rBy Marc Abbott
Adam Corbin stared at the note in his hand for a minute, then looked at the locker in front of him. The second his eyes fell on the number 111 at the top of the locker door, fear swept over him. All the nerve he had mustered up prior to getting to the locker had left him. He was too afraid now to carry out his mission.
The locker before him belonged to one Callie Pace, the cutest blond Adam had ever seen in his life. She was the perfect girl: long hair, mesmerizing blue eyes, a warm smile and a laugh that put butterflies in his stomach. She traveled around school with one other girl, Tori Lauer. Tori was pretty, but she wasn’t Callie.
The very first time Adam saw Callie was in science class. She had come in late, stood in the front of the classroom, trying to find herself a seat. Their eyes met and she smiled at him. Well, she smiled and happened to be looking in his direction, was really what she did. But it didn’t matter because she was a vision that stole his very breath. What he felt at that moment was real.
Callie took a seat in front and to the right of him, said hello, and from that moment on, Adam was love struck. He made sure he was in class before her so he could watch her walk in. He carried an extra pen just in case she needed to borrow one, and in the winter, when the class was chilly, he brought his jacket with him to put around her so she could keep warm. All of these little acts of affection were not seen as such by Callie. She just thought he was being nice. Beyond the science class, they didn’t have much contact.
Tori, however, noticed Adam’s longing glances at her friend. Each time she went to meet her after class she would see Adam sheepishly trailing behind her. In the lunchroom, she watched Adam stare at her on the lunch line. He never said anything to her but if she looked at him, he would smile and wave. Tori thought his actions cute. They were a great deal more heartwarming to watch than the crass behavior of some of the other boys that tried to get Callie’s attention.
Tori wanted to find out more about Adam. She talked to other girls about him to get their perceptions about him. Then she watched him in the halls to see how he acted around the small group of friends he had. After weeks of following him around, Tori was convinced he wasn’t strange or weird, but very shy. Much like Callie was about approaching guys that caught her eye.
But in Callie’s defense, her beauty came with several issues.
Callie complained that the nice guys always avoided her. Either because they thought she was taken or because the creeps were always around. Those were the ones that chased after her, said crude things to her and scared away some of the more interesting guys.
Tori listened to Callie complain all the time about those issues and so she thought maybe she would interested in Adam. If she get Adam to speak to her. Playing the role of dutiful friend and confidante, Tori took all the information she had on Callie, found Adam and sat down with him. She listened to him talk about how much he liked Callie, but wasn’t confident that a girl that pretty would never give him a chance.
“How do you know she wouldn’t?” Tori asked.
“Look at her. She has guys chasing after her all the time. Good looking guys. Look at me. I’m short, I’m not cute. Girls aren’t exactly lining up to go out with me,” he said.
“You think because you’re not popular or like one of those cretins chasing her she wouldn’t give you the time of day?” Tori said. “Have you tried?”
“No way,” Adam said quickly.
“Try, and see what happens. Ask her and see what she says,” Tori said.
“Do you know something I don’t?”
“I know if you don’t try you will never know.”
“How do I ask her?”
“I don’t know. Come up with something. Be creative.”
With that in mind, Adam wrote Callie a note. It wasn’t filled with love lorn words or a poem. He simply wrote: Hi Callie. I hope you’re having a good day. I want you to know that I think your very pretty and I want to take you out sometime. If you’re interested in knowing who I am, meet me in front of the gym at 3.
Adam folded the note intending to put it in her locker, but once he got there he was afraid to do it. He read the note again and thought it was dumb. So he took it with him to class and pondered a different approach.
When Callie entered the classroom, Adam decided to just hand it to her instead. He altered the last line, then folded it back up. Callie sat down in her seat, said hi to him and started to take out her notebook. Adam started to call to her but lost his nerve again.
As class dragged on, Adam became angry with himself that he was wasting time. He wrestled with his fear. Argued with it in his mind, then psyched himself up to taking the biggest chance of his teenage life. When the teacher, Mr. Herkermer, turned his back to write something on the board, Adam leaned over toward her.
“Callie!” he whispered. She turned and looked at him. “Here.” Adam extended his hand with the note.
Callie looked at the note curiously. For a moment Adam didn’t think she was going to take it. But she turned and looked to see if Mr. Herkermer was looking, then turned back and reached for it as their fingers touched, Adam felt his heart quicken. She turned back around quickly then carefully opened the note and started to read it.
As Adam watched her, his heart started to pound a mile a minute. A lump grew in his throat and his palms grew sweaty. He felt himself become frightened all over again.
Callie closed the note and looked to the front of the room as Mr. Herkermer, turned around and continued talking. She waited until his back was to the class again, then she turned and looked at Adam. Her face was red from blushing and she smiled at him. But she didn’t say a word. Instead, she turned back around, opened the note and wrote something down. She folded it and started to pass it back to him when Mr. Herkermer turned around and looked at her.
“Miss Pace! Mind if I take a look at that?” Mr. Herkermer said. Callie and Adam both turned red. Callie didn’t move as Mr. Herkermer walked to her and took the note. He looked in the direction she had turned looked at Adam.
“So let’s see what’s so important,” he said. “Oh my God,” Callie whispered as she turned away and put her face in her hands.
Mr. Herkermer opened the note and read it to himself. Then his eyes fell on Adam. “Well it seems that Miss Pace likes going to the movies and movie nachos and she thinks you’re cute Mr. Corbin.” He handed the note to Adam amid snickers around the class. “And I think you meant to say you’re, not your. Are we done? Good. Now then. . . .”
Adam sulked in his seat as he folded the note and put it in his pocket while Mr. Herkermer headed back to the front of the class. Adam couldn’t look at Callie from all the embarrassment. She didn’t look at him either.
When the bell rang, the class erupted in talk of the embarrassment of Adam and Callie. Mr. Herkermer grabbed his things and followed the class out, leaving Callie and Adam alone. She finally looked at Adam, who was staring at the blackboard in a trance.
“You okay?” she asked. Adam looked at her. “I’m so sorry. You must hate me.”
“No.” She got up and gathered her things. “Want to walk me to my next class?”
Adam nodded and got up. He wasn’t sure how to feel. He looked at her and Callie started to laugh. She covered her mouth and started to blush as Adam’s look of embarrassment showed.
“I can’t believe that happened,” he said, then he looked at her and said, “Movie nachos, really?” “I love those things,” she said. Adam reach over and boldly took her hand. Callie didn’t protest.
© Copyright 2011 Marc L Abbot
Marc Abbott is a Brooklyn-based writer. His latest novel The Dead Syndicate is an addition to his collection of horror stories in his upcoming kindle release of Anthorrorgy. He also writes short stories. His first book, the Dead Syndicate Saga, he used classic angelic characters to craft the story of a rogue angel battling the powers of darkness.
(For more on Marc Abbott, go to www.hobbcatpublishing.com)
Art by Bisai Ya