Hi, Hey, Hello!
Right, day 6. I might be already hitting some kind of wall, but let’s not dwell on that and get on with it shall we?
‘Look into your eyes and the sky’s the limit’
They are effectively a walking talking cliche.
They are the thing that rom coms are made of.
They hated each other once upon a time. They took it in turns to push each other into muddy puddles when they were 3. They shouted about how the other one had cooties when they 5. And 6. And 7. In fact they shouted about that up until hormones kicked in and it was apparently no longer ‘cool’ to think you could catch something that was never identified just being around someone else. They pulled each others hair in the playground. They called each other names. They teased each other endlessly.
They were told it was cute. They were told it was normal. They grew apart. Their fake childish hate drew a wedge between them.
He turned to the books. Studied every book he could get his hands on. Spent hours bent over books, making notes, highlighting phrases, sometimes whole paragraphs. Absorbing anything possible. Thriving in every academic situation that he could. He excelled.
The other excelled in a different way. She become athletic. Woke up before the sun and went on 6 mile runs to get the day started. She joined every sports team that her schedule would allow. Fell into bed at the end of the day exhausted. Full of adrenaline and a sense of accomplishment, but exhausted nonetheless. And ready to do it all over again. She paid attention in school. Dedicated all the time that was necessary to her studies, but her main focus was sports. It all came back to sports.
So you see? Almost a total rom com cliche.
It gets worse when you consider that they had their epiphany moment at a school dance. Well more accurately, she had her epiphany moment. He took off the glasses so to speak and she finally noticed him again. Noticed the way his suit was perfectly tailored and how his shoulders were broader now. Noticed how he had filled out quite considerably since the last time she had bothered to pay attention to him. The last time being back when they were 11 and still thought that the other held some kind of weird disease. She noticed how even though almost everyone in the room had him billed as some kind of loser/loner/nerd guy, he carried himself when he entered a room with a level of confidence that made it clear that he didn’t care. She found it oddly striking that he had already reached the stage that he didn’t care what other people thought.
She still felt like she had to live for other people. With every time that she fell into bed for a short minute straight after school only to have to rush to a dance class. Or to lacrosse practise. Or to a party to be sociable she felt like she was living for other people. Like she was living under a microscope and had to act a certain way out of fear that it would be picked up and then forcibly altered.
It’s what made her pick schools that she had a feeling deep down inside would stretch her out of her academic capability, but offered great sports scholarships that everyone around her needed her to get. And she felt like she was drowning under the pressure of it all. Then there was him. Standing in the middle of a semi crowded school hall with all eyes on him after being mercilessly teased, not giving a shit.
In another cliche way she wanted to be more like him.
She wanted that confidence. She wanted to care less about what other people were saying and what they were doing and whether she should be doing the same thing. She wanted to be able to just tell those around her that she was doing too much and she was wearing herself too thin. She wanted to sleep until noon and not be made to feel guilty for being that kind of lazy. She wanted to have the time to read about the things that interested her. She was so focused on just passing and keeping her grades up that she never really got into what she was interested in. Her knowledge existed solely on a need to know basis. Unlike his.
He was like a well of knowledge. Never far from a book, always the first to answer a question when he knew the answer. He had found his passions. It was a well known fact that he had his choice of good schools. He wasn’t going to go wrong in that respect. He wasn’t going to throw away any schooling help he got because he couldn’t his marks up. Keep it up was all he did.
And he kept his head up here. He made his way over to his ‘usual’ corner of the room, now furnished with an uncomfortable foldaway chair and a table with a garish blue tablecloth shoddily draped over it. Slowly everyone went back to being absorbed by their own friend circles.
She went over to the boy that she sees almost every day going in and out of the house next to hers. And the one that she pushed into muddy puddles. The one who used to call her a ‘pooface’ because it seemed like a naughty word when they were 6. The one who was secretly her best friend underneath it all, until he wasn’t.
And they talked. A stunted conversation at first, but one that eventually flowed easily once they started talking about all the crazy conversations that they have overheard their parents have over the years. They talked about all the crazy sporting achievements she had acquired over the years and all the academic ones he had. They just talked. And something new started.
Or rather something old and dormant, underneath all those teenage hormones, was rekindled.
When her acceptance letters came in, of which there were more than one, to her surprise, he was there telling her that sticking it out there would be no worse than anything that she has already done in her schooling life. And gently reminded her that her main choice was in a city where no one would know whether or not she rolled out of bed at noon unless she told them. She never really believed anyone else when they said she would be fine, but she believed him, something about the sincerity in his eyes as he said it made her feel like she could do nothing else but believe him.
And deep down she knew that he probably wasn’t wrong. Plus, he liked to always gently remind her that they were still going to be in the same city, so if she needed him for anything ever, he would be there. And well, that just put an unexpected smile on her face.
Like I said, they are effectively a walking talking cliche.
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