the stars. chance. luck. [93]

He was seventeen. He was smart and kind. He was a good son to his mother and a protective brother to his younger sister. He always went to school even when he wasn’t feeling his best. He didn’t make the best grades, but he always tried his hardest. He was cool. He belonged to the popular crowd, but he didn’t care about any of that.

He hung out in the senior parking lot with his friends after school every day. While his buddies rough housed, he watched her. She was quiet and mousy. She didn’t wear make up or keep up with the trends. But he didn’t care about any of that. He saw the kindness in her eyes, and there was an unwavering desire in the pit of his stomach. He wanted to know her.
They belonged to two different worlds, and he was certain she’d never be interested. Besides, he thought, when would the opportunity present itself? It was second semester of senior year, and their paths never crossed too closely. He’d just have to admire her from a distance. She would just have to be the one he’d always wonder about. What would have been?
His buddy distracted him with a playful but hard punch in the arm.
“Hey Man! You listenin’? We’re all heading to the bowling alley tonight. You down?”
He looked up barely phased by the distraction.
“Huh? Oh. Yeah, uhm. Sure.”
He watched her walk to her friend’s car. He’d heard that she’d refused a car as a gift on her sixteenth birthday because she knew her parents were strapped for money. How will I learn to appreciate the value of things like that if they are just handed to me, he’d heard she’d told them. So she caught a ride modestly with her best friend to and from school every day. He couldn’t be sure, but he thought he saw her look up at him and smile. His heart fluttered.
He sat in his car in the bowling alley’s parking lot. He’d promised his buddies he’d come, but he just wasn’t feeling it. He couldn’t bring himself to go in. Sure, he liked his friends, but they just didn’t get that there was more to life than this than high school. He didn’t care much for the way the treated people outside their group, either. Well, people who weren’t beautiful girls, that was.
When he finally walked into the bowling alley, he stood in the entrance for a moment to scan the scene. He spotted his friends at the last two lanes on the left. There were more people than he expected. He waved and shouted “just a minute” in response to the hoots and hollers for him to join them.
He walked up to the deserted snack bar and waited behind the counter for the attendant to notice him. He didn’t want to be rude, and he was in no rush. The girl’s back was turned to him as she refilled the cheese to the nacho machine. After she’d squeezed the last of the cheese from the bag, she turned. She jumped, startled to see him. She’d been unaware of his presence as she worked. She threw the empty cheese bag into the trash can and wiped her hands against her apron as a friendly smile flashed across her face.
“Oh, uhm. What can I get you?”
It was her.

About JoElizabeth

I am a writer who loves to explore all different types of relationships. I am most happy when surrounded by my loved ones and furry children. I've never met a stranger, and I talk way too much. My favorite things to do are eat {preferably at a restaurant} with good friends, write, watch DVDs of TV series {especially FRIENDS}, drink lots of coffee and learn.
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