THE GOLDEN COUPLE AND THEIR MULTIPLE SIDES OF LOVE
Dedicated to Rao and Samah, for inspiring me and making me believe
I sighed, falling back into my chair, my fingers hovering above my key board. I was about to start the long and tiring journey of writing my second novel, Stars In Her Eyes. Unlike the first time, I wasn't nervous and apprehensive that I wouldn't be able to complete it. No - Stars In Her Eyes was different because it was inspired by a true story - One that happened right before my very own eyes … Back in high school, among the cheer leaders and the jocks and the pathetic cafeteria food … the story that made me believe in love happened …
1982, October Fourth
He was the basketball captain, the jock, the boy all girls loved and the boy that all guys wanted to be. She was the head cheerleader, the queen bee, the girl all boys dreamed of and all girls hated but secretly wanted to be. He had a reputation of being a jerk, one of those boys who would beat up people just for fun. She had the reputation of a bitch, a girl who would screw over others just for stepping on her foot. Together, they would make the perfect couple; But neither one had ever made a move on the other.
The entire school wondered why, me included. She was beautiful, he was gorgeous - together, they would look like sex walking down the corridor. But every time someone suggested it to him, or to her, they would shy away from it and start another topic.
One day, the jocks provoked him so much that he accepted the challenge of making the head cheerleader his girlfriend.
And that, ladies and gentlemen was the day our basket ball captain's life became an utter hell.
1982, October Sixth
I was quietly eating an apple and reading Wuthering Heights, my face actually pained by the intensity of the novel when a sudden bang interrupted my train of thoughts. I jumped, along with many others, to the source of the noise and my mood lightened up after seeing our basket ball captain standing at the queen bee's table, an anxious expression on his face, running a hand awkwardly through his hair.
"Yes?" she asked, raising an eyebrow.
"Girls, can I talk to your friend for just a moment?" he said to the other drones surrounding her. They giggled and moved away noisily, being immature enough to make kissing noises at the two of them. She rolled her eyes and then looked back up at him.
"What do you want?"
He sat down on her table and her blue eyes narrowed, pin drop silence in the cafeteria as they all watched him do the dare they had been proposing to him ever since he entered high school. He sighed, looking like he would rather have destroyed his guitar than talk to her, "Wiyougoutwime?"
She raised an eyebrow, disgust crossing her face, "What? What did you say?"
He sighed again, throwing a death glare to his laughing gang of friends at the other end of the hall, "Will you go out with me?"
She stared at him, her blue eyes wide and her jaw becoming loose as it tumbled open and parted her lips. She stared at him before bursting into laughter. The expression on his face at that moment was priceless, her golden laughter hilarious and the entire scenario one of the best in my four years of high school.
When she saw that he was not sharing her laughter, her face straightened and she asked, "Wait - you're serious?"
He nodded, "Of course I'm damn serious!"
She stared at him once more before her giggles started again and she grabbed her bag, stuffing her fist into her mouth to stifle her laughter, "Nah."
"Nah?" he asked, outraged, his tone mimicking hers.
She waved him off with an impatient wave of her hand, chuckling to herself as she threw her bag over her shoulder and walked towards the exit. As soon as the chipped doors swung shut, the entire hall burst into uncontrollable laughter while his ears went red. He stood up, regaining his hurt ego and saying, "Don't worry. She'll be mine."
At that moment, I felt worse for him than I did for Heathcliffe.
That was the day I learned that love is challenging.
1982, October Twelfth
It was common knowledge in Hendon High now that our golden boy was after our golden girl. Too bad the golden girl refused to let them be the golden couple.
That was the day I learned that love is hard.
1982, October Twentieth
I was working late at school on one of my projects; it was around seven at night and I was getting ready to leave, packing up my things and then walking down the corridor. I was exhausted and ready to collapse on my bed, read the last few pages of my precious, tattered copy of Wuthering Heights with a nice mug of -
- Hot chocolate and I'd listen to that new U2 record -
- And life would be so perfect for those few hours -
"Why won't you go out with me?"
I stopped short as I heard that sentence. The words, coupled with the strong and sure voice made me sure that it was the basket ball captain and the queen bee in the following classroom. I stopped walking, taking a step back and leaning my head forward so I could see them through the crack in the door. He was standing only an inch away from her, their bodies only slightly brushing. His eyes were boring down into her's as he asked, "Why?"
She took a deep breath and then a step away from him, "Because … you would hurt me."
That was the day I learned love is painful.
1982, November Fifth
The student body was all gathered up at the beach for a bonfire; drinking, laughing, music, chattering was thick in the air, the waves lapping joyously among us while us teenagers danced the night away. But out of one hundred and seventy six of us, two were arguing a disagreement that has us all staring in two minutes.
"Can you please get it in your head that I am not interested?!" she cried, her brown hair blowing against the wind.
"We both know that's a lie," he hissed, "Why do you keep lying to yourself? Is that your way of keeping yourself happy? Living a world of lies, caught up in a web of lies - Lies, lies, lies! You're living a lie!"
"Done with the analysis?" she hissed, her eyes sharp and cutting across him. Had I been standing there, I would have crumpled but he faced her like a brave man and stood tall, looking down at her with pain flashing across his eyes.
"Not nearly!" he said, "I just don't want to embarrass you in front of a hundred people."
"You embarrass me every time you ask me out!" she cried, shoving his shoulder, "Can't you see that I'm too good for you?"
It was as if she had slapped him. He took a step away from her, his eyes wide and his lips parted, his features set in what seemed to be a pool of sorrow. He turned away from her, walking towards the parking lot, a glint in his eyes that indicated tears.
