★ ☆ ✮ ✯Freshman Year★ ☆ ✮ ✯
“Landon, you can’t just go up to him, its only the first week of school.” My friend complained to me.
I held on to the straps of my book bag and licked my teeth, feeling my new set of braces. I was confident, very confident for a freshman. Sure I wouldn’t walk these halls with as much confidence as I have now, but I’m still confident enough.
High school is supposed to be amazing and its going to be when I ask Akaashi to hang out with me. I saw him the first day of school and I thought he was incredibly cool. Everyone knows him and I would love to have my chance to be popular. And he seems nice.
He’s really pretty too. The first time I saw his face, I went into shock. Everyone goes on about him looking really cute as a freshman. I also saw him smile on the first day of school and I knew that one day we would be best friends.
“Next time you see me, I’ll be walking with Akaashi.” I looked over to my friend. He shook his blond hair out of his face and groaned, not liking how I have lost my mind.
“No you won’t be.” He had no faith in me. That doesn’t matter. “You know what I’ve heard, Landon?” He pulled me over to the side. “He doesn’t just hang out with anyone.” He whispered. “You have to be hardcore and party like your life is at stake. And you don’t even get invited to parties.” He said louder now.
“That doesn’t matter.” I said quickly. “I know how to have a good time though.” I added. Sure I don’t go to parties...that’s it, there’s no better side to it. I’m like fourteen, what parties am I going to?
“He turns people down. Doesn’t even look at them.”
“Landon, you’re going to get heart broken, and I feel bad for you.” He said bluntly.
My friend knows how easily I get sucked into things. I can’t help it though. I want to make more friends and Akaashi looks nice. Why not be friends with him? Was my friend jealous? No, he doesn’t care much. His main concern is stopping me from doing the stupid stuff I did in middle school.
“I’ll be right back.” I said quickly and skipped out on talking to my friend.
Akaashi was at his locker and I wanted to at least try and introduce myself. I know who he is but he doesn’t know me. I may not be the coolest person ever and its only freshman year but if Akaashi just looks at me, then I’m in.
I walked to his locker all cool and confident. And I even know what I was going to say. It didn’t matter that he hasn’t noticed me yet but he will and then we’ll be best of friends.
“No.” He shut his locker without even looking at me and walked the opposite way.
He’s so graceful. I stood there and watched him walk away. That was the best three seconds of my life.
I could hear my friend hollering and laughing down the hallway. I didn’t feel too bad because this is only the beginning. My first attempt was not going to be successful but its okay because there is going to be more than one attempt. So my friend laughing at me wasn’t going to stop me from trying again.
“You are not going to let this go are you?” He came over to me and tightly put his arm around my neck.
“I’m trying to make friends.” I said.
“Good luck making friends with him. He has a type and you are not it.” He said to me, smiling and laughing.
I may not be Akaashi’s type.
But I will be one day.
★ ☆ ✮ ✯Sophomore year★ ☆ ✮ ✯
I’m getting a bit taller everyday which is good because I hated being short. Now I’m taller than Akaashi so he might say more than five words to me. I still have my braces on but that doesn’t stop me from being cute. I play a sport too; I had to at least do something that says I’m not a loser. Football was my first pick because everyone likes the football team and they get invited to parties. I’m finally in with the cool crowd and it won’t be long before Akaashi really notices me.
My friend on the other hand still finds it hilarious. He’s been laughing about it for a year now but it doesn’t upset me. I’m used to him having no faith. He thinks I’ll get heart broken, but I’m sure it would be an honor to get my heart broken by someone as wonderful as Akaashi.
“Don’t you want to go out with chicks or something?” He asked me. Its super hot outside and I had a headache. We were supposed to be hauling ass to the football field but neither of us wanted to be there that badly. My friend was concerned that I was so hung up on Akaashi that he purposely walked slow just so he could talk to me about it.
Well lecture me about it.
“No not really.” I answered plainly.
“I mean, that girl Cynthia likes you.” He nudged me. I don’t like Cynthia. “And she’s like, you know, pretty.” He added.
She is pretty. A lot of girls are pretty. I can’t say that they aren’t. The thing is that I’m not interested in them. Cynthia is really sweet and all but she will never compare to Akaashi. I looked down at my friend seriously, and waited for a moment before I spoke.
“So is Akaashi.”
