Tag Archives: crush

Nobody Knows

soccer

Nobody knew she had a crush on her soccer coach. Not a soul.

Except her parents, who watched her get ready every evening with just a little more gusto than anything else she did in life. She would always very carefully figure out what outfit would look good without trying too hard, you know, since she was learning soccer.

But that was it.

Well, maybe the elderly couple who passed as they did their daily pre-Wheel of Fortune walk. They could tell because of how she laughed just a little too hard at his jokes.

But not another person knew.

Well, except for the guy who was a little too old to be enjoying playing with his remote control car about two baseball fields away. He knew because he could see her smile from there.

Nobody else though.

Except the two strangers who ran every evening at the same time in opposite directions, nodding each time they passed one another on the circular path, each hoping the other would break the runner’s code and stop the other to have a chat. They knew because of how she would twist her arms awkwardly with her hands clenched during each break for the coach’s instructions.

Seriously though, no one else knew.

Except that dad who was taking his daughter for a walk in a stroller. He could tell because of the way she couldn’t stay on both feet, and was kind of hopping back and forth.

Maybe one or two more people knew.

Like the dog walker who had a little chihuahua and a larger spaniel. She knew, because she remembered those days and could just tell.

And the person driving by, who saw she stood just a little closer than was usually comfortable in that situation.

And how do I know? Because I was one of those people. It doesn’t matter which. But we all knew.

Even the coach knew. He was older, wiser, and used to this. But he loved his wife more than he loved teaching kids soccer, the most popular sport in his home town across the sea.

As far as she knew, nobody knew she had a crush on her soccer coach. Not a soul.

Advertisements

A Drive-By Crush

Image created by Laura Davies.

Alice was bundled up to stave off the cold. Her long puffy coat went down to her knees, her fingerless gloves had the flaps over her fingers and her wool hat was pulled over her ears to fight off the cold January day.
She approached the bus stop a few minutes early, part of her daily
tradition. The empty little booth called to her and she sat on the
bench only to jump up again as the cold went directly through her coat
and her pants. She laughed to herself and the steam poured
from her mouth. At that moment she focused her attention on the cars
driving by, waiting for the man she recently called a “drive by crush”
to her friend.
Every day, somewhere between 8:15 and 8:22 he drove by in his white
Prius. She couldn’t understand why he chose white; it always looks
dirty no matter how often the car is washed. Alice started to fall for
him one day when he caught her looking and smiled at her. She blushed
and waved gingerly in his direction before looking down at the ground.
In the nicer weather, when his windows were down, she heard the music he listened to, and eventually used her iPhone app to discover the bands he listened to. Mostly indie music. Her favorite one was Belle and Sebastian, and in a vain attempt to catch his attention one dress down Friday at work
she proudly adorned a B&S tee shirt hoping he would notice. He did not
pass her that day.
Now, months later, she knew a little about the music he loved. She
knew his car, that he had a beard, and that the memory of his smile from
that one day warmed her, even in this cold. She saw the car coming
from a few blocks away and leaned against the side of the depot,
ignoring the cold against her shoulder, trying to look nonchalant. As his car halted in the traffic almost directly in front of her, where he usually ended up stopping, she saw his plaid shirt and a dark blue tie that looked to be old, or as her cool coworkers called it, vintage. With the windows up it was
impossible to hear what he listened to, but she assumed it was Belle
and Sebastian because that had become part of him in her mind.
She wanted him to look again. Even though most of her face was hidden
behind a scarf, or maybe because that empowered her a little, she
wanted to see that smile again. Her dream was that he would roll down
the window and ask her to tea, tell her a day and time he would be
there if she wanted to meet him. That he, too, noticed her on his
daily trek to work and had somehow fallen into a drive by crush as
well.
The traffic started moving without even a look, and before Alice knew
it he was gone.
Oh well, she thought. Maybe tomorrow.

Gluten-Free

After a single conversation in the office break room, one in which he mentioned his gluten allergy and his subsequent inability to find a delicious cookie that contained none of the evil flour that was his enemy, she spent hours upon hours working in her small, one-bedroom-apartment kitchen trying to perfect a recipe that was both delicious and safe for her crush of five months. She emerged victorious, with more than a little flour on her cheeks and clothing and a small tupperware container full of her success.

While not gluten-free, these are whole wheat and sugar-free. That’s right, I bake too! 🙂

The Boy in the Tea House

This was her third time in the tea house, but her first alone. The waiter, a senior at her school, had complimented her necklace last time she was there with her grandmother, and she was excited that he even noticed her, let alone talked to her in public.

She wrote his name over and over in a little journal she had.

She talked about him to her best friend.

Her grandmother had even said to her, “What a nice boy he is. Is he a friend of yours?” Which of course caused her to blush.

And now, after weeks of preparing herself mentally, she was back at the tea house, alone. She wore her favorite sundress, pinkish-purple, the necklace again (of course), and carried her money in a heart-shaped purse she’d bought just for the occasion. Also, as an excuse for going alone, she brought an old copy of A Tree Grows in Brooklyn to feign reading.

When she entered the little home-turned-shop, he was by the door.

“Hey you, back again huh? No grandmother this time?”

She giggled, blushed and stammered something she hoped made sense.

“Well, let me show you to your table,” he said with a smile as she swore she noticed a twinkle in his perfect blue eyes.

She was so flustered that she slammed her purse down a bit too hard, the chain going wild.

“What will you have?” he asked.

She already knew her favorite tea, but still took a moment to gain the nerve to talk to him.

“Earl Grey, please.”

He smiled and left her.

She opened the book and tried to read it, but was mostly watching him walk from one spot to the next behind the counter, getting her drink ready. After a few minutes the sound of water boiling warned her of his imminent return.

“Your tea.” He said, holding up the teapot.

She nodded and pretended to read.

“Hello? Would you like it?”

She nodded again, face starting to turn red, wondering what he was doing.

“Um…your purse.”

She looked under the book to see that the chain of her purse had somehow ended up in the teacup, keeping him from pouring the water.

“Oops,” she said, redder than ever, ears burning, as she removed her purse from the table.

She would never, ever, ever in a million years live that moment down.

Heart-Shaped Purse photograph by the amazing Manon De Sutter. This photograph, along with a few of her others, inspired this story. Please check out her work.

Summer Crush

Anticipatory

A Collection of Flash Fiction in One Setting

The professor watched the student, a virtