The entire class was standing in the hallway, buzzing about who would get to sit next to who. I was popular with my classmates. I could sit next to anybody and it would probably be the highlight of their trip. I stood a ways back waiting for her. She was just as popular and I knew other people wanted her attention just as much as they wanted mine. Still I couldn't help myself. I needed to be around her. I found her presence intoxicating.
The teacher started loading everybody onto the bus. I held back for a while. Finally when she walked out through the door I followed her. As I made my way through the bus I passed by many of my peers (practically begging me to sit beside them). I knew even before I sat down where I wanted to be... with whom I wanted to be next to.
When I finally made my way through the crowd that's when I spotted her. Sitting alone at the row before last on the back of the bus.
"Hey." I said, the words barreling out of me like a locomotive train reaching an abrupt stop.
"Hey." She replied, half smiling and half analyzing.
"Can I sit next to you?" I asked somewhat embarrassed for even having to ask and fearing her answer at this stage in our friendship.
"Sure." She said making sure to scoot as far towards the window as possible.
I took a deep breathe and plopped down next to her.
I didn't think this through. I wasn't expecting things to be this awkward.
We we're the best of friends not even a whole week ago and now this. There was so many things to talk about but I felt like none of them mattered as much as having her near. So instead of address the fact that she had been extremely distant with me, I decided in that moment to forgive her and just try to be her friend.
"You excited?" I asked.
She looked up and a giant smile stretched across her face.
"Of course!" she answered still smiling.
"What about you, are you excited?" She asked me.
Yes. I was excited but my excitement had nothing to do with the play and everything to do with her.
"Yeah sure, it's cool I guess" I replied casually. Still trying to play it cool.
"You ever been to a play before?" I asked.
"Yes, a few but never at this theater?"
"Well you're better than me cause I have never been to a play before. The only plays I ever been to were ones that I was in." I replied jokingly.
"Really? You've never been to a play? How are you an actor and never been to a play?" she said now fully facing me. She liked to be in control and my weakness was that I was too infatuated to ever try to stop her.
"I'm from the hood. We don't go to plays in the hood! We do barbeques and drive-byes" I replied defensively.
This made her start laughing and as result it made me start laughing. We we're back. Whatever dark energy was hanging over us we had now pushed away.
From the side of the bus we could see the Theater coming up around the corner. If I can make it through the rest of this trip without any hijinks then this might just be the greatest first date of my life.
To Be Continued.