Girls are sexy, made out of Pepsi
Boys are rotten, made out of cotton
That was what we all thought, my friends and I. About the boys being pretty rotten, anyway. At least, until puberty hit and high school started. Then it all changed. My friends stopped running away from boys because they had cooties. They were suddenly more interested in chasing after them, especially the ones they saw on the train, or the boys they used to run away from back in primary school, giggling unstoppably when the boys gave them the slightest acknowledgement.
Somehow, I'd missed that phase, which explained how my friends and I eventually stopped. Being friends, I mean. I guess we just kind of drifted apart, an easy thing to do at the mere age of twelve, when you were no longer forced to endure each other's presence in the same classroom day in day out, and your friends were too busy gawking about gangly, pimply boys too much attention to you. We all started attending different high schools.
I stopped believing that boys were rotten in about eighth grade actually, a year late, but I'd never actually chased after any. And by that time, I had stopped talking to most of my primary school friends all together. I'd never really gotten around to making new friends in high school either.
And now it was five years later. It was the beginning of the end – my last year at Wattlebay Girls' High School. That's right. I'd spent the last five years of my life living, and breathing the very essence of females, spending every second of my time with girls. And I was about to embark on my last year of this wonderful journey.
You would've thought I'd have learnt something from that, like how to scream (or better yet whisper in hushed tones) and bitch about anything and everything, gossiping like crazy, as though not drivelling on about other people's meaningless lives was the end of the world. Or even the simple things, perhaps, like put on some decent make up and co-ordinate an outfit.
And most of all, I bet you'd have imagined that I'd have learnt to be like every single other female deprived of the presence of young, attractive (or even the not so attractive) male species: boy crazy.
Unfortunately in the last five years at Wattlebay, which claimed to have the primary aim of producing "independently minded young ladies", my personal learning sphere had not extended so far. Oh sure, I'd learned a lot academically…just maybe not so much in terms of becoming human. Or normal.
Ever wondered about the epitome of a typical seventeen year old teenage girl, bursting with excitement and happiness about oh, I don't know, a date with a boy one day, and bursting with tears about his cruel or apathetic treatment of her the next? Yeah, well I was the epitome of not typical. Oh, not in the sense that I was all rebellious and out there with ten piercings on my face, wearing leather jackets and tight pants with a short funky hairstyle. I was the opposite of that too.
I was what you would call the under-average, unnoticed classmate. Someone might mention my name and you might say "Who? Oh her…she topped the year in maths, right?" And that was if anyone even remembered my name in the first place. Admittedly, my academics weren't exactly the worst out there. Actually, they were doing pretty well. And the few that did know my name, and talk to me, didn't fail to recognise it. But they didn't realise it's the only thing I was good at. The one and only thing I really put effort into, because it was the only thing I knew I could do well in.
What couldn't I do so well then, might you be compelled to ask? Well okay, you might not, but I planned to tell you anyway. I didn't know how to strike a conversation with a stranger. I didn't know how to make people interested in getting to know me, or showing them that I was interested in getting to know them. I didn't even know how to start a conversation with people I vaguely knew without internally debating whether or not I should talk to them. I couldn't look at myself naked in the mirror without feeling disgust towards the flab in my stomach or cellulite in my thighs. But worst of all?
I couldn't talk to boys.
Okay fine, I could talk to boys. It just depended on your definition of the word. If your definition of "talk" was to simply say "hi", and then proceed to stand in awkward silence for five minutes (if I was lucky) before he lost interest and moved on, wondering who that loser was, then yeah, I could talk to boys. I just doubt that that was your definition.
But I was lying earlier. When I said that I hadn't learnt to be boy crazy. My interest had grown significantly since eighth grade. Yes, I was ashamed to admit it, but just like any other seventeen year old teenager, I did fantasise about guys and what we'd be like together. Practically every single guy I'd ever met, actually. Even those I didn't feel any attraction towards. But there haven't been that many. The difference? I realised that it would never happen. No, I wasn't being pessimistic. I was simply being realistic. I knew the truth: I was invisible.
Well, not completely invisible. I did have one friend. Well one good friend, anyway. One I could tell almost anything to. She didn't know that I was boy crazy on the inside. I wasn't so free with myself so as to tell anyone, even my best friend, that.
I guess it would be self explanatory then, if I said that I'd never been on a date. That was a bit of a stretch. I hadn't even been to a typical teenage party with booze, drugs, and sex. Or at least that was what I imagined a party to be like. I didn't know – my only idea of these parties came from American teen movies, and that was certainly what it seemed like. But more likely than not, it was different here, in reality. I hadn't been anywhere, really.
