Prose – How to Fall in Love with a Stranger

I have not written creatively and successfully in so long. Needless to say, I am incredibly proud of what I have written.

DISCLAIMER: This is not true. The events are purely fiction. I would also like to add that it’s pretty long. So… just saying.

I sincerely hope you enjoy reading this as much as I enjoyed writing it. Thank you for spending a little bit of your day, or night, with me.

 

 

How to Fall in Love with a Stranger

Day 1

He looked like somebody who you would meet in a used bookstore. Or, more like someone who the main character of a teen rom-com movie would meet in a used bookstore… he was too good looking to meet in real life. But I didn’t meet him in a bookstore. I met him at school in the hallway. Except I didn’t meet him.

Having not met him, I still felt like I knew him after one shared glance in the hallway. The first time I saw him, jazz music played in my head and I imagined what a life with him would entail. I imagined coffee breath kisses in the morning while we listened to the news playing in the background while getting dressed for work that day. I imagined ramen noodle nights on a big, fluffy couch while watching a few hours’ worth of bad reality television. I imagined bathing our dog together in the bathtub of our small first home (we would have a golden doodle). But once our paths had crossed, the moment was gone and my future was back to being as uncertain as life was before.

I could not get him out of my head for the rest of the day.

 

Day 2

Our glance in the hallway was longer today. Or maybe it just felt longer. I didn’t imagine a life with him again, at least I tried not to. He has green eyes, maybe hazel. The color is hard to tell from a distance and behind his Clark Kent-esque glasses. I will update when I learn more. I still can’t stop thinking about him.

 

Day 3

I was sitting at a table in the lounge in between classes and he sat next to me. We didn’t speak. I don’t know his name, but I think his favorite color is blue. His headphones, his phone case, and his backpack are all blue. Different shades, of course. He’s not a “matchy-matchy” kind of guy. At least, I don’t think he is.

Also, his eyes are definitely green.

 

Day 4

We met again at our table from yesterday. Today, I joined him at the table instead of him joining me. I thought of maybe saying “hello” but something inside of me convinced myself not to. I ended up regretting that later on. He studied his textbook so attentively. I can never study like that, I get distracted too easily.

He doesn’t seem like the type of person to speak to someone first. To make matters worse, I am not that type of person either. He left the table before I did and headed to his next class. I left a few minutes after.

I found myself talking to God about him, before catching myself and then feeling silly about it. I do not even know his name, yet somehow I feel as if I am supposed to know him. This is the kind of problem I talked to God about. Why have I become borderline obsessed with someone I know nothing about?

I also found that having a crush is the closest thing to torture that someone can inflict on themselves. Anything reminds me of him, especially jazz.

 

Days 5, 6, and 7

The weekend was my hope for escape. My plan was to pop myself with a rubber band that I would keep around my wrist every time I caught myself thinking about him. After a few hours I thought my hand would fall clean off my wrist. Needless to say, my plan was foiled quickly.

As if the rubber band dilemma wasn’t enough, I also saw him shopping at Target on Friday. He was buying shampoo, but I was able to flee the scene before he saw me. I ended up regretting not saying “hi” at that moment. I wasn’t shopping for anything specific, not unlike most Target runs I go on, so I left the store to avoid running into him again. I ended up regretting this, too.

The rest of my weekend was filled with family outings, all the while imagining what it would be like if he was there with us. I have got to stop.

 

Day 8

If I had to die at eighteen, I would like my cause of death to be this green eyed boy.

 

Day 9

This is how my brain feels: dkfajnfrincelkcmlad caildedoidmdjn cdcndlmfjfweln

akjenflflkemdoiwdjeidcmk cmjfnurnfekmfkmclm ckdoiejem  kl f;ao.

Do you know what I mean?

 

Day 10

I think I learned his name. I won’t say it out loud or even allow myself to think it. I am afraid that if I know his name, this becomes real. And real things, for me, do not work out. Another boy, I’m assuming someone he knows, walked up to our table today, looked at me, then looked at him and said “Hey, *insert name that I won’t allow myself to think here*, did you do the homework for English?” In response, *insert name that I won’t allow myself to think here* said “Yeah. It wasn’t too hard either, if you use your textbook.” His friend (I use this term loosely) nodded, said something along the lines of “Oh okay, thanks man,” and walked away. Today was the first time I heard his voice. I want this to be the voice I wake up to and go to sleep to for the rest of my life.

 

Day 11

Today was my last chance to build up enough courage to finally speak to him before another long and agony-filled weekend. (The word “agony” is, of course, used for dramatic emphasis. You must remember, you are reading the thoughts of a teenage girl.) I walked into the room that our table calls home and he was not there. I sat down, played on my phone, picked at my split ends, tried to study for my test next week, all to no avail. He never showed up. I suddenly felt incredibly silly for feeling like I was stood-up in some way. I am over-reacting. Someone please give me a chill pill.

