Author's note: Based on a true story.
October of 2009, Halloween DanceWeeks passed, uneventfully. I spent my day daydreaming about Josh, and freaking out every time I actually saw him.
I realize now that in my own mind, I had been building him up to be a whole lot greater than he actually was.
As the time passed, my love for him became desperately powerful. One day, I decided that I couldn’t take it anymore. Something had to be done, and the best time for it would be the upcoming Halloween Dance.
At the dance, my friends and I were all huddled in one corner of the large cafeteria, gossiping and rating each other’s outfits. Mine came in second place.
I inconspicuously (or so I thought) watched Josh, who was leaning against a pillar near the girl’s bathroom, surrounded by his brother and their friends. One time, he looked up, right at me, and saw me watching him. I quickly looked away, feeling my face flush.
Right then, the Cha-Cha Slide came on, and I was herded onto the dance floor by my friends. I deliberately avoided looking in the direction of the bathrooms.
When the song was over, Kyler came running over to me. “Emily! Josh was totally staring at you this whole time! I saw him!"
As if to confirm this, Mario suddenly appeared out of nowhere and declared that, “Josh wants to know which one of you likes him. He said for you to smile at him.”
Marianna squealed. “Oh my gosh, Emily! I think he wants to go out with you!”
I was shocked. Shocked that I was feeling more scared than overjoyed.
“Alright,” said Brenda, “we’ll all go into the bathroom, and when we pass him, you smile, okay Emily?” Before I could agree, or even disagree, for that matter, I was striding across the cafeteria, being pulled along by my friends.
I couldn’t seem to be able to form any thought in my mind. My heart felt like it had been replaced with a ticking bomb. My stomach was churning with butterflies.
I could see him, sitting there, arms crossed, in his black jeans and white t-shirt. He did that thing which would later come to be known as the “Justin Bieber hair flip”.
My ticking heart exploded.
A moment later, I remembered the plan and gave him a shy smile, then turned and ran the rest of the way to the girl’s bathroom. Once inside, I sank to the tiled floor and thought to myself, I’m either going to faint or throw-up.
My friends were laughing.
“Did you see his face?”
“He definitely likes you, Emily.”
“Oh my gosh, you guys are going to make such a cute couple!”
I pressed my trembling hands together. This was all happening too fast. Josh and me, a couple? Was that what I had wanted? Now that it seemed to be highly possible, I found myself doubting it. I didn’t feel ready.
“Come on, Emily,” said Katie, “let’s go back out there and see what he does!” Slowly, I got to my feet. We left the bathroom and went back to our little corner of the cafeteria. We sat in a circle on the ground and waited.
We didn’t have to wait long.
“Emily! Oh my gosh! Emily! He’s coming over here!” exclaimed Kyler. I looked up and saw that she was right. Josh was walking, slowly, in my direction. And he was smiling, a small, flirty grin. My friends all started squealing and poking me. And then I did the worst thing possible.
“No,” I said, getting to my feet. “No. I can’t do this.”
“What do you mean,” asked Marianna. “What are you doing?!”
I shook my head. “I can’t do this.”
Josh stopped in his tracks, thinking that I was going to meet him halfway. But I didn’t. I ran right past him. I rushed into the bathroom and leaned against a stall. One single tear squeezed through my shut eyelid and rolled down my cheek.
Marianna came in. “What happened?!” she asked. Kyler came in next, saying “what were you thinking?!” She was followed by Katie and Brenda. And Mario.
We all screamed. “This is a girl’s bathroom,” I yelled at him. “What are you doing here?!”
All he did was laugh. “Josh wants to talk to you.”
I shook my head. “I don’t want to.”
Mario left, only to return again in a moment. “He wants you to go out with him.”
The girls shrieked.
“He wants to know if you’ll go to the movies with him tomorrow.”
I shook my head. My panic was turning into anger. “No! I don’t want to go out with him, okay? I don’t want to talk to him, either. Just go away and leave me alone!”
Mario put his hands up. “Alright, alright, I get it.” Then he turned and left the girl’s bathroom.
I sank to the floor and began to sob. My friends stood off to the side, shocked at what they had just witnessed. Brenda was shaking her head. “He was all you talked about for two straight months. And now you hate him.” She turned and walked out the door.
“You blew it,” said Marianna, following suit.
“So, Emily,” said Kyler, “since you don’t want him anymore, can I have him? I kind of think he’s cute.”
I glared at her.
“Okay, never mind,” she said, bounding out the door.
I turned to Katie, my last “friend” left. She shrugged. “I’m sorry,” she said. Then she left, too.
I sighed. In the span of about five minutes, I had lost my four “best friends” and the love of my life. Tears fell relentlessly.
Ten minutes later, my makeup was washed off and I was ready to go out and face the world. I took a deep breathy and pushed the door open--only to find Josh on the other side. “Hey…” he said, reaching for my hand.
Quickly, I stepped back and shut the door again. Really? What part of, I don’t want to talk to you, does he not understand? I stayed in the bathroom until the party ended.