He rode in the back seat of her friend’s car; the girl rode in the passenger seat, not daring to sit by him so soon. He was on his cell phone the entire ride there with his brother and friend who were following us to the birthday party. They barely spoke once they got to the house, both of them were too nervous to do anything involving the other. He smoked a cigarette with his brother outside, as he promised he wouldn’t, so for a while she stayed away. He never knew she was allergic to the smoke he threw into the air in front of her. His brother was scared cops would show up because of the loud live band and the under-aged smoking. The boy didn’t want to leave, but the girl didn’t want him to get in trouble with the law, so she urged him to leave. He took it as a way to get rid of him, which was the complete opposite of what she really wanted that night. He left with them shortly after arriving and sped off towards home; and she didn’t do much until after the cop finally showed up.
He would have been no threat to the amazing boy at all; the cop was black, soft spoken, and gay. He left quickly; most people would have at the sight of the crowd inside the house. After the street was set on fire a few more times, the girl and her friend drove another guy home from the party. The boy had forgotten his jacket in the back of the car, and the girl held it the entire ride away from the party. She called him, and let him know they had found his hoodie in the car. After getting lost in the wrong Quail Arbor neighborhood trying to find his house, as none of the passengers had ever been there before, they finally pulled up to his street.
The boys were outside in the dark night, skating in the middle of the street. She handed him his jacket, made a sarcastic comment about how it smelt, and they drove off. She sent him another text asking if he knew of anything else he had forgotten at the party or in the car. He tried to think of anything that he could have forgotten, but ultimately the answer was no. After the party she told her friend about everything that she was feeling, and they struck up a deal. Her friend would do whatever the girl wanted, as long as she would cut her hair. The girl was fine with that, and it was a sure deal.
Her friend talked on the phone with him, of course while the girl was around to listen, and she let the girl know almost everything that he said. With each phone call she grew more and more anxious and excited about his supposed feelings for her. He became frequent, and sometimes sober, at the lunch table, and would actually hold real conversations. Mid April, one of her guy friends at the table began to assist her in the capturing of her perfect man. She had woken up at 4:20 am for almost ten nights in a row, and noticed the time constantly in the afternoon. Somehow, to her, this was a sign; and her friend understood what it meant to her. He friend began to talk to the boy as well, as they had known each other longer than the girl realized. Then, at lunch on April 18, 2005, everything got weird.
She had woken up at 4:20 that morning, and was really getting into this boy; and she was sick of waiting. She told her friend about it all during lunch, as they almost always sat together. They talked in the hallway away from the table, just because she was so nervous about her feelings. Her friend went back to the table for a minute, telling her to wait in the hallway; she did as she was told. About a minute later, the boy came through the hall door and they stood there in silence. They looked at each other until the other one would notice, and then look away, just as they did almost daily at lunch. He told her he wasn’t going to ask her out just yet and that it felt awkward standing alone together in the hall. She got sad, thinking nothing would ever happen between the two of them; and then he asked.
Of course the girl said yes quickly, and they stood for a second waiting in the remaining embarrassment that was left floating in the hallway between them. She was ecstatic, for about five seconds. They went back to the table, and he didn’t sit by her or even close to her at all. He told her it was so he could look at her, but it made her feel like he didn’t really care about her. He didn’t walk her to her classes, or meet her before she left for the bus after school. Once she got home, the girl did her homework and walked the dogs with her middle school aged nephew. She called him later and felt as if they had nothing at all they could talk about. Hungry for dinner, one of them mentioned the ribs they were going to eat. The girl, having a slight case of OCD, mentioned the specific way she liked to eat her ribs. For hours they discussed their weird habits, as he apparently had some obsessive issues as well.
The next day they didn’t sit next to each other again, but she had managed to get a full night sleep. He started coming to lunch sober daily, and staying all of the period at the table. April 20 was the first time he had ever been to her house. They rode home on her bus together, and the sub driver let them off at the wrong stop a long walk from her house. Her family gave him one look, and you could tell there was instant disapproval. His hair was curly and well over a foot long. His facial hair was a bit extravagant, and they let him know it right away. He wore torn jeans and ripped shoes, and she couldn’t have been happier with him. She threw her stuff upstairs into her room, and they went back outside together. He skated while she took photos behind him; two of which ended up in a museum later in the year. He skated more and when she finished with her photos the two of them sat down outside, but not necessarily together. Something strange was happening between them, they wouldn’t sit next to each other or hold still next to the others side.