during finals?
“Peter, I have no idea what to do!” I whined at him once I had finally escaped band practice and gotten home. “Pretty much everyone is really mad at me. My best friend hates me for not telling her about liking you. This was a total shock to her and I feel so terrible.”

“I don’t know how to help you. My band’s pretty mad but I know they’ll be fine tomorrow. It wasn’t as big a deal to them as I thought it would be,” he replied.
“Can we switch schools pretty please?”
He laughed and thankfully changed the subject. We talked and talked and talked about nothing and everything at the same time. Our conversation lasted three glorious hours and I was able to sleep peacefully even though I knew the next couple weeks would be filled with drama.
“Hi Joanna!” I yelled down the school hallway before first period. She turned around, saw the person talking to her was me and promptly turned her back on me. I bit my bottom lip to hold back the tears. Man, this hurt so much! It’s only been ten minutes into my day and I’m already a knot of emotions. What was I going to do at lunch? Joanna and I sit together, along with our other friends. I sighed, pushed those thoughts aside and walked to class. This was going to be an awful, incredible awkward day.
My greatest fear became a reality. No matter what I said to Joanna all day, she turned her back on me. I ate my lunch in the hallway because I knew there was no way Joanna would want me to sit with her and everyone else. The feeling of loneliness I felt was more intense than anything I had ever experienced. All I wished for was the school day to end so that I could go home and talk to Peter. He was just what I needed to forget about everything bad that was happening to me.
“Peter! I miss you so much. Today sucked more than anything,” I stated.
“I’m so sorry I’m causing you so many problems,” Peter replied.

“You’re not really causing me problems. It’s just silly high school drama. Just talking to you on the phone makes my day so much better,” I reassured him.
“Yeah but you can’t have me be your only friend,” he sighed. “I really want you to try to call Joanna and explain how you feel. She’s your best friend so she should understand her friendship means so much to you.”
“Gosh I hate you for being smart. I’m afraid of calling her,” I said as I frowned. After promising to call me later that night, Peter hung up and I called Joanna. She didn’t pick up. Knowing there was no way she could be ignoring my calls, I waited an hour and called her again. But to no avail. Maybe she really was ignoring me. I didn’t know what to do. It seemed like there was nothing I could do to make things right with her. I really had hurt her!
Two weeks went by like that. I walked around school in a daze because I had no one to talk to. Joanna had not only taken away our friendship, she had taken my other friends with her and I felt so lost. Every day I got home, I called Peter. At first, he was always there and always boosted my spirits by telling me things were going to be alright after awhile. But then he wouldn’t pick up when I called. He had friends and a life. When he didn’t pick up, I was at a complete loss as to what to do! Even though she never picked up, I always tried calling Joanna. And each day, the despair in my heart grew. I felt like she’d never be my friend again and all because of one boy.
“What have I done?” I wailed to Peter.
“You didn’t do anything wrong.”


All the frustration I was feeling boiled over and came out in the form of hot tears that made salty trails on my face. “Then why won’t she talk to me? She won’t even look at me! It’s been two freaking weeks that she’s shunned me. Not only her, but half the band and all of my other close friends. Now all I do everyday is float around school in a daze like a social outcast, come home, call you, do homework and watch TV. It’s so depressing!”
Peter paused for a moment. The silence made me so uncomfortable because I could feel that he was thinking about saying something I wouldn’t like. I was right.
“Well…if I’m causing you this many problems, why don’t we wait until school is over? We’re both seniors so we won’t have to wait long. I promise I’ll still be here for you.”
The idea of losing him, the only person that I felt I could talk to, pushed me right over the edge. “You’re joking right? There’s no way I could handle losing you too! You’re the only thing that’s keeping me sane right now.”
“But if you didn’t have me, you’d be sane because you and Joanna would be able to make things right between you.”
“I can’t even…speak….Fine. You just don’t want to help me deal with my issues. I can’t believe how much I’ve gone through for you. I’ve lost my friends and my social life because of you.”
Peter stuttered. “That’s completely unfair of you! I didn’t tell you that you had to be with me and I didn’t tell them to stop talking to you. This isn’t my fault. It’s Joanna’s fault for not letting you talk to her.”

