It wasn't far into my grade nine year when I developed a crush on Shep. He was cute, incredibly nice, and absolutely hilarous. The boy that everyone liked.
He was a friend to everyone and didn't have a malicious bone in his body. He was a flirt. As we became good friends, working together and hanging out, the crush part stayed in the background, though the feelings that I had for him (and those that he had for me) were never acted upon. We were never available at the same time, such a dramatic and tragic tale in the world of highschool.
The girls he started dating hated the fact that we were friends and surmissed that at any time, we'd realize we were head-over-heels for each other and they'd be left in the dust. At least, that's how it seemed when they commanded him to stop talking to me. He never did. He was just sneakier about it. It floored me that girls I had known since the sandbox and building blocks now saw me as a threat. The same girls that ran away from me and mocked me in elementary school were terrified that I'd snag their man out from under them.
One even went so far as to get her posse to follow me around the halls. He was sick one day, so stayed home from school and they followed me around thinking that I might bail and meet up with him. Um, no. They called him from the school pay phone, and in their fakest, sickenly sweetest voices, informed me that he wished to speak with me.
"What's going on? You wanted to speak with me?"
"Um, no, they said you wanted to speak with me!"
"They think something's going on with us, I think we're being monitored."
I looked behind me at the smiles smeared over their sneers and agreed this was the case.
Then came the school dance. Getting dropped off at the doors, to walk with ease past the security guards. Neither me, nor my friends drank in grade nine, we had no fear of their breathalyzers. And he asked me to dance. I no longer remember the song, but I remember the angry grimace on his girlfriend-of-the-moment's face. I remember him whispering to me about how controlling and crazy she was, and that he wanted to be my friend, so gosh darnit he was going to be my friend regardless of how she felt about it.
They broke up soon after, and my crush blossomed. He was a great friend, we'd have amazing talks about everything under the sun, and he defended my honour when it was needed. For a highschool girl, he was perfection.
We never talked about the rumours. We were just friends, after all.
It wasn't until a end-of-the-year bonfire at one of our other friends' house that there was even a glimmer of it being anything more. After roasting hot dogs and marshmallows over the fire, someone came up with the bright idea to play truth or dare. A friend was dared to jump into the lake. "Would you rather?" questions were answered. And then it was his turn to "truth or dare" someone.
He picked me.
He stammered, and was it just me, or was he blushing? Maybe it was the light of the bonfire. No big deal. He baulked. People urged him to get on with it. I picked dare.
"Elle... I dare you... *ahem*...
I rubbed my hands together in the warmth of the fire, trying to suppress my own heated cheeks. Looking at my shoes, wondering what torturous thing he would make me do. Hopefully not jump in the lake.
"I dare you... to kiss me."
My eyes popped open, and I'm sure my jaw dropped. There were maybe only four or five other people at this "party", but really... my first kiss in front of all these people? My heart started beating faster, my cheeks got rosier, my stomach was just swarming with clichéd butterflies. It was my turn to pause. And attempt to remember how to breathe.
"If you don't want to, you don't have to."
"It's okay, a dare's a dare... I'll do it."
I walked over to him, grabbed his face, and gave him a chaste peck on the lips.
Though we were friends long after that, that was the most to ever happen between me and my first highschool crush. So much drama for so little story.
This post is for the 20-Something Bloggers' January blog carnival: First Kiss.