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Love & Wisdom
In eighth grade I was the toughest, most independent, most unromantic girl in school. Boys shrank away from my lashing tongue, and all the girls knew better than to gossip about boys in front of me. To me, love was a symptom of the weak, low esteemed, and dependent. Because of this, my favorite quote of all time was by Bob Dylan “You can't be wise and in love at the same time.”
Being the only critic in my school’s “Viewette” newspaper, meant I was often forced into uncomfortable situations. I was ridiculed for my hammering of the local ‘Macaroni Grill’ restaurant, and glared at by nearly every girl when I slammed the ‘Twilight’ series. Movie reviews were by far my least favorite because it meant bringing along a fellow staff writer with me, to discuss our opinions and collaborate. I was a free spirit and hated working with others on reviews, so when I was forced to accompany high school senior, Danny, to the movie, Valentine’s Day, I almost balked.
I sat next to Danny, uncomfortably alert, feeling as if a surge of electricity was crawling up my feet, through my legs, and all the way up my arms. I’d accompanied boys to movies before, but never to one this… romantic. I was all too aware of Danny’s hand on the seat next to mine, and I wanted to squirm away, at least five seats down. Nearby us couples were kissing, making goo-goo eyes at each other, and holding hands. I tried to ignore them, holding my pencil and notepad with a white knuckled grip, doing my best to concentrate on the movie. Nothing seemed to work. Danny seemed to be perfectly relaxed, his ice-blue eyes staring attentively at the screen. Finally, in the midst of the awkward cinema crowd I stood up.
“I’m going to get a Coke.” I announced, taking a purposeful step towards the Exit, planning to run as fast as I could to the parking lot once I got out of sight.
He looked up at me. “What is it?” He asked, his too-blue eyes boring in to mine. “Seriously, you’ve been skittish the whole movie.”
“It’s just…” I began.
“You’re uncomfortable, you can’t concentrate on the movie, and you feel out of place?” He asked.
I was about to lie, but then nodded. “Yah- and I’m sorry, but maybe next time we should watch some other movie- like Star Trek or something.” I felt my face growing hot as another kissing scene covered the screen. “Really…” I trailed off.
Suddenly, before I knew it, his hand had pulled me into my seat, and had he was kissing me straight on the lips. My eyes widened but I made no effort to move, as if in some kind of a trance. When we broke apart he grinned at me, in the darkness of the theater.
“There. Feel less out of place now?” He asked.
Instead I just sat numb, paralyzed by what had just happened. My lips tingled and I reached to touch them tentatively. I’d never expected such an expected thing to happen, and for some reason, I felt happy and tingly all over- not ashamed, nor angry.
“What was that for?” I asked quietly.
He shrugged as I sat in a daze, too stunned to leave the theater now, too numb to concentrate. Danny returned to staring back at the screen while the events went over and over in my mind. I had just had my first kiss… with a high schooler two years older than me. I’d never expected it to happen. I was the strong, independent, unromantic, unbeautiful… my thoughts trailed off.
After Valentine’s Day finished, we walked out of the theater, the stars twinkling brightly.
“Got your notes?” He asked unfazed, holding out his notepad, which was scribbled across.
“My notes?” I asked vaguely, realizing that I had dropped my still-blank notepad when he had kissed me.
“Oh well.” He replied. “It wasn’t that great a movie anyways.”
He tore out the pages of notes and stuffed them in the nearby garbage can. “Besides, it was worth just going there with you.”
My heart seemed to soar, despite how hard I tried to hammer it back into reality. I realized that I’d experienced my first taste of love- never mind how small.
As I drove home that night, I recalled my helplessness during the movie, and how I hadn’t written one useful note the whole time. I finally understood what the true meaning was behind the quote, “You can't be wise and in love at the same time.” Right then, wisdom didn’t seem important anymore.