Taking Chances:

December 6, 2008
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"A guy and a girl can be just friends, but at one point or another, they will fall for each other... maybe temporarily, maybe at the wrong time, maybe too late, or maybe forever." -Dave Matthews Band.


We’re sitting in Lit class, watching some video the teacher thought we’d enjoy. It’s black and white, and all too confusing. I can’t pay attention. My eyes dart around the room. Finally, I look at him. My best friend, two seats away. The boy who sits with me at my table it gone today, so his chair is empty, and then.. There he is. I laugh, and he looks up at me.


“What?” he whispers.



I look back at him, staring. “Nothing,” I mouth, knowing the teacher is watching the room for talkers.



He looks back at the screen, but I keep staring. It’s been a year. A year since I’ve met him, and this is exactly the same. Two seats away in English class. That’s how we met, and I wouldn’t change it even if I could. A year, and he’s already my best friend, my other half.



I keep staring at him, wondering why he’s in my life. Did God know I needed someone? Did God send him just for me? Or was it come weird coincidence and just happened?



My eyes are glued on him. He can feel them, I know, but he probably just thinks I’m being myself and doesn’t think any thing of it. But inside my head, I’m replaying the day we met, the reason we met, and everything we’ve been through.



He sat two seats away from me in Lit class since the first day of school freshman year. He was also in my Spanish class, two rows away. However, I never even murmured a “hello” towards him. Yet, the day I finally talked to him, I saw something incredible in him. When we met, it wasn’t just an exchange of greetings, but I saw a part of his soul.


I had been waiting for the contest day since we received the assignment. I couldn’t stop brainstorming and wrote every chance I had. I was thrilled to have a chance to show my skill and prove the talent I had. I was ready to send my poem into the air, setting the words free. Yet, as we sat in the class room about to turn in our romance poems, nerves bubbles inside my stomach. The heart break hid behind my eyes. The pain, the weakness I had felt for the past few months was oozing off my page. I couldn’t do it. My heart sank into the floor, and I sheepishly backed down. My heart was too vulnerable to gather up enough courage. The poem, raw and unsteady, rested in my hands. My whole heart, torn and aching, was represented with the few words in the white paper. In order to come up with that poem, I put myself into the past, when I was happy and truly in love.. And while writing the poem, I experienced every ounce of pain over again. But I felt that everything I went through was worth it, because in my hands, was one of the best poems I had ever written. Part of me knew I couldn’t let anyone else hear my poem, let alone hear it out loud. I finally found a poem in the back of my folder. Although complete, this secondary poem lacked talent and real, convincing emotion. Perfect.


Mr. Waterson’s voice caught my attention once again. “Okay, pass up your poems.” I threw the fake poem forward, giving up.


We sat eagerly, waiting to hear the poems out loud. The rules were simply in them little contest. The poems would be read out loud by Mr. Waterson, without revealing the identity. First the boys’, then the girls’. The boys’ poems would be judged by the girls, and vice versa. The winners would receive the title as “most romantic.”


I expected cheesy, quirky poems from the guys. However, as Mr. Waterson spoke, I felt the words, and how sincere the words were. I had been impressed. Then, the winning eventually poem came. The words were marvelous, sending chills down my spine. The poem described love in a raw, true form. I could see into the authors heart, feeling every ounce of love and pain they felt. It was clear that whoever had written it, had an inspiration. Whoever it was, was hurting. Whoever they were, I could feel their heart. And I needed to know. I needed to know who had enough courage to let a class of freshman hear the truth.


Arin’s eyes turned back to me, and we both agreed that we had just heard the winning poem. Arin and I decided to make a sign for the winner, whoever it would be. We spilled out markers on our desks and created a sign as Mr. Waterson read other poems. Finally, we cast our votes. There was a clear winner. I wasn’t sure why the poem caught my attention. It could have been the poem itself, the words and the romance, or it could have been my admiration and jealousy of the writer, who had put everything on the line for that poem, and wasn’t afraid to share it. Whatever it was, it worked.


Mr. Waterson searched for the poem in the stack, and presented it to it’s proud owner. My eyes widened as I noticed the boy, two seats away, accepting it. All along he sat there, with an empty desk between us.. And he had such emotion. When he smiled, he gave such insight to a world of his own.


I cheerfully handed him the sign he had watched us create, and he laughed along with a thank you.


Jokingly, I replied, “You can put it up on your locker or something.”


He agreed, saying he would get tape and put it up right away. I laughed, looking at the simply sign on notebook paper I had just created. A sign not worthy of the talent and emotion he just shared. Nothing would ever be worthy enough of that poem.


I stared at him, wondering why I had never said anything to him. It was obvious that he wasn’t just another kid, he had a unique style and look. He had dark black hair, gelled up on the top of his head. He hard light brown eyes, sunken deep, however, light and mysterious at the same time. It was clear, he did not remind me of my usual crowd of friends. He was obviously different… and maybe that was the problem. He was different, and I hadn’t bothered to give him a chance.


However the poem was replaying in my head, over and over again. I wanted so badly to have enough courage and strength to do as he did, to offer up a piece of my heart. I knew I had to talk to him, he was different, and I couldn’t get it out of my head.


The next day, he came into class and my caught my attention. He sat down two seats away, without a word.


I wondered what he was thinking. Was he still thinking about his poem? Or had he forgotten all about it?


Then, he turned and smiled at me.



“I taped your sign to my locker,” he said. “But someone took it.”


I laughed, not believing he would actually tape the sign to his locker.


I laughed back at him. “That’s disappointing. Steal it back!”


We kept on laughing, talking about little things either of us could think of. Then, the bell rang and Mr. Waterson started class. The day went on, and school ended. When I got home, I checked the computer and received a surprise. He added me to myspace, and we started talking more. It was weird, but we talked as if we’d known each other for years.


The next couple of days went by the same. We would talk in class, then go home and talk about everything and anything possible at home. He just understood things, and I felt like I could tell him absolutely anything.



Finally he moved over a seat and began to work with me on all partner assignments, and we would just talk. We could talk about our day, about our friends, our families, any thing we wanted to talk about. It was understood that nothing was off limits. I looked forward to talking to him every day, and eventually, it just became a pattern. He became a part of my days, a part of my life.



Months past, with ups and downs. We learned everything there was to know about each other. And when I felt like I could no longer go on, he was there, to pick me up and give me strength.


The worst was that Christmas, when he got more depressed than I knew how to handle with.

It was two in the morning, but I wouldn’t give up on him. He told me how he didn’t want to be alive any more, and how he couldn’t handle things how they were going. But I never let him go. Three o’clock passed by, and we were still talking. Four and five, I was offering him every word of wisdom, love, and encouragement I could find.


“Why do you care?” he asked.


Then, on the night of all nights, I realized the truth. I had fallen in love with my best friend. And if he had given up, I don’t think I could have gone on.


We made it through the night, telling stories and simply talking, keeping each other awake and alive.


I look at him again. He turns towards me this time, and I smile. He just looks at me, and then smiles back.


He doesn’t have to ask what I smiling about, or why I’m not watching the movie. He knows me better than anyone, and he knows what I’m thinking. He just sits there, smiling. And when he turns away from the screen and stares into space, I know he’s remembering every thing we’ve gone through too. I know exactly what he remembers and what he doesn’t, which stories we want to remember. I know that once upon a time, I fell in love with him, and he fell back. Maybe they weren’t at the same times, and maybe we never got it right, but we both know that we couldn’t survive without the other. We’re writing our stories together, him and I.





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