I’ll be honest. I was a little too freaked out by the whole thing to mention it to either Annie or Chris. But it was so strange! I’ve definitely been mistaken for a girl before from behind because of my long hair, but this was almost like…an attraction…that he had towards me. Did he really think that I was a girl?
The assembly was during the 8th grade lunch period, so we were told to have a quick lunch and then get to our next class. I finished the school day not being able to get that out of my mind, and with the exciting event of graduation coming up, that’s saying something.
I returned home to find that I my parents were out of the house. They traveled a lot and would often go on trips for a whole weekend, and it being Friday, they must’ve both left.
My parents trust me a lot though, and being an only child, I’ve grown very independent. With no bad track record, they’ll give me the house for the weekend without batting an eye.
I ended up inviting Annie and Chris over to hang out. Graduation would be next Friday, so I realized this was my last Friday as a middle schooler.
Annie arrived first, and we decided to sit on the couch and talk until Chris came. However, as expected, she would not shut up about the Toned performance.
“I just can’t get ENOUGH of that apace group, Jamie. I swear, I’m going to all their concerts from now on. Imagine, when we get to high school, we’ll be in the same school as them. I could run into them every day!”
“I think you’re a little too giddy about this guy group,” I responded, a bit annoyed. “You can’t get too excited just because they waved at you.”
“Hey, I didn’t say that they ALL waved at me, but the Freshman boy definitely was checking me out”
Her last few words caused my stomach to drop again. That made me think of how that boy looked at me, and it once again made me feel uncomfortable.
Just as she said that, the doorbell rang. I jogged to the door. It was Chris.
“Yo yo” he said, overly casual as always.
He came and sat in the living room with the two of us. We decided to pull out cards against humanity, which is a game we like to play a lot, and always gets a bunch of laughs.
“So I got a text from Juan,” Chris said, matter of factly, “My cousin.”
At the sound of “cousin”, Annie dropped her cards. “OOOOH WHAT DID HE SAY?”
“Woah calm down. You’ll actually be happy to hear this.” Chris said.
Annie was squealing with excitement. Chris continued, “So apparently, the freshman singer, was saying that he saw a cute girl in the audience, and that that girl kind of…mesmerized him.”
My heart stopped. What do I do? What do I say….
Hold on though. Maybe this wasn’t me that Chris is talking about. Maybe it’s Annie! Or heck, anyone else. There were 50-plus girls in the audience during that show, so It so easily could’ve been them. Maybe he looked at me in ADDITION to the many other girls.
“eeeep! That HAD to be me! When I stood up and waved, he totally looked in my direction. There’s no doubt!” Annie said, yelling. She then began to stand up and dance around, celebrating her believed victory.
Chris stood up to calm her down. “Woah woah woah, settle down. We don’t know if it was you.”
Chris started pacing the room. “I’m actually going to a family party on Sunday. Juan will be there. I could definitely ask him about is the girl of interest.”
“Oooooh this is just like Cinderella!” Annie said in a giddy fashion.
“Yeah, but in this case you might be the ugly stepsister praying that the prince picks you.” Chris responded condescendingly
I laughed at Chris’s remark. But it was all too possible that perhaps…I…was the Cinderella.
The next week at school I got a chance to talk to Chris at lunch. Annie, Chris, and I always sat together. Usually I would draw, while the other two would bicker about who knows what. Despite being close friends, they disagreed on a lot. But we all knew that Annie was waiting for one thing in particular.
“What’s the news!” Annie said, as Chris sat down. Chris look a little annoyed at Annie.
“Listen, you’re all crazy about this guy, but you don’t even know his name.”
Chris looked at Annie, awaiting her response.
“Pfft, of course I do,” she said, “It’s…”
We both stared at her.
“Alright fine! I just think he’s really cute so I’m a bit obsessive over this. Can you tell me?”
“Well I can say two things,” Chris began, “Number one, his name is Scotty Allen. He’s a freshman originally from Highman Middle school.”
Highman middle school. That was the middle school about a 10 minute drive south of our middle school, McMillan. I didn’t really know too much about it. Chris continued his details.
“The other thing I learned is that Scotty doesn’t know the name of the girl—obviously. But he was talking about her some more when Juan saw him over the weekend. So I guess he’s like really infatuated.”
“But WHO is the girl he’s in too! What does she look like??” Annie was on the edge of her seat.
Chris turned toward Annie. “Well unfortunately for YOU, she was not BLONDE. She was a brunette.”
Once again, my heart dropped. It had to be me. Scotty Allen has a crush on ME.
With this assumption made, my face began to get really red, but nobody seemed to notice. Annie was too busy pouting over the bad news, and Chris was too busy enjoying her pouting.
“Hmm, so he wasn’t in to me?” Annie questioned to herself. She shrugged her shoulders, “oh well, there’s plenty of other cute guys on that stage I could go for!”
Chris sat down and opened up his lunchbox, “The only question now is: who is this mystery brunette?”
The rest of the day went by normally. It was the last week of school, so that was exciting. We continued to watch movies in class, but also got our yearbooks today, so everyone was signing each others, reminiscing of memories of the last three years.
Once I got home for the end of the day, I opened up my yearbook and read some of the notes. As expected, there was a lot of “see you in high school” and “have a great summer” messages. But there were also a few about my hair, mostly from girls, and how they were jealous of it. Ugh, I guess that’s what I signed up for though.
Wednesday was the official last day of school, even though our graduation ceremony was Friday, so there were lots of tears of happiness shed by the time the bell rang to release us from our final class.
I was at my locker, clearing it out, when Chris approached me.
“Hey Jamie, you down to come over after school? I just got this new video game we could play.”
“That sounds good,” I said.
Chris eventually told me the game was the new NBA 2K game. I’m not a big sports person by any means, but I enjoyed the artistic side of basketball: creating plays, weaving bodies, driving to the hoop. Unfortunately though, I was never athletic enough to do it. At 13 years old, I currently stand 5 foot 3 inches, and weigh only 100 pounds, so I’m fairly skinny.
My doctor has told me that I’ve entered puberty, but I haven’t really seen any effects of it yet. So people’s voices drop a lot, and some people (like me) keep a somewhat higher voice. Doesn’t bother me though.
We arrived at the Correa’s household. I said hello to Chris’s mother and father, and we went straight to his room. Chris has a really nice family. He and his two brothers are all very outgoing, but like Chris, only had a few close friends.
Chris and I sat down on the couch in his room and started to play the game.
“So I did some scouting on who this mystery brunette could be.” Chris said while still looking at the TV screen.
I responded quickly and might have sounded a little too defensive, “Why do you keep trying to figure this out?”
He looked at me briefly, and then back at the screen. “Well, Juan mentioned again that Scotty brought up the girl once more. He told me that he’s looking forward to meeting her in high school.”
“Well that’s not necessarily true,” I said, “She…whoever she is…could be going to Hinsdale West.”
“Fair enough,” he responded, “but that’s where my sleuthing comes in!”
Chris paused the game and looked at me. He pulled out a notebook filled with writing.
“While signing yearbooks, I took note to ask every girl where they were going to high school.”
“That’s a little creepy,” I told him. He didn’t seem to even hear me through his focus.
“As it turns out, out of the 53 girls in the grade, 25 of them are brunette, and ALL of them, happen to be attending Hinsdale East next year!”
Chris seemed thrilled with his breakthrough. It was totally in his character to get amped about this sort of thing. That didn’t help my nerves though.
“So what’re you saying?” I asked, nervously.
“I’m saying,” he said, focusing his attention, “that Scotty Allen WILL be meeting this girl next year."
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