“That’s true,” he said, a bit confused on why he agreed with me, but he shook it off so he could continue putting me down. “But seriously, he only dates blond girls and they don’t even go here.” He rolled his eyes. “You have a better chance passing your geometry class than getting Akaashi to go out with you.” He said. I actually suck at geometry so him saying that means there’s no hope for me.
I sighed and continued walking down the sidewalk. Thinking about this sometimes gets me frustrated. I may not be the right type but I can try. It will work one day, I know it. My friend laughed when he heard my pain but he does that a lot.
We were heading down to the football field for practice. The track team was running by and the baseball team was practicing in their field. I just licked my teeth to feel the metal of my braces as I thought. Maybe I should get more in shape; just being tall isn’t going to cut it. I should probably take all the weight training and working out seriously then. Some day I’ll get my braces off and then maybe Akaashi will like me.
As my friend and I walked, something came in my vision. It was so fast that I didn’t turn around until my friend was hit. He laid on the ground, blinking and staring up at the sky as his nose began to bleed. A baseball was rolling down the street under some cars. He was hit with that.
I was completely shocked because that ball came out of nowhere, and it hit him so hard that he got knocked to the ground. That was a power ball right there. I stared down at him on the ground because I was trying to think what just happened. I mean, I was totally shocked so I don’t know what else to add to that.
Someone came running our way and panicked as they got beside my friend. I was holding the straps to my bag as I continued to think to myself.
“I am so sorry!” Akaashi said quickly as he looked over him. That’s when I honed in. His voice could get me to do anything. “I did not mean to throw it that hard, and I thought the fence would catch it but it was a bit high.” He explained.
My friend was confused as he just stared up at the sky. He looked at me and then at Akaashi and then back at the sky again. His nose continued to gush blood but he was conscious. I on the other hand was completely shock that Akaashi came this way.
I should have been hit with that ball dammit.
“He’ll be fine.” I said, not even nervous. Usually I’m stuttering but I was somehow really calm. “We go through much worse at practice.”
“I really didn’t mean to-”
“You don’t have to worry so much about it. Things like this happen.” I wanted to at least calm him down because he was panicking. It should be me freaking out this much but that wasn’t happening. He looked up at me, freaking out and losing it, but my mind was totally blank.
He was looking at me. Is he aware of that? I didn’t stop staring at him. I liked his uniform on him. He looked amazing in it. Over the year, Akaashi did change. I could basically notice how thick his thighs were from those tight off white pants of his. I couldn’t just not notice that.
And his hair was getting longer. He likes keeping it short but I noticed how wavy it was becoming now. He looks like he would have nice hair. His eyes are nice too. I could stare into his grey eyes all day. I was so stunned that I really didn’t look away from him. My cheeks were beginning to brighten as I got the strength to not be weird. I like Akaashi. It would be nice if he would let me talk to him more.
“I-I c-c-can’t s-see.” My friend mumbled. I forgot that he was on the ground bleeding. Not this again, he just got out of a concussion. He can’t have another one.
As much as I wanted to stay and use my pick up lines on Akaashi, I had to help my friend. We have practice, and a little head trauma actually is not an excuse to skip. I learned that the hard way.
“I’ll take him to the nurse.” I said and reached down to help him.
“Let me help, this is my fault anyway.” He said quickly, holding my friend up so he could sit.
I would tell him not to worry about it, but he just said he’s coming with me so I would enjoy just being this close to him. Nothing could be better!
We both helped my friend on to his feet and we walked with him to the nurse’s office since he was seconds away from falling over. I have never seen this happen before, someone getting hit so hard with a baseball that they get a concussion. And this wasn’t even on purpose. Its not like Akaashi was close by either yet he thought the speed of that ball was normal. That is crazy. My friend was sputtering words and trying to talk but that wasn’t working for him well. I guess this means he’ll be out of practice for a few more days.
Akaashi and I sat outside the nurse’s office, waiting to see if my friend was that badly hurt. It hasn’t been long but it was quiet between us. I haven’t been this close to him for more than five minutes. Honestly, I don’t even think Akaashi knows my name. But its okay because I get to sit next to him even if its in silence.
I licked my braces to stop myself from smiling like a creeper. I was just so happy that I’m just moving forward. Last year was brutal compared to right now. Everything is getting better.
“...Landon, right?” He asked me quietly.
Oh my god.
