Eric’s POV –
Seventh period was over and I raced out into the hallway. Some of the guys were coming over to my place to hangout for the weekend, so I had to meet up with them. My mom wasn’t able to pick us up, so we had to walk home since my car was in the shop today. We decided we weren’t ready to walk that journey just yet, so we headed towards the picnic tables that were in the middle of the schoolyard.
All day long she was all that I could think about.
She was so cute in her own way, and she doesn’t even realize it. When she ran off yesterday, I thought it was because she wanted nothing to do with me. I was mad because she didn’t even give me an explanation, she just ran away.
I felt better after last night when we held hands during the movie my sister put on. Her warm, yet delicate hands had fit perfectly into mine. I knew this girl had some type of baggage she needed to work out, and I planned to be there for her through it all.
When I looked up from the table, I saw her walking towards me and my friends. I cursed to myself because even though I was starting to develop feelings for this girl, I didn’t want my friends making jokes or giving me a hard time. They always do, even though I haven’t known them long. It’s tough trying to fit in at a new school. Approval was so necessary, yet ridiculous all at the same time.
It’s stupid, I know. Don’t try to ask me how the male brain works because I’m not equipped to give a reasonable answer. Instead, I did the dumbest thing I could possibly do, I was a jerk.
“Hey Eric.” She smiled. She was standing in front of us now and she seemed a bit shy, but God did she make shy look cute.
I almost got lost in her eyes, but quickly looked around at my friends to see their expressions. One of them winked at me, the others just grinned and waited for me to acknowledge her.
“Hey, Layla’s friend right?” Asshole, such an asshole.
“Yeah, moron. We only rode to school together this morning.” I could tell she was getting uncomfortable. She looked at me with confused eyes and I wanted to just pull her aside and kiss her. I couldn’t though. My friends started laughing and one of them even spoke up. It made me feel weird, like I couldn’t acknowledge her as my friend, maybe even more.
“Oh Eric, quality time with the baby sis and her friend huh?” One of the guys teased.
I wanted to turn around and punch him in the face. I wanted to defend her. I didn’t though. I hated it whenever the guys would make fun of me for something. I met them a short while ago since we were all in the same auto-body shop class. They seemed like the popular kids, so I tried to fit right in.
“Shut up, man.” Was all I could get out. I instantly looked at Cecilia and saw the hurt that was beginning to appear on her face. I noticed her breathing picking up, and I wanted to comfort her and make sure that she was okay after what happened in the kitchen the night before.
I started to fidget with my shirt when she spoke again.
“Are you okay?” She looked worried and I hated myself for making her feel this way.
Despite the enormous amount of curse words I was calling myself in my head, my friends kept laughing and nudging my arm. The pressure of showing off was setting in and I don’t know why, but I said the meanest thing that I could’ve possibly said.
“Yes, I’m fine. Jesus, can you please go somewhere? Go find Layla or something, I’m sure she’s more interested in what you have to say.” All of the guys behind me started dying with laughter as I let a grin appear on my face.
“Okay... You let me know when you wanna stop being an ass.” Those words stung and she started to walk away from us. My friends were mocking her behind me and I yelled after her one more time just to appease the obnoxious teasing that went on behind me.
I knew she wasn’t going to speak to me ever again. I looked up just as she stopped dead in her tracks. She turned around and yelled “By the way, don’t ever talk to me again!”
I could feel the frown beginning to spread across my face and I felt disgusted with myself. How could I do that to her? She didn’t deserve it.
“Aw, Eric has a little crush!”
“Shut up, no I don’t!” I yelled at my friend Scott, “She’s nobody.”
She was long gone by now, so I only hoped she didn’t hear me say those last words. The truth was I did. I had the biggest crush on this girl and I barely knew her.
From the moment she opened my bedroom door that day at my house when I was in nothing but a towel, the image of her beautiful face had been roaming around inside of my head. She looked so scared after barging into my room. I smiled at the thought.
I knew she was never going to talk to me again after today. I may have ruined the only shot I had at making this girl mine. I told myself I was still going to try to apologize. I had to do it today though. I had to get to the tracks. That’s the only place I knew she would probably go. I decided to cancel my weekend plans and ditch my friends. I left the picnic table soon after, and started walking towards the sidewalk.
I almost got to the edge of the parking lot when I saw her with Layla. They were hugging and I could tell Layla was trying to comfort her. Did I really hurt her that bad? I saw her reach for her backpack and pull out a small bottle. I couldn’t quite place what is was, that is until I saw her toss a pill into her mouth and take a drink of water.
Layla must have read my mind because her facial expression mimicked mine.
Why was Cecilia on medication?
I wanted to run up and hug her myself, but Layla was already doing that. They started walking again and I could see Cecilia talking Layla’s ear off. I desperately wanted to find out what she was saying and if it was at all about me. I wanted to punch myself for the way I treated her. It became clear to me that she needed someone to be there for her and I knew she had Layla, but I wanted to be there for her too.
I kept my distance but followed them. When we reached my house I saw them exchange another hug, and then Layla went inside.
Now is my chance.
Just as I was about to speak up, Cecilia put her earbuds in and walked off in a hurry.
I assumed she was heading to the tracks, so I took my shortcut to get there before her.
When I got to the tracks, she was nowhere to be found as expected. I tried texting her, but they all went unanswered. Typical. Although, should I have expected anything less?
I sat at the tracks until around midnight, and then I decided to go home because I knew she wasn’t coming.
I put in my earbuds and tapped the YouTube app. Only Hope by Switchfoot was already up since I had been listening to it earlier. I shrugged my shoulders and hit replay, hearing the beautiful melody once again.
I put the hood of my jacket over my head and began walking.
Maybe I can talk to her tomorrow, or Monday at school. I needed to make things right. I wanted her to give me another chance. I wanted her. Period.
I’m sorry, Cecilia.