I Punched a Girl: Part V

“Bye, Sweetie!” my mom cried over my sister’s Miley Cyrus music as I stepped out of her car. Then she drove away to drop my sister off at her school.

I thought about last night. Shelby’s mom had picked her up from the hospital right before my mom took me home. Andy stayed for dinner and told my mom all about how I wanted to “bang Shelby until Tom Cruise denounced Scientology”, so basically, that I wanted to bang her forever. My mom thought “bang” meant “date” and kept commenting on how adorable my crush was. Then Andy and I watched Aliens, unaware that my sister had secretly stayed up past her bedtime and was watching it too. She got scared, so the three of us went outside and banged pots and pans together to ward off any neighborhood alien monsters.

As I approached my locker, I saw Shelby putting books into hers. She looked really pretty, even with a huge white cloth on her nose. Why had she stayed with me at the hospital? There was no need for her to stay. Wait—did that mean she liked me?! No, definitely not. I was just overanalyzing stuff like a girl, and I was not a girl, I was a man. Except I was pretty sure you couldn’t be considered a man if you were a virgin, so never mind.

As I put my history book into my backpack, I thought I saw Shelby waving to me out of the corner of my eye. My heart stopped. I couldn’t breathe. Shelby was waving to me? I wondered if I should wave back, and how. A cool, casual wave, or an excited, hey-remember-me-I-punched-you-in-the-face wave? Then Todd walked by, waving to Shelby. How stupid of me. Why would Shelby wave to the guy who socked her in the nose?

But then, Shelby started walking toward me. She was probably just walking to her class. Except that she had English first period, which was in the opposite direction. Not that I had her schedule memorized or anything, because that would have been weird. I just knew a few of her classes, and… ok, fine, I knew her class schedule. Not on purpose, I just memorized it by accident. I memorized a lot of things by accident, like the lyrics to the High School Musical 3 soundtrack, but memorizing songs was sort of inevitable when your little sister blared them throughout your house.

Anyway, Todd strutted over to Shelby, who didn’t notice him– which made him glare at me– and walked straight toward… me?

“Hi, Cavan,” she said, holding The Scarlet Letter in one arm. “I waved to you, but I guess you didn’t see me.”

My math book jumped from my hand and onto the ground. “H-h-h-h-hi Shelby,” I whispered, then gulped. She bent over to pick up my book for me, and I was paralyzed at the sight of her cleavage. I wondered how big her boobs were. C cup, maybe? But wait! Shelby shouldn’t have been picking up my book for me. I un-paralyzed myself and crouched down to grab my book, but her hand was already on it, and our hands touched.

Her hand was so warm and soft, not like mine, which was nervously sweaty. Oh no! I didn’t want Shelby to feel my sweat, so I threw my hand off the book and stood up quickly, straight into the bottom of my locker door.

“Awwaaahhhhgh!” I shrieked. Great, just great. A perfectly cliché moment ruined by my clumsiness.

“Are you okay?” Shelby asked, holding my math book.

“Oh, yeah, totally.” I grabbed my book from her. “I’m fine. I’m cool.”

“Okay…” she said. “Well, people have been asking me what happened.”

“What happened to what?”

“My nose,” she said.

Oh. Right. “What have you been telling them?” I asked.

“Nothing yet. I wanted to know if you were okay with me telling the truth.”

“Well, honesty is the best policy!” I laughed awkwardly. She didn’t. Crap, I was such a loser. “I mean, it’s up to you, really.”

“Okay. I’ll probably tell the truth, then. It’s not like Todd is going to keep his mouth shut about it anyway.”

“Okay,” I chuckled. I knew this would be the end of our conversation if I didn’t say something else, and we still had five minutes ’til the bell rang. So I said the first thing that came to mind. “Um, you look really pretty.”

Her brow furrowed as she touched her bandage. “Are you joking?”

“No! No.” It took the strength of a thousand… strong things… for me to look her right in the eye and say, “I mean it, really. You look really pretty. You are really pretty.” God, I was so awkward. I should have just kept my mouth shut.

She blushed. “Wow, um, thank you, Cavan.” Her fingers traced her bandage again.

“Don’t worry about your nose,” I said. “I mean, it’s just a big band-aid. You’re still pretty with a big white nose.”

She laughed.

“I… I’m just sorry you have to wear it. I’m sorry I punched you, and I’m sorry I broke your nose.”

“You already apologized,” she said, smiling. “Besides, it was an accident.”

I smiled back at her, then…

Bam! Todd’s ugly face was right in mine.

“’Sup, Gay-do?” he sneered.

“What’s a ‘gay-do’? Is that even a thing?” I slammed my locker door.

“Hey Shelby,” Todd said, tilting his head up like a bro. “Why are you hanging out with this gay-do?”

“Hi, Todd,” she said.

“We’re not hanging out. She was just talking to me,” I said.

He slapped the math book out of my hand and laughed like it was the most hilarious thing he’d ever seen. Some other random jock down the hall started laughing, too, and shouted, “Good one, Todd!”

Shelby knelt down and picked my book up for me again.

“Shelby, why are you helping this jerk?” Todd asked. “He punched you in the face!”

The bell rang and Shelby handed me my math book. Todd knocked it out of my hand before walking Shelby to her class, which she didn’t seem to enjoy.

“Bye, Shelby,” I sighed to myself.


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