It had been a few months of you coming over to my house for tutoring. I had looked forward to every session with you. Immediately it felt like things were back to how they were supposed to be. The two of us, hanging out, laughing and joking, and most importantly being friends.
Even after your grade went up in chemistry, you’d still come over. That was amazing to me. It made me feel like we could still be friends, even after you would stop the tutoring. When you didn’t have debate or soccer practice you still wanted to be bothered with me. I thought you’d be through since you’d gotten everything you could but I guess you didn’t. You still had some plans, didn’t you?
Thursday, a few weeks before prom, you came over in a huff, banging on my front door like a deranged person.
“Raraya!” You screamed from the top of your lungs.
I ran to the door as fast as I could manage. My parents were trying to put my little sisters down for the night.
“What?” I whispered fiercely, opening the door with a swiftness.
You smiled at me when you saw how panicked I looked.
“Did you get a bad grade on your chemistry test? I’m sorry!” I immediately exclaimed. That was the only thought that passed through my head. How lame it sounds to me now that I think about it.
Your expression changed. You looked slightly annoyed as you pushed your way into my house.
“No, you dummy. I’m actually managing a low A, thanks by the way.” You remarked making your way down the hall to my room.
“Wait! Wait, what are you doing here then?” I asked stalling for time. I was nervous about you entering my room. It wasn’t like you hadn’t been in there before, but it was different now that we were older.
You quirked your eyebrow at me, then settled to sit at the kitchen table. As you sat down you let out a hefty sigh, that I could only think was involved with Erica. I sat down next to you, preparing myself for what you were about to say.
“Erica and I broke up.” You said with a finality.
“Oh…” I gasped. I was trying to hide the smile that I knew had formed on my lips. A smile that somehow knew that if Erica was out of the picture then I had a sliver of a chance and that was good enough for me.
I searched your eyes for some sign of sadness but I don’t recall finding any. If I’m mistaken, I remember the slightest of joy in your eyes.
“Yeah, and now I’m dateless for prom.” You continued.
“Emm? Well, what are you going to do?” I asked.
“How dense are you Raraya?” You laughed, your blue eyes laughing along with you. “I’m asking you to prom.”
Your expression turned serious as you said the word prom. In my head, I was trying to figure out the puzzle you were creating with your words. I had always hoped to go to prom with you, but my mind wasn’t comprehending what you had asked.
“Prom? With me? Are you sure? You don’t want to go to prom with me!” I tried to assure you. I was sure it was some cruel joke you were playing, but deep down I wanted it to be real.
“Yes with you. Tell me you’ll come with me, as my date.”
“Date? Didn’t you just break up with Erica?”
Erica, why would I think of her at a time like that? I have no idea myself. I guess I just wanted to know you were serious about me.
“Erica and I broke up two weeks ago, We’re through.” You looked me in the eyes and said, “I’ve just been thinking on whether or not I should ask you. I know you’re not into big parties or anything because you’re so awkward…”
Ouch. I’ll admit, that hurt a little bit coming from you. I already knew that I wasn’t socially adaptive like you were but to hear it, it still hurt.
“Just say you’ll go with me. You can’t say no to your future prom king, now can you?” You whispered, growing closer to me.
I remember the heat from your face growing hotter with every inch you closed between us. You teased me with your lips slightly brushing against mine. My cheeks were hot, not only from the close contact of human body temperatures but from my own self-awareness of how I felt about you.
I turned my head away from you. I was too embarrassed by how close we were. We weren’t but a few feet away from my parents’ room. They could probably hear what was going on. I swallowed hard as I gave my answer.
“I guess you’re right. I’ll go with you…” I croaked out.
“Great!” You exclaimed, ruining the moment we just had. “I’ll see you at school then?” You asked walking towards the front door.
I was happy that I was going to prom with you but I didn’t know what that would entail. I soon found out the next day at school.
Everything seemed to happen as if it was a dream. I walked into school, passing by a confused looking Annabell, with your arm around me and your friends tailing behind. Erica was still there since you were in the same circle, but she didn’t seem happy about my arrival into the group.
We stopped in front of your locker and you introduced me to the gang which you didn’t have to do. I knew who you hung out with since they were just as popular as you.
“Raraya, these are the guys.” You said proudly introducing me to them.
Erica was the first to speak.
“Ha!” She laughed. “Raraya? What kinda lame-o name is that?”
“It’s actually a nickn-” I tried to correct her, but she was as quick as a whip with her responses.
“I’m sorry. I don’t recall me caring enough for you to respond. It was a rhetorical question sweetie, but here’s a question that isn’t. What are you doing here?” She spat at me.
“She’s here because I invited her here. She’s my girl now Erica, so back off.” You warned her, but she wasn’t one for warnings.
She laughed again, this time more high pitched. “You think that going out with this loser will make me want you back?” She turned to me and growled out her next words. “I’m sorry honey, but you’re sadly mistaken.”
“Erica, that’s enough!” You yelled at her. The whole hallway was silent. No one spoke but you.
“I’m so tired of your shit. You’re always talking down to people like they owe you something. No one owes you anything but a slap in the face. I’m so glad I broke up with you. You’re always so insecure and jealous and I’m done with it! Get out of my face and if I ever hear you say another word to or about Raya, you’ll regret it.”
Teachers and students alike were looking on as you ravaged Erica. Erica was at a lost for words. I remember the tears forming in her eyes as she looked at you. Those words must have really hurt her, and I know I shouldn’t have been happy about someone else’s pain, but I sure as hell was happy. I tried to hide my growing smile by nestling my head into your arm.
You looked down at me and whispered into my hair, “Don’t worry. I won’t let anybody hurt you.”
That day, those words made me the happiest person on Earth, but now I know those words were nothing but a lie, because I would soon find out that you only speak hollow words.