“To Date or Not to Date” By Brennan Connell

 

“Jake, your boyfriend is gonna be here soon!” Katie, my best friend, bellowed up the stairs. I groaned. I’d been getting ready all afternoon, and had invited Katie to help me from going insane. I was beginning to regret my decision. Ryan and I had been pretty close for a while, and Katie knew I had a huge crush on him. Even though I doubt he even knows I like him, that doesn’t stop Katie from shipping us, and making a big deal about it. This was his first time at my house, and I needed to make a good impression.

He’s not my boyfriend, Katie,” I yelled back. “He’s just a friend!”  I quickly came out of the closet, having recently thrown on a colorful tank top, and jeans, and I rushed towards the door, but tripped and fell head over heels. My room was so full of junk you could barely move. Shoes and dirty laundry piled as high as mountains littered the floor. Katie appeared in the doorway, smirking. Her fiery red hair flowing freely down her back, and her mischievous green eyes seemed to laugh at me.

Uh- huh,” she said sarcastically. She picked up my glasses which had fallen on the ground.

“Listen,” I said checking my watch. “Just because he’s a guy doesn’t mean he’s my boyfriend.”  3:00 p.m. I rushed out of my room down the narrow hallway towards the bathroom to quickly comb my hair. Katie followed me.

“Then why are you freaking out? You’re freaking out about this guy, so I assume he’s your boyfriend,” she stated. “I’m just glad he doesn’t know you like him because he’d freak out if he saw you right now.” I froze.

Oh yeah! Well at least I-I…” I faltered. She was right. What was I doing? Ryan doesn’t even know that I like him. So why should I assume he likes me? I shouldn’t. Besides, I’ll only end up being rejected and having my heart broken like glass.

Tears formed in my eyes. I couldn’t even look at myself as I brushed my hair.  

“Hey I’m only kidding,” Katie said. Once I finished combing my hair, I raced back towards my room, with Katie close behind. “Jake, wait!” she called.

I slammed the door in her face when I had reached my room. Despite this, I was sobbing and I threw myself onto my bed, curling myself into a ball. I heard Katie knocking on my door.

“Go away, Katie!” I heard her footsteps receding. Quietly, I sat up and picked up my phone. Ryan had texted me saying he was going to be there in about 5 min. I pressed the reply button to tell him that I had to cancel. But, then I got a message from Katie. Scanning through the text, my eyes widened. Jake, I know you are really mad at me right now, and I am so sorry. You are such a great and wonderful guy, and you deserve to be loved and accepted. I know how it is to feel rejected and isolated. But I guess sometimes, you have to remember, what makes us different can also be our greatest strength. It’s not too late. I stopped. It’s not too late. I can still make this work. I just needed was to be myself. A new wave of determination flowed through me. The last thing I wanted was to live a life feeling like I was rejected. Maybe I couldn’t change the outcome of the situation, but till I tried, I’d never know.

I got out of bed, threw open my door and raced down the stairs which were to the right of the main door. Katie was waiting for me.

“Jake I-” she started, but I hugged her and she stopped.

“Apologize after we scare him away,” I whispered. She laughed and I let her go. I looked

outside. The sun was shining brightly and the sky was clear, not a cloud in sight. I saw Ryan walking up the small, stone pathway and opened the bright red door.  He was wearing a tie dye shirt and rainbow jean shorts. While Katie and I were barefoot, he wore flip flops, as well as toe nail polish.

“Hey, Jake!” he said.

“Hey,” I grinned. “Come in.”

 

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