“I should’ve known Joanna was right to be so against you and I dating. We’re done.”
I hung up the phone and immediately began to cry. Without realizing it, the phone was in my hand and it was ringing. Subconsciously I had dialed Joanna’s number because she’s always the person I go to when I’m distressed. No amount of time could keep me from wanting to talk to her what something bad happened to me.
Her exasperated voice came through the phone. “What do YOU want?”
The combination of her finally talking to me and Peter’s words still feeling like a dagger in my heart kept me from being able to respond. I just cried right into the phone for a full five minutes. Joanna did what she always did: she sat and listened to me cry. When I was finally composed enough to speak, I explained to her how much I missed her and how sorry I was for hurting her so much. She started crying and told me that she never meant to be so mean; she just didn’t know how to deal with the pain she felt. Me keeping something like that from her felt like such a stab in the back. We cried and laughed and cried again. Then I finally told her what Peter had said and that we were no longer together. Joanna said she was truly sorry she had come between Peter and I. I assured her that he wasn’t worth keeping around if he wasn’t strong enough to help me through my pain. In the back of my mind, I knew that was wrong. He was only looking out for me and wanted me to be happy, even if it meant me not being with him. But I couldn’t make my cake and eat it too.
The next day of school was just like it used to be. Joanna and I were back to being best friends as if Peter never existed. Acting like this helped me forget how much I

missed him. I convinced myself I’d rather have all my friends back than talk to Peter ever again. Oh how easy it is to convince oneself that a lie is a fact.
My senior flew by. Peter popped up less and less in my head as the year progressed but I still had an ache in my heart for him. I enjoyed being one of the top dogs, went to all the senior events, made more friends, did a majority of my homework, didn’t catch senioritis, cried at graduation and got accepted into a specialty school in Oregon. Joanna and I spent all of my last day in California together. We reflected on all the things that had happened between us since we first met in sixth grade. She helped me pack up my things in a moving truck and we road tripped to Oregon. Unfortunately, she was staying in California. For the first time in 6 years, we would be without each other.
We arrived at the campus and found my dorm room. As soon as Joanna started pulling things out of the moving truck, she started crying. Everything I had brought with me had some memory attached to it that involved Joanna. Even though we tried to move as slowly as possible, as if that would make time eventually stop so we’d never have to leave one and other, the moving truck was unpacked in the blink of an eye.
“What am I going to do without you to make me laugh everyday?” Joanna said through gritted teeth. She always gritted her teeth when she was trying her hardest to stop crying.
“You’re going to find someone almost as amazing as me. I made the perfect replacement best friend for you to take my place while I’m gone. But as soon as I come back, she’s outta there,” I laughed.


Our goodbye hug lasted for what seemed like a day short of eternity. I was so afraid to leave her but I our friendship had matured so much after the Peter incident. We’d stay just as close no matter how far away from each other we were.
“Oh there’s one more thing you have to unpack,” Joanna said.
I looked around confused. Everything I needed was sitting around me, in my dorm. But I walked back out to the moving truck with Joanna. When I looked into the back, I saw a guy standing there with flowers. As I got closer, I saw it was undoubtedly Peter. I stopped in my tracks and my heart nearly stopped too.
“Kelsea, I’ve waited this whole year to finally meet up with you again. It took me nearly that whole year to get Joanna to see I was good enough for you. She’s the one that helped me get to you now. Without her, I would have gone on with my life missing you every day, wondering if you were ok,” Peter said with a tone in his voice that was more heartfelt than I had ever heard in anyone’s voice.
“I promised I’d be here for you when high school was over so that we would be together, so here I am. Will you be my girlfriend again?”
Tears sprang to my eyes. I looked at Joanna and saw she was crying even harder. There was no way I could ever pay her back for this. She was the best friend anyone could have. The shock of the whole situation made me feel like I was dreaming. Things like this only happen in movies and teenage romance novels. Was I dreaming?
As if in a trance, my feet carried me over to him. I stood there, afraid to touch him just in case my arms went right through him and I woke up. But I couldn’t keep myself from him any longer. It had been one long year without him. He dropped the

flowers he had and kissed me. No longer would I have to wonder if there was some other girl making him happy because I knew I was the girl he wanted, and I had since he had first met me over a year ago.





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