"Wait!" she cried suddenly, panicking, her voice anguished as she ran after him, "I didn't mean it!" He continued to walk away from her. She ran faster and came around him so she was facing him, blocking his path, her chest rising and falling as she tried to catch her breath, "I'm sorry."
"I'm fucking in love with you," he hissed, "And I'm not good enough."
He went around her, walking away to the car park where he got into his ford and raced off into the darkness. She was standing there, her eyes still wide with a far off look in her eyes, her lips still parted. All hundred and seventy four of us were still staring at her, wondering how in hell this happened … how he fell in love with her when dating her had been forced upon him … How did it happen …
That was the day I learned that love is full of surprises.
1982, November Seventh
We all expected her to tell him she loved him back. We all expected the golden girl to accept the golden boy's feelings so that they would become the super, golden couple. But instead, she went back to ignoring him and he went back to being the jerk that he was before the dare.
That was the day I learned that love is stubborn.
1982, November Fifteenth
It was one of those ordinary rainy days and every one was gathered up in the cafeteria, enjoying the hot coffee and the warm food. I was gathered up with my friends, having a perfectly good, rich morning when the cafeteria doors burst opened, the basket ball captain and the queen bee storming in, arguing at top speed.
"How could you do this to me?" she screamed, "How many girls have you been bedding behind my back? How many a day, huh?"
He gave a sarcastic laugh, "You lost the right to ask me the day you ended things."
"Were you sleeping with them before that?" she asked, her eyes livid.
"No," he said coldly, "Unlike you, I thought you were better than to deserve that."
Her furious expression fell, the lines of anger dissolving to become a sorrowful face. She took a step forward towards him but before she could speak a word, he said, "Don't."
"I'm scared, idiot," she whispered, taking another step towards him.
"I'm terrified," he whispered back, "But I'm willing to take the risk."
"What if you hurt me?" she asked, tears glistening in her eyes.
He chuckled lightly and lifted a hand to lightly brush some of her curls from her face before cupping her left cheek and stepping closer, "As much as I hate to admit it, I'm incapable of hurting you."
And then right there, in front of the entire student body, the golden couple kissed, touching their lips after which the entire hall exploded into applause, woofs, laughter and quite a lot of groans and triumphant cheers (belonging to the people who bet on the outcome of this dare). The way he touched her, with such tenderness and care projected his feelings, the look in her eyes exposing hers. When she pulled back to touch her forehead with his, I saw her mouth the words 'I love you'. I saw the golden smile appear on his golden face.
That was the day I learned that love is rewarding.
1982, December Tenth
He was no longer the jerk, she was no longer the bitch. They didn't make every one's lives hell, they made them better in whatever way they could. She had a constant sparkling smile on her face, while he couldn't stop grinning. Indeed, by the end of the year, when we were graduating, many people agreed that our senior year was made fantastic because of the golden couple.
That was the day I learned that love is happiness.
1982, June First
We were all at our golden boy's house, enjoying the party before the summer break officially began and we all went our separate ways, to our separate colleges, to our different lives and different destinations. We were soaking up the last few moments with each other before we had to leave, dancing, drinking, laughing - Who knows where we would be tomorrow?
Halfway through the night, our golden boy stumbled onto a small stage and yelled, "Can my girlfriend come join me up here, please?"
There was cheering as she made her way through the crowd, a smile stretching all across her face as she took her boyfriend's hand and climbed onto the stage. The way they looked at each other opened up my heart in the warmest of ways, making me and many other around me smile.
"I want to thank my lousy friends for giving me that dare," he said, grinning down at the four boys who were laughing, "Without that dare, I would have never gone up to this beautiful girl right here."
She laughed, stretching up on her toes to press a kiss to his cheek.
"I love you, you know that, right?" he asked her, his eyes intense.
"I know," she chuckled, "I love you, too."
"That's all I needed to hear." And then he bent down on one knee and gasps were echoing across the party, everyone gaping at the boy that once used to be a bastard, a womanizer who would throw away women like used tissues, at the boy who was now proposing to a girl, his expression full of genuine love and passion.
"Marry me," he said to her.
"What?" she asked, her own eyes wide and surprised, shocked to see his devotion to her.
"Marry me so that you're mine forever," he said, slowly getting up, never losing eye contact with her while his hand slipped into his pocket and pulled out a black box. "Marry me so that we're together for ever. Marry me so that we never have to be apart. Marry me so that I never have to fear losing you." He slid open the box, a twinkling diamond ring resting against the black velvet, "Marry me because you love me and I love you, more than anything and everything in this world combined."
She was staring at the ring, tears pooling in her eyes, a thousand emotions crossing her face as she looked up at him, nodding and whispered, "Yes."
The crowd once again burst into applause as he grabbed her, pulling her flush against her body so that she was swung off her feet. Both of them were crying tears of happiness, their expressions ones of bliss, their love and passion surrounding all of us as he put her down and slipped that ring on her finger; the ring that I have been told, is still there, twenty nine years later.
That day, I learned that love is everlasting.
It astounds me. It absolutely astounds me how two people, who probably did not even know my name, could change my life so much. They reinforced my belief in love, they restored my belief in passion, they made me believe that love still exists and that it's possible to fall in love so blindly that nothing in the world apart from that love makes sense. Thinking about them, my fingers began to move on their own accord on my keyboard, typing out words that soon became my best selling novel, Stars In Her Eyes.
Just think about it for a minute. How many people are out there whose' lives you've changed without even knowing? How many lives did you leave an imprint on without your knowledge? How much of a difference have you made to all those six billions lives in the world?
Inspired by a true story! Please leave a review on your way out :)