Monday, April 29, 2013

TRULY by Summer Day (Chapter Eight: "The Library")

Chapter Eight
The Library
Rumors spread that Serena had moved her bean bag next to Ben’s during movie night and was using every excuse to get close to him…  Confessions of a Teenage Hermit
The following week in the lunch queue (after Jenny had detached herself from Harley) I couldn’t resist a comment. After all, I hadn’t seen Jen for days.
    “You know, it really is almost too much, Jenny. I feel like I’ve lost a friend…”   
     “And found a sister,” Jenny replied cheerily. “Just think,” she whispered, “If I marry Harley and you marry Ben, that’s what we’ll become.”
    “Ben and I are just friends.”
    “Friends who like each other. I’ve seen the way he looks at you. I have my spies.”
    “There are plenty of those at Hallowed Halls,” I said, grumbling over my turkey sandwich. 
    “Liz and Serena to name just two,” Jenny added with a smile. My younger sister was only a freshman but definitely in thrall to Liz’s power already. Missy followed her around everywhere, taking notes to prepare for her inevitable ascent into the Socials.  Melissa and I only spoke when we had to as Missy was busy “preparing to hang with the cool girls.”  
    The next night after study hall Jenny came running into my room.
    “We’re going to be sisters after all,” Jenny whispered to me. “Harley told me, Ben has liked you since you were both kids together! Ben enrolled at Hallowed Halls just to meet up with you again.”
    I shook my head.
   “I have it on good authority.”
   “His brother’s, Jane. Harley would never lie to me. Don’t you think he’s amazing?”
   “I guess so,” I shrugged, pretending to be indifferent, secretly feeling elated.
    That night, I worked on my unfinished blog entry in my dorm room. I was over one hundred lines into it, seated in the quiet of the school library editing the entry:

 My thoughts on Unrequited Love
   I’ve liked him a long time. Too long. This boy is seriously close to perfect. Sometimes I wonder if I’d like him as much if his eyes weren’t so blue or his hair not so blonde or he wasn’t part of the football team. I know someone’s worth is not how they look. Appearances can be deceptive. Some of the prettiest girls I know are not so pretty on the inside.
    No, the perfection of this boy – the hottest of the hot boys, in my opinion - lies in his perfectly sweet heart. Tonight, I found a note under my door. He left it there and on the cover he’d scrawled the first letter of my name! J! Then, he folded it into a paper plane! He wants to be a pilot.
   I’ve never let myself feel this happy or hope this hard. It’s taken a long time for him to notice me as anything other than a childhood friend but paper planes don’t lie! Finally, I think we might become more than just friends. ARGGHH! May the next post be the best post lol oxo…   Confessions of a Teenage Hermit
     I’d tied my hair up using a pen after writing a few notes in pencil in the side margin; before I typed up my entry and pressed publish. This had been my habit from my first year at middle school when I exchanged my paper journal for a blog.  Basically, my blog entries (one hundred and twenty-eight before this one) were all about a girl who was rejected and ignored by her thankless family and searching for happiness in a new social circle; boarding school. Sound familiar?
     I looked up from my keyboard when I heard Jenny’s voice.
     Jenny waved two pieces of paper in my face.
     “Guess what? We’re going on a hiking trip this weekend.”
    “With the Socials?”
    “Yes but that’s just the excuse to get parental approval.”
    “Oh.” I thought that was unlikely.
    “Don’t worry, the adults are sure to be thrilled about the fresh air and exercise and if they aren’t, I’m an excellent forger.”
     And that is how Ben and I got to know each other again: two days of hiking with a school group; a walk in the park; pitching tents; a campfire under the stars; and a few whispered assurances that he’d looked forward to seeing me again since the first moment we’d met. 
    The morning after the hike, Ben, Harley, Jenny and I went off to find extra firewood. I lagged behind and managed to trip over a forgotten branch. I slipped and fell ten feet down a ravine. Ben ran back to get me as I clutched on to a branch and dragged me back to the raggedy edge, a true hero. I was (thankfully) uninjured and the trip served to inspire within me, even more confidence in Ben.
      He had climbed down the ravine, took my hand in the afternoon sun and lifted me to safety. My smile betrayed pure relief that the accident hadn’t been more severe than grazed knees and elbows. Ben smiled assurances and didn’t let go of my hand until we were safely back on track. There was strength in his touch. We were just teenagers but I was definitely half way in love with him by then. I can’t tell you how I knew. You just know. 
     I promised I’d tell you and I have: that is how the great love affair began; with a cliff; a strong grip and a few words of comfort.