 

Days 12, 13, and 14

My weekend was average. No notes to add.

 

Day 15

Somehow, on this day, I convinced myself to skip all three classes. No updates on *insert name that I won’t allow myself to think here*. Regularly scheduled programming will resume on Tuesday, or whenever I feel like going to class next.

 

Day 16

Oh, what a day this one was. I hope you brought your popcorn because this one is a good one.

I walked into the lounge, and my hopes were not as high anymore. I began to feel more at-ease, less pressure to finally say something to this boy. I sat down at our table, and after a few minutes, he joined me. I looked up to greet him in our funny way of acting like the other doesn’t exist. This time, however, he smiled and said “Good morning”. I smile back and say “Hi”, but because it was the first word I said today, the word came out froggy and unclear. I clear my throat (very attractively, I’m sure… can you sense the sarcasm?) and I repeat myself. “Hi” I say again. At this point, I felt incredibly embarrassed, I pretended to study for a few minutes longer, and then I retreated to the bathroom until my next class. If there were a gold star to receive for speaking to strangers, I would not be a recipient, I can assure you.

 

Day 17

I did not go to the table today. I sat in my car until my class started, after a while I began to feel a little melodramatic about the whole situation. I decided that tomorrow I would talk to him. Let’s see how that goes, though.

 

Day 18

Okay, so I really did have big plans for today, I did. But… I chickened out. I didn’t say anything and neither did he. We are back to our regular “pretend like the other doesn’t exist” routine. Somehow, I find comfort in this. That’s a lie. I have been more nervous these past eighteen days than I have been in my entire eighteen years combined.

 

Days 19, 20, and 21

Surprise! My weekend was not noteworthy. Moving on.

 

Day 22

Today, I somehow mustered up enough confidence to smile at him before he sat down at our table. He, again, said “Good morning” and I actually said “Hi!” back and in a completely normal way. He said “Fancy seeing you here” and I didn’t catch his sarcasm at first because I was so caught up in the fact that we were actually acknowledging that the other existed. I lightly laughed once I caught the joke, followed by a “yeah”. Next time I see a shooting star, I’m wishing to be a better conversation starter.

 

Day 23

This morning, I actually said “Good morning” to him first. He quickly responded with “I feel like if we’re going to have a really quiet before-class meeting every morning, I should know your name.” I told him my name. He said “Well hello, my name is *insert name that I won’t allow myself to think here*”, except he didn’t actually say all of that, he actually told me his real name. It’s a nice name. Too bad I won’t allow myself to think it.

 

Day 24

Wednesdays are just hard in general. It was harder because I slept in and missed my first class, i.e. missed our “really quiet before-class meeting” too. I missed him in general, as well.

 

Day 25

This morning, I walked into the lounge and he was already sitting at our table with two coffees. As I approached the table, he said “Hey, I got you this coffee. I’d like to talk to you in less of an obligatorily polite way today, if that’s okay with you.” I nodded and sat down. I took a teeny tiny sip of the coffee he handed me. This felt a lot more like a dream than real life. In real life, this doesn’t happen to me. I remind myself that we have spent quite a few mornings at this table and that if he wasn’t, in some way, interested in me, he would have sat at one of the other twenty tables in the lounge. He looked at me while taking a long sip of his coffee before saying, “I don’t even like coffee. I just see you with it sometimes, so I thought it would be a nice gesture.” That made me want to laugh, but I held it in. I smiled a little and then said “And I suppose bringing one for yourself made it look like you didn’t just try and drug me by just bringing me a coffee for no particular reason other than to “talk to me”.” This made him laugh. He had such a nice laugh. The kind of laugh that I would want to hear as much as possible. The kind of laugh that made we want to make him laugh again. He responded with, “So you see my dilemma.” I liked his choice of vocabulary, he sounded like an adult. I also liked how he phrased his sentences.

I liked so many things about him. I could go on for a mile.

 

Days 26, 27, and 28

Why do I even include weekends anymore? Again, uneventful.

 

Day 29

I already was having trouble believing that this was actually happening to me. I am not the kind of girl that boys want to talk to first. I don’t know what kind of girl I am, but I am certain that I am not that kind. At least, I didn’t think I was. Today, he met me at our table and said my name. I looked up from my phone, and he had a coffee with my name written on it and a Dr. Pepper bottle, for him, I assumed. He sat down, faced me, and quickly said “I found myself missing your company over the weekend. It seems I have fallen in love with a complete stranger. Are you busy after class today?”

Was this really happening? To me? This was exactly the kind of things that I dreamt of happening. I had no idea that this stuff really happened to people. I told him no, that I was not busy. He invited me to accompany him to a trip to Sonic for lunch and to walk around Target with him. I said “That sounds great. Not far from what I usually do after school anyway. I suppose it would be nice to have someone with me.” He laughed and said that he would meet me back at our table at 12:15. I could not wait.

Day 30

More to come.

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Prose – How to Fall in Love with a Stranger

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