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Nicole Zhu, 01 Aug '12

        On Monday, we’ll meet again in the hallway and it’ll be like this night never happened because this is what a true high school fairytale is like. There is no giant revelation that your soul mate was your next-door neighbor conveniently before a dance. There is no lifelong longing for someone who doesn’t even know your name with an eventual romantic payoff.
        You have an untainted, private night that neither of you expected to happen. Your eyes meet in the hallway in passing.
        He nods in your direction, “Sup.”
        You say the same.

        The year goes by and we’re back to being our own selves again. I only tell my closest friends about it, and even then I do quite a bit of self-editing. How can I admit that I got caught up in an emotional one night stand with a guy who now spends his time hovering around the skanky, YOLO-obsessed underclassmen girls who Instagram their illegal booze?
        But that’s his crowd and his world, and I always knew I had no place in it. He spends half his time partying and getting stoned and gaming. I’d gone to a few house parties and every time I would see him there talking up yet another girl. Whether his attempts turned into conquests always filtered through the grapevine and even if they hadn’t, I knew that whatever I was or wasn’t to him was probably buried underneath the hazy memories of scantily-clad girls whose aspirations were “live, laugh, love.”
        To be fair, he didn’t really fit in my crowd or my world either. Except for the fact that he was and forever will be the first boy I ever kissed.

        College results come out and suddenly everything about high school just becomes insignificant. I will never have to see 95% of the people in my class ever again. I will be going to an institution where I’m on a more equal intellectual and interest level with my classmates. I will never have to worry about high school hierarchy and cafeteria seating ever again.
        We’re bound for different schools in different countries, not like the distance would mean much anyways. That August night at the start of the year may as well have never happened at all.
        Except on prom night, after the dance and people are partying and waiting for the 5 AM flag raising tradition near the mall, he comes up to me. He mentions “some other night” he’d had there months ago at the start of the year, his words trailing off in the form of a question. The time he was with me.
        “What about that night?” I ask. Feigning ignorance is something I never do well and he knows it.
        He just looks at me with a lopsided sort of smirk, holding my gaze for a few seconds. We hold a mini-staring contest and I feel the faux-smile begin to fade before he finally just laughs and shakes his head at the ground.
        “I’ll see you around,” he says over his shoulder. He walks off and we graduate without ever saying good-bye.
        I don’t know why he said what he did, at that time, at that place. In retrospect, I guess those details don’t really matter much at all. The important thing is that he did.
        The scariest thing? He remembers.

Comments · 3

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  • Nicole Zhu said...

    In response to Sherman Alexie's writing prompt: "Think back to the person you always wanted to kiss, but never did. Now imagine a world where that dream-kiss took place, and write about what happened next. "

    • Posted 7 years ago
  • Jamie Thomas said...

    A powerful story from a very powerful prompt. I really liked it, especially the way you describe the boy and his crowd of people using very modern Internet memes, and other realistic ways. Very good burrst, I look forward to reading more of what you write :)

    • Posted 7 years ago
  • Jessica Cambrook said...

    I agree with @Jamie Thomas, I think the thing I liked best about this was it was so realistic with it's mentions of modern phrases and I laughed a few times at some of the things I could relate to, like "the skanky, YOLO-obsessed underclassmen girls who Instagram their illegal booze" and scantily-clad girls whose aspirations were “live, laugh, love.”
    Very believably written as a teenage girl caught up in the memories of that one night, and it worked well with the themes of hope and the future. :)

    • Posted 7 years ago