“You are not going to believe what I just heard,” said Steve.
“This must be about Stephanie,” Robert said.
“Am I going to like this?” Frederick asked.
The loud lunchroom bustled with activity, but today he thought time stood still as he listened to Steve.
“Michael has dropped out of school. Stephanie looks like a little, lost puppy. Fred, this is your chance. You need to make your move. What are you going to do?”
Fred’s mouth dropped open and not to put food inside it. His brain swirled around as he thought.
Robert rolled his eyes. “Dude, your birthday is coming up. Ask your mom to buy you a gold bracelet with your name engraved on it. Afterward, give it to Stephanie.”
“When did you become romantic?” Henry asked. He slapped Robert on the back as congratulatory thanks for the idea.
“Fred, come on. Snap out of it. Dude, what’s wrong?” Robert looked worried.
His heart pounded in his chest. His palms sweated. His hands won’t move to eat his food.
“The look on his face reminds me of a man who just saw a ghost,” Henry said.
The more he thought about talking to Stephanie, the more he can’t breathe. He saw her across the room. She sat by herself now. He wanted to sit next to her and put his arm around her shoulders to comfort her, but his stomach won’t settle down. It’s tied in knots. Food won’t even go down. He watched her eat, so graceful, so sweet. He wanted to kiss those lips so bad that his burned for hers. The sun caught her hair as it swung around her shoulders when she turned around.
She is looking for me, right?
He watched her stand to return her tray. She looked in his direction, but he blocked her view as he leaned to his right behind Steve’s head. It blocked her view.
“Why don’t you want her to know you watch her?” Henry asked.
“I think she is the most beautiful creature around and if I stand too close, I might get burned by her rays of glory,” Frederick said. He sat back up and watched her walk away.
“Oh man, he has it bad. We can’t let him go through high school like this. Henry, you talk to the Melissa, right?” Robert asked.
“Yeah, Why? What are you thinking?” Henry asked a little apprehensive.
“You are going to ask Melissa to talk to Stephanie in the hall after algebra after Fred gets that bracelet,” Robert said.
One week later …
“Did you bring it?” Steve asked as we all sat down at our usual spot in the lunchroom.
“Yeah, I got it.”
He hasn’t slept or thought about anything else. He saw her in his dreams. He saw her in his mind. He almost felt her in his arms. He dreamt of her soft hair on his cheek, her breath in his ear.
“He’s getting worse. We have to make our move today. Henry, did you talk to Melissa? Are the girls going to meet us?” Robert asked.
“Yea, they will meet us in the hall.”
Frederick has no idea what Coach was talking about. It was all blah, blah, blah. All he saw was Stephanie as she listened and paid attention.
She’s so beautiful and sweet. I want to hold her hand as we walk to our buses and hold her tight for a goodbye kiss. Oh to put my arms around her little waist, I would be in heaven.
When the bell rings, he snapped out his daydream. It’s go time. He stood in the spot they agreed upon, waited for the girls to arrive. He watched as Melissa and Heather walk on either side of Stephanie. His hands shook as he removed the box from his pocket.
“Stephanie….. “ he said.
After a long moment of time, he heard Melissa’s voice.
“Fredrick would like to give you something.”
To Be Continued … Follow Stephanie’s reaction.