But this year, I decided, it was all going to change. I was going to make myself known, and at least another friend or two. I was sure there were ways of doing that…I just wasn't sure how yet.
Perhaps I could become a cheerleader? They seemed to be all the rage. Oh wait, we didn't really do the whole 'cheerleading' thing in Australia. At least, not as far as I knew.
We did have a chess club though, I could always join one of those…
The name's Trisha, by the way. Trisha Lee. Trish, for short. Not that it makes it that much shorter. Just thought you should know, before he did. Not that that was important, since he probably didn't remember it anyway.
I was in the middle of deciding to cross the road whilst departing all this insightful information to you. That was when it happened. It was hard to pinpoint the exact moment, obviously, but when it came down to it, it had to have been right at that point in time that my life was about to change. I guess it was what you would call a catalyst.
Thinking has never been my strong point. So as I was thinking, about all this, I wasn't really paying attention to the cars. I mean, I knew that I should've, considering that cars could kill you and all. But I wasn't exactly the most rational person you would ever get to meet. And so as I was taking just another step onto the gravel road, I heard the screeching sound of tyres attempting to come to a frantic stop, and when I turned my head and saw a rustic white panel van zooming towards me, I thought it would be the last thing I would ever see. But then I felt a strong grasp on my arms pulling me back, just as the car swerved past where I had just been.
I'm pretty sure I stood in complete shock for at least five whole minutes, my arms pinned tightly to my sides and my mouth open, agape, or horrified, or whatever you want to call it. Finally, I managed to calm myself down enough to take a deep breath, and turn around. And that was when I heard it. And saw it. Well, him. It was simultaneous, really.
"Uh, hey? Hey…oh hey. I've been trying to talk to you for like five minutes. You must be in shock."
My eyes widened, if that were possible. They were already pretty wide from the rude shock I'd just had. "Oh…yeah…sorry," I managed to stutter, which was a pretty admirable achievement considering the sight before me. He wasn't hot exactly. Not the typical Greek god-like Adonis that seems to show up in a lot of romances (trust me, I know, I read a lot of romances). But he was attractive in his own way. Dark, ruffled hair. Tall. And his eyes – oh god, his eyes. They were so intense, and the sea of blue that was gazing concernedly at me (I know, I know, clichéd, but I can't help but state the truth!) practically floored me. I couldn't help but feel a sense of attraction towards this guy, whoever he was.
"I guess I was shocked." I laughed nervously.
"Are you okay?"
I wasn't going to complain about his voice, either. It was a low, soothing sound with more than a hint of concern.
"Uh. Uh...yeah. Thanks for saving me. Oh god, I could've died. Oh god. Thanks." Oh god, how much more embarrassing could I get?!
He smiled at me – did I mention how cute that crooked grin was? – and if I were being honest I would have to admit that it was as though he was trying not to laugh. How embarrassing.
"Hey, it's cool. Just be more careful next time. You could've died."
"Uhuh. Thanks." Hopefully he forgave me for sounding a bit rude, but I was still in shock.
"That car was only about a quarter of a second away from running you over! Lucky I got to you when I did, or you would be a dead woman."
Honestly, did he think I didn't realise that? I did just spend five minutes standing in complete horror at the ramifications of what would've happened if he hadn't pulled me aside just in time, after all. I know I said I couldn't talk to boys, but it certainly didn't mean I couldn't feel things towards them. Like anger, or annoyance. I just had trouble voicing my thoughts, sometimes. Well fine, most of the time. But this seemed to be an exception.
"Yes, I know. I just said that, didn't I?" I was annoyed. But typically, being me, I immediately backtracked. "Uh…sorry," I stuttered. "Just still a little shocked."
"No, I totally get it. You almost died!" Oh god, he'd said it again! But I forced myself to smile and ignore it, for fear of facing further social awkwardness. This guy had, after all, just saved my life. And he was pretty good looking. I couldn't exactly help my hormones going overdrive just at the realisation that a boy, a pretty good looking one at that, was paying me the slightest bit of attention.
"Well. Thanks again." I turned to walk away, to a pedestrian crossing this time (hey, I learned my lesson), but he stopped me.
"Don't you think the guy who saved you should at least get to know your name?"
"Oh. I'm Trish. Well, Trisha. But just call me Trish."
"I'm Brad," he said, and smiled that ridiculously attractive crooked smile once again. "Nice to meet you. Maybe I'll save your life again the next time I see you," he winked at me.
And with that, he turned away and slowly walked away from me. I stared at his back for a while, before going to cross the road for the third time in about ten minutes.
That, ladies and gentlemen, was the moment that made my life turn around completely.
I guess this is my first attempt at a story in a while! Not sure how this is going to turn out, but I'm pretty excited with this new idea :D. Please let me know what you think!