“Y-yeah!” I was a bit too eager.
He laughed at my sudden spark of excitement. My cheeks were turning red quickly but I was still so happy anyway because it was him. He covered his mouth when he laughed because he found it so funny and didn’t want me to know.
“You got taller this year.” He said and looked at me. “I always forget that you weren’t this tall last year.” He said and smiled at me. I was stunned. He remembers me! He’s fueling my energy right now, he has to know that I won’t go away.
“I’m not going to forget a person who constantly tries to talk to me despite my rejection.” He said bluntly. That is not a problem for me.
“So its the height?”
“I don’t want to say anything...” He laughed again. “But yeah, its the height.” He added and looked at me. His grey eyes were sparkling and I thought that he couldn’t get any cuter than he was right now.
“So, what if I asked you to hang out, like see a movie or something?” I asked.
“Are you asking me out on a date?” He asked.
For a second, I paused, not even knowing what to say. I was completely blank. I ran my hand through my hair nervously. Did I just ask him out!? Oh my god, what am I thinking? I just asked Akaashi out and it slipped my mind.
“Yeah?” I wasn’t sure. Should it be a date? Would he mind if it was a date? Can I date him?
“Nice try, Landon.” He caught on to me. “But right now I’m not single.” He said and smiled. Gosh darn it! When did that happen? “You can try again some other time.” He said and got up from his seat.
Akaashi is really pretty. He was pretty last year, but this year he just got prettier. I can look at his face and forget that the concept of time exists. I was just really deep in my feelings and what happened killed me. Akaashi talked to me. I asked him out, and he rejected me. But he knew my name. Nothing can get better than this.
“I’ll see you around, Landon.” He said to me and waved. “And tell your friend I’m sorry for hitting him.” He added as he walked away.
I actually should have gotten hit with that ball. Maybe Akaashi would have been kneeling over me, trying to get me help.
★ ☆ ✮ ✯Junior year★ ☆ ✮ ✯
“Did you know that Akaashi is smart?” I asked my friend quickly.
“No, I mean really smart. Like isn’t he going for that one ivy league school?” I asked.
“Yeah, and if he gets in and Cheryl doesn’t, she plans on fighting him next year.” He hollered. “Like that girl needs to calm down first of all, I’m just trying to understand why she would throw my papers off my desk like that. She did the most.” He doesn’t like Cheryl, but we were talking about Akaashi.
Its not a shocker to figure out he was smart. Well, I knew he was smart already. I just didn’t know how smart. Now that it’s the end of junior year, everyone is getting ready to start applying for college and all the people in the top twenty have their lives planned out. I’m just trying to pass trigonometry.
My friend went on about Cheryl and how she frustrates him but I didn’t care. I barely listened as we walked inside this person’s house.
This is my first time at a house party. I started getting invited at the end of sophomore year but now since I’m a regular on the football team, I don’t need to be invited or so they say. My parents don’t know I’m here and lets keep it that way. I know my mom wouldn’t be too happy, she’s not that fond of “American parties”, they freak her out; I’m sure my dad would have no say if she wanted to send me back to Italy if she found out I was here.
I’m not technically here to party. I wasn’t even the slightest bit interested in that. Sure I did want to have a good time, but I had other things in mind at the moment. There was one person that would be here, and I wanted to be here with him. Anyone can find Akaashi at a party. If its happening, he will be there.
He parties a lot with his friends. And he has his life together. And he’s the prettiest person on the planet. If that’s not perfect, I don’t know what is.
I was just excited to see him but he’s still dating that one girl so it’s not like I can do anything. I should just respect that he has a girlfriend. I do but I can’t help but ask if he will at least watch a movie with me.
His answer has never been a yes.
And I won’t stop until it is. But for now, I’m on pause.
There were a lot of people I recognized but I was only looking for one person. I came for a good time, so I won’t ruin it when Akaashi says no to me again. Now I’m used to it. And he is too. That’s the only thing that doesn’t bother me. Even if I was uncomfortable here, I was going to try and have a little fun.
“Good gosh, who the hell is she?” My friend pointed out a blond girl as we walked into the house. “And she’s wearing the state college sweatshirt, oh no.” He said. “You have no chance.”
That must be Akaashi’s girlfriend. She’s different from the one I saw last year. I didn’t say anything, not a thing. She’s pretty and all, but everyone knows who’s the prettier one in the relationship. Everyone knows. I just turned away and pretended my friend did not just do that to me. Out of all the things, that’s one thing he shouldn’t have done.
