“Oh Mighty Isis!” S. said and crossed her newly bangled wrists in super power mode. Her eyes widened. “Oh shit.” We stood in Pier 1 Imports and she was looking over my shoulder out into the mall.
“What is it?” I asked.
She laughed, pulled the bracelets off, and tossed them back in the display basket. “You know who just walked by.”
I spun around. “Oh my god. Where?”
S. grabbed my arm and dragged me out of the store. “We’re going to find him.”
I was 18 and Mr. Lambda Chi was 22. I didn’t know he was about to be engaged, but I did know he had called me several times and with each call I thought he was about to ask me out. All he did was ask if I was coming to the next party. Of course I was.
S and I found my other friends before we found him, but there he was in front of the Pizza Hut. S. pushed me along. “You’re going to eat pizza,” she said in my ear. “Go talk to him.”
He did look happy to see me. He was going to grab something to eat, he told me. “So are we,” answered S.
At the table, he asked me if I wanted a slice of his pizza. “Oh, no thanks,” I said and joked, “I’d just get pizza stuck between my teeth.” He insisted. I said okay.
A while later my friends start whispering. The whisper travels around the table. “It isn’t polite to whisper in front of people,” I said, sure they were whispering about him and me. S. grabbed my blouse by the shoulder and yanked me to her. “You do have got pizza stuck between your teeth,” she said.
I burned red. He laughed. But later when I invited him over, he said yes.
There is no reason sharing one’s writing should be like this, but… I try to remember that even I am told I’ve done something embarrassing, I can still be liked. And just like I could never understand a girl who could easily let a guy know she liked him, I can’t easily understand a writer who says, “Hey, I write a story. Want to read it?” Why don’t they feel any fear?