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"Is there anybody going to listen to my story? All about the girl who came to stay. She’s the kind of girl you want so much it makes you sorry. Still you don’t regret a single day. A girl..."- The Beatles, Girl
Her name was Layla and she was the most stunning girl I had ever seen in my life. Her big brown doe eyes gleamed in the florescent lights that hung above us. She had glassy coffee-colored curls that bounced when she walked into the room. And when she flashed her smile it light up the whole room. From the moment I saw her i was enamored by her and the way she seemed to effortlessly fit in with the people she was around.
I met Layla when I was sixteen, my birthday was two weeks before and she was turning seventeen in a few months. And of all places to meet such an engaging girl, I met her at class to become an EMT. On the very first day of class, I saw her walk in and she glanced around the room. She then spotted an empty chain next to mine and made her way over.
“Hi” she grinned as she sat down ever so gracefully.
“Hello” i managed to mumble after awkwardly gawking at her for a moment.
“I’m Layla” she introduced herself, extending her hand to me. I felt my hand fill with sweat and I shook a bit.
“Hi, I’m Eric” I said, shaking her hand, and returned a smile, but it didn’t come close to her mega watt grin.
“This is the class for EMT right?” she questioned me and ran her hand through her curls.
“Yeah, it is” I said with a tiny laugh as i continued to look at her.
“So Eric, what school do you go to?” she asked, making polite conversation as we awaited the beginning of class.
“Oh, um, I go to uh, Saddle River High School. I’m uh, a Junior” I mumbled.
“ Oh, I go to Park Ridge High School, I’m a junior too” she said with a great deal of confidence.
Then a short man walked in and began to talk about the EMT course. He had white hair with a bald spot and spoke like Ben Stein.
“Class with him as the teacher for four months should be a blast” Layla whispered to me as the instructor, who told us his name was Steve spoke. I giggled and replied “yeah, a lot of fun”
From that moment on, Layla and I became great friends. Every Tuesday and Thursday night I looked forward to seeing her sitting next to me in class. we would whisper funny remarks to each other as Steve lectured us about patient care.
“Alright” Steve began “It’s 8:30 you guys can have a ten minuet break” and we all rushed out of the room. Before she left the room Layla took her cell phone and her pack of Marbolro cigarettes. She walked outside and joined some other guys who were puffing away on their cigarettes and she scrolled through the messages on her phone.
“Hey Nell” a tall guy named Kevin from our class said to Layla as she stepped outside and lit her cigarette.
“Hey Kevin” she said, not taking her eyes off her phone, and the way her face looked what she reading wasn’t good.
“So how’s the boyfriend?” another guy from our class, James, asked her.
“I don’t even want to talk about him” she said with a heavy sigh and shoved her phone in her pocket and took a long drag.
“Aw, things not going well?” Kevin asked
“You can’t even begin to imagine” she said with a harsh undertone, not directed at Kevin but directed at her boyfriend, whom I was incredibly envious of.
I stood across from Layla, Kevin and James, listening to them talk when Kevin looked up and saw me.
“Hey, Eric, come over here and talk with us” he said and gestured me over.
I walked over and stood across from Layla and looked at her, as she looked at the ground and flicked her burning cigarette.
“Hey guys” I said “How’s it going?”
“Not well for Layla, things aren’t well in paradise. Maybe you could help her out El” James said and winked at me. I turned crimson.
Layla’s head popped up and she sneered at James “Just because things aren’t going well, doesn’t mean it’s over, which means I’m not going to cheat.”
“Aw, come on Nell, give Eric a little kiss, it’ll make him happy” Kevin prodded her.
“Fine” she said rolling her eyes and leaping down from the rail she was perched on. She came over to me and placed her hand on my cheek and kissed my other one. I turned even more red than I already was.
Just after she pulled away steve came outside and waved his hand around to move away the cloud of smoke.
“Come one everyone, cigarettes out, come inside” he said. Layla stopped out her cigarette and we trotted back inside and watched the rest of the lecture. Layla and I continued to whisper little jokes between each other and giggled innocently.
One night we had to take our unit tests, like usual, and I was a bottle of nerves, but I wouldn’t let it show. When I pulled up to class that night Layla was outside with Kevin and James having their pre-class cigarettes. I ambled over and as I got closer Layla looked tense as she took long drags of her cigarette.
