How (Not) to Act Around Your Crush

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Zoning out.

I keep zoning out.

What is wrong with me? Is she looking?

Jonny. Dude? Jonny, IS SHE LOOKING?

It was then that I realized I was thinking at my friend and not actually speaking.

I remember how to speak and say, "Jonny, is she looking? Can you see her?"

Jonathan glances over his shoulder and across the lunch room and laughs.

"No, stupid. She's not looking at you. Calm down."

Damn it, I think.

"Damn it," I repeat out loud.

The spoon falls to the floor with a clanking sound.

That's failed attempt #364 of Operation "Get Julia to Notice Me" and Jonny (halfheartedly) joined in my efforts. He says I could "use a girlfriend" to make up for my "nerdiness" or whatever. I don't really care.

"You can't expect her to just magically glance at YOU at the EXACT moment that you balance a SPOON on your nose. She doesn't know you exist, bro."

"Jonny I've been drooling over her since 6th grade. We're juniors now and still she probably can't even tell you my first name."

"That's because every time you've ever tried to talk to her you've forgotten your first name," he flicks a fry at my face and ketchup splatters on my eye.

He snickers at me.

Jonathan Dover is my best friend. We've grown up together and we attend youth group together at my church every week. He's very obviously the more attractive best friend. Dark brown-black hair and green eyes, athletic, not short. Muscular.

"Sorry we're not ALL Mr. Tall-Dark-and-Handsome. Some of us struggle to talk to girls. They're like, I don't know, foreign creatures. And evidently we speak different languages."

Then there's me. Scrawny, lanky, geeky.

I'm not UGLY per say, but I'm no Jonathan Dover. My wavy brown hair doesn't shine, my nearly-black eyes don't catch anyones attention and my lack of athletic ability is almost as repelling as my love for Doctor Who. But I'm Me.

"Derrick, shut up. You've had more girlfriends than I have A's on all of my report cards put together." Jonny jeers.

"That's about two. And one of them is athletics. Which is yet ANOTHER thing that your royal highness is amazing at."

Jonathan mocks my sarcasm.

"Dude you have straight A's, a nice face and you're an INCREDIBLE waterboy. You'll have a girl by the end of the semester. Don't waste your time on Julia Trenton. She's not even that pretty."

"Jonath-"

"Okay so she's gorgeous? Big deal! That just means she's too out of your league to worry about! If it makes you feel any better, she's slightly out of my league also."

The bell rings.

"That doesn't make me feel better."

And it doesn't.

Julia Trenton is out of my league. I know that.

I walk down the hall in the direction of my fourth period.

She's gorgeous. Long, golden locks that are only out shined by her eyes. Brilliant blue diamonds. Flawless, tan skin.

"Hey, Derrick."

And her talents are beyond me. She sings like an angel, plays volleyball like no other and is also a straight A student. But she's single. (I know, I'm shocked also)

"Derrick?"

Sometimes I sit and imagine us together. What it would be like to kiss her. Or even to have her acknowledge me. Sometimes I think about what people would say.

'Derrick and Julia are so cute together.' 'They're a perfect couple.'

'I shipped them from the beginning.'

'Derr-ulia forever.'

And maybe it can happen eventu-

"DERRICK."

I jolt out of my daydream. My friend Lia walks beside me.

"What, what?" I shake off the images in my head.

"I've been walking with you down the ENTIRE A hall and you're just now noticing me."

Lia is another one of my friends. Her long, curly hair, honey eyes, and mixed complexity make her mildly pretty. She's the top of my class.

"Sorry, I was just, um, thinking about something."

"Daydreaming about 'Julia Trenton' again, are you? You know you've done nothing but obsess over her since the fifth grade! Isn't it time to move on?!" Lia rolls her eyes.

"SIXTH grade," I correct her. "And I'm so close, Lia.. I can feel it. Jonny says I'll have a girlfriend by the end of the year... and I want it to be her."

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