“Doug! It’s time to go!”
“Coming Mom!” Doug dragged his feet down the steps. He slammed the car door shut of his parents’ Mercedes, and they were off.
After a year of not being able to get over some girl, he still was not able to stop thinking about her, which lead to insecurity. He felt like the weirdest, most out-of-touch person alive. And now, he was being forced to go to some ceremony or banquet that his parents were holding for the stockholders; all he wanted to do was sleep and draw, forget all the pain during summer vacation.
To Doug it felt like an hour, but no longer than 20 minutes did it take for them to arrive at the hotel the event was being hosted at. Sharp business suits and frilly dresses drinking wine and cheering “Congrats on another great quarter!” surrounded him as he quietly made his way towards the ballroom that the company had rented. His parents separated from him to go prepare. He tried to conceal his presence as he sulked his way over to the ballroom.
People were filing in as he got there; he quickly took a seat in the very back row, leaving two empty chairs between him and the end of it. After twenty minutes, the ceremony commenced, and the empty seats, which Doug thought would be empty for the whole shebang, were suddenly filled; the one further from him with the girl’s mother, and the closer with the girl: the prettiest girl he had seen in a long time.
Summer had begun; school was out; he wasn’t going to see the one he had been obsessing over for the next three months. Oh, what the hell, he thought. She’s pretty; she’s about my age; I’ve got nothing to lose; I should talk to her.
“Hello, I-I’m Doug. What’s your name?” He whispered.
The little beauty turned her head; a smile beamed across her face, and consequently his.
“I’m Lily. Nice to meet you!”
Doug felt a vibe from Lily: a good, hopeful one. They whispered jokes to each other for the whole two hours: jokes about the company members’ and stockholders’ names, how slowly they spoke in monotone despite the celebratory occasion, how much Doug and Lily didn’t care about all of it. They were immature jokes that Doug normally detested, but he put that aside. For the first two hours all year, she was out of his head, and he finally felt like he had a friend, let alone a chance with a girl. Regardless, just one friend was simply good enough.
The two hours felt like thirty minutes; the lights turned on; everyone clapped and left the room. Doug wanted to follow Lily out, but he promised to help his parents and the staff clean up. So, he rushed; for the sake of getting her number, he worked harder than he ever had. It took him a mere fifteen minutes to put the chairs away before running out of the ballroom into the main hall.
Alas, it was hopeless. Many were still there, but Lily and her mother were not. She was gone. The proof that there were other fish in the sea, the sudden killer of his detachment from the world, the first person in nine long months to genuinely make him laugh and smile and fill him completely with happiness and peace was gone, and he didn’t even get her phone number.
“What’s wrong?” His father asked upon returning to the car.
The sun was gently setting below the distant mountains; the hot June evening was becoming a cool night. “Nothing,” he mumbled. Nothing and everything had changed. However, he smiled knowing that the old girl was out of his head.
Smells Like Teen Love
“Doug! It’s time to go!”