“Hey, everything alright? You look a little edgy” I said to her. She looked up at me and she was shaking a bit.
“No! I’m so nervous for this test, I didn’t study, and I’m going to fail!” she cried out.
“Hey, you’ll do fine, you passed all the tests so far with great scores! You’ll do great!” I reassured her.
“You think so?” she asked me in a meek voice. I wasn’t used to seeing her like his. Usually she had an overwhelming sense of confidence about her, but tonight she was anxious, and fragile.
“I know so” I told her and gave her smile to attempt to make her feel better.
“Thanks Eric” she said and gave me a huge hug. She stamped out her cigarette and we walked inside together and sat down to take our test.
The written part of the test was no problem for Layla, she finished in no time, and I was done soon after her, but it was the practical part that she was terrified of failing.
“Ok, so wait what are the five rights of medication?” she asked me as we waited in line to take our practical tests. I helped her cram, and soon enough it was our turn to go.
“You ready for this?” I asked her.
“Not at all” she answered.
“You got this” I reassured her and took her hand as we walked to the testing room. She smiled up at me as we walked in and she took a deep breath.
We went inside the room to test and went our ways to different instructors. I finished first and Layla came out a little while after me.
“So how did you do?” I asked immediately.
“I passed! Oh, Eric I couldn’t have done it without you!” she said and gave me a kiss on each cheek. I reddened again but Layla grinned.
As the weeks went on, I continued to admire Layla. I still thought she was the most amazing girl I had ever known. She was confident, stunning, smart, and she was an amazing artist too! She was everything I wanted in a girl, I needed to be with her, she was the only thing on my mind and i couldn’t stop thinking about her.
The class was coming to an end and I had to tell her how I felt about her or I was going to go insane. Finally, one day we had to attend class on a Sunday from eight in the morning until four in the after noon. It was the last class we had until we took our state test. This was my last chance, if I didn’t tell her now, I probably would never tell her. All day we went from class room to class room review everything we had learned over the past four months so we could go into the state test knowing we would pass.
At lunchtime, Steve gave us a full hour to eat and enjoy ourselves on our last day of class. Layla and I walked into the cafeteria and sat down to eat.
“So, I’ve been listening to some different music lately” I told her.
“Really, like what?” she asked as he bit into her sandwich.
“Well I’ve really started liking Eric Clapton lately” I told her. Her eyes lit up and widened.
“I love Eric Clapton! I’m named after one of his songs! What’s your favorite song?” she asked me, excited that I was into Eric Clapton.
“Oh, um I really like Wonderful Tonight and Cocaine. I have them on my phone, and Layla too” I smiled and took out my phone, showing her the songs.
“Awesome!” she smiled and crumpled up her sandwich wrapper.
“So, um do you want to take a walk or something, since we have another 45 minuets?” I asked her.
“Sure” she smiled sweetly. Her smile drove me crazy, her teeth were a dazzling white and perfectly straight. Her lips were a rosy pink and perfect, just like the rest of her.
We walked outside and circled the parking lot. I took out my phone so we could listen to Eric Clapton.
“Can I guess that your favorite Eric Clapton song is Layla?” I asked her
“Yes” she said excitedly “Put it on!”
As the beginning licks of Layla emitted form my phone Layla smiled and began to twirl to the music. We laughed and she took my hand and spun me around with her. we continued to walk around the lot and the music began to slow down. This was it, now or never. I had to tell her how I felt, I had to tell her every emotion I had for her, that I love her, and I need to be with her.
“Layla?” I called as she spun around in the brisk autumn air. The wind was blowing gently and the leaves were swirling in the breeze.
“Yeah?” she said and stepped toward me. She pushed her brunette ringlets out fo her face and exposed her umber eyes and long eyelashes.
“There’s something I need to tell you” I blurted.
“What is it?”
“Since the day we started class, I knew there was something about you. I just thought you were so beautiful, and amazing and I just feel like...” I began but she cupped her hand over my mouth before i could finish.
“Eric, I feel the same way about you” she said sweetly and looked me deep in my eyes. I felt like we connected more than we ever have.
“Layla, I love you” I told her. Once I said it i felt like a weight had been lifted off my shoulders.
“I love you too Eric” She moved in closer to me and wrapped her arms around my neck. I pressed my lips to hers and as if by cue, a wind swirled and we kissed, and it was the most amazing moment of my life.