I just watched as my friend got a drink in the kitchen. There were couples making out and others drinking but that didn’t stop me. I just leaned against the counter and watched.
They honestly don’t look that happy. I shouldn’t bank on them breaking up but it just feels like it might happen. I feel bad about that to be honest. No one should go through the torment of a break up.
“Can you stop going after him, Landon? I swear on my life every time you open your mouth, you go on and on about him.” My friend complained loudly.
Where did that come from? I got off the counter and looked down at him.
“I hadn’t even said anything yet.”
“You were about to, and you know how much that annoys me.” He said bitterly. “There’s plenty of other people that like you, Landon, why don’t you try them?” He asked me but I bet he was demanding.
I feel bad but he’s the only person that’s put up with my excessive talk about Akaashi. He’s all I talk about apparently. I just closed my mouth and didn’t say anything. My friend saw that as cooperation.
“Good, now I’m going to party and when you’re done sulking, come find me.” He said and walked out with his red cup in his hand.
I took a deep breath. Did I really want to be here? I was sad because Akaashi was with someone. I shouldn’t be so hung up on him. I know I try too hard but that’s no reason to ruin myself. This is going to be difficult. I really like Akaashi, a lot, and every time I see him I just get so excited. Its at the point where I just can’t take the stress anymore. When did I become so obsessed with him? It was innocent years ago, but now I can’t help but seriously want to be with him.
What am I doing?
I didn’t find myself leaving the kitchen. I just stayed there and pretended like I didn’t notice any of the couples aggressively making out behind me. The music was blaring. All the drinks were being taken. The atmosphere was crazy. Yet I just couldn’t get sucked into it.
I guess this isn’t for me. I tried but it didn’t work. I stared down at the counter for a while, just thinking to myself as I tried to work up the nerves to find someone to hang out with while I’m here.
“Not having fun?” I recognize that voice. I glanced down beside me and saw Akaashi standing right next to me.
He always looks nice in sweaters; he had a dark blue sweater on with a bit of graphics in the middle. Sometimes, he wears a black scarf too and I really liked that. I was stunned that he was next to me, but that shouldn’t stop me from talking to him. I know I’m not that entertained by this party but its a bit surprising to see that he doesn’t look that entertained either.
“Are you?” I asked.
He sighed and leaned against the counter, his hand holding his head as he pouted.
“I’m not actually. My girlfriend is so angry with me and I don’t know what to do.” He explained.
“She says I attract more attention than she does.” He continued.
He does. He really does. He has a pretty face. And his body is just something else. He sounded like he was used to it though, he’s gone through this before.
“You’re pretty.” I ended up saying without thinking. His grey eyes looked up towards me when I just blurted that out. “The attention must be nice,” I continued.
“And you know, you’re like...amazing, so of course you attract more attention.” I kept going with my big mouth.
He laughed though and that’s all I needed to get through the night. It was like being graced by the laugh of God. I could watch him laugh all day and not get tired of it.
“Why do you try so hard?” He asked.
“I’m sure you’re well aware that I like you.” I answered plainly as I looked around. Its pretty much a given. “But why not try so hard? Everyone deserves some effort.” I said and looked down at him again.
It seemed like that gave him the greatest idea in the world. He straightened up and he finally didn’t look so angry. Then he smiled at me, a genuine smile that seemed like he was happy with me.
“Thank you.” He said.
He reached up and kissed my cheek.
That’s it. I burned out right there. I was gone.
For the longest time I was out of it. Forget everything that happened in my life. This was by far the greatest. I couldn’t even say anything about him kissing me. Even when he walked away, I was staring blankly at the wall in the other room. For a few minutes I couldn’t move.
Akaashi just kissed my face.
I had to keep in my excitement. No one needs to know that I wanted to hit a wall. If I pretend it didn’t happen, then I can get through the night.
That is it.
I couldn’t speak for the rest of the night and when it came time to scatter because adults were coming, I still couldn’t speak. My friend was somewhere so I waited outside for him. I hadn’t seen him until the crowd started to shift a but in the completely destroyed living room. He was so happy to be here but he always goes to parties. He loves it. I continued to wait outside for him but I had the feeling that adults and authorities don’t scare him as much as they should.
It was a bit cold but I didn’t mind. My face was on fire. When I thought about how Akaashi kissed my face, my cheeks would get hot. It was the nicest thing I’ve ever felt in my life. I breathed out and watched my breath in the air. I was really happy with myself. Things do work out.
I kept my hands in my jacket pockets and tried to not blow up. I was really happy on the inside. Akaashi kissed me. Does that mean he likes me? Maybe he doesn’t like me like me, but its close enough. Would he ever kiss my lips? I’m just curious. Would he ever go out with me? Honestly, I was satisfied with him talking to me tonight. That was the only thing I needed to survive. I can’t be any happier than what I got earlier.
From where I stood, I could see Akaashi and his girlfriend fighting. I thought I gave him an idea. Maybe it didn’t work. Did it have to do with his girlfriend anyway? She was upset and so was he. I felt bad for the both of them and I barely know anything. I could look away and do something else, I could go inside and look for my friend, but I just stood outside instead.
Akaashi is a really nice person. He’s caring too. I would hate to see him so upset.
The two of them split up, walking different ways. It took me a moment to realize that Akaashi was walking my way, either that or he was just going to go back inside the house. I hadn’t moved or looked at him, I kept my eyes down because he can’t know I was watching him.
He actually was coming towards me. He wanted to talk to me! I didn’t look up even when he stood in front of me, waiting.
“I broke up with my girlfriend.” He said quietly. I can totally be his shoulder to cry on. I don’t mind that.
“I like people that show effort.” He admitted to me before I could say anything.
My heart sunk into my stomach. Does that mean me? I was just going to stand here and pretend that I wasn’t losing my mind. I give effort so he likes me. Right? No, I have to calm down before I go crazy. I kept my expression as plain as possible because this was serious.
“What are you saying?” I asked him slowly.
He was hesitant to move but when he did, he came closer and reached up to wrap his arms around my neck. He’s hugging me? What? He hasn’t...this doesn’t...what? I put my hands on him because I think it was the right thing to do, I think. He’s hugging me.
“Thank you for being so nice to me.” He said softly, his voice muffled in my jacket.
How can I not be nice to him?
He deserves all the kindness in the world.
And he smells nice. That’s all I’m going to add to that.
He pulled away and I dropped my arms from around him. He was still close to me though; his hands were holding on to my jacket still as if he wanted to stay with me longer. This is the closest he’s ever stayed and I was going to misinterpret what he’s doing.
I just thought...
I barely moved but it was enough to feel his breath on my skin. My forehead touched his and we didn’t move. He was so close, just so so close. And I really wanted to get closer but for some reason I couldn’t. I couldn’t bring myself to do anything because I know what just happened. He didn’t move either. Would he do something if he knew he could? Did he want to?
I felt so much tension. I was torn between wanting to get closer and telling him this wasn’t right. He was just so close to me. I could feel him breathing. What would it feel like to kiss him? I bet his lips are soft, I bet he tasted sweet, I bet he would make me forget about the world. I just couldn’t move.
For a moment, I thought he wouldn’t mind kissing me. It just wasn’t going to happen. I couldn’t persuade myself to go any further than this with him.
His eyes were closed but when he opened them, that’s when he pulled further away from me.
He really thought about getting closer to me; I could see the regret and disappointment in his eyes. I was speechless though. His hands let go of my jacket and he turned away from me, not saying a word either.
I was left standing there by myself thinking about what would happen if I just went for it. I shouldn’t though. He literally just broke up with his girlfriend minutes ago. It wouldn’t be right for me to make a move. I guess I have to pause again.
“Man, I think you just got friend zoned.” My friend was in shock as he came up beside me. I guess he saw what just happened. I was hoping he didn’t. Its not that I was embarrassed or anything, I just feel like this should have been something private.
He began laughing and that’s when I started to heat up; my face was getting warmer and it made me a bit angry. My hands balled up in my jacket pockets.
“Shut up.” I was annoyed with him.
“That was so intense. The hell did you say?” He asked me.
“Nothing.” I muttered.
I should’ve said something, I should’ve done something. I don’t regret not doing anything though. It wasn’t the right time. We both knew that.
“He’s going to mess you up.” I can feel it too. My friend might be right. But I was going to be the idiot that’s hung up on Akaashi anyway because he likes people that puts in effort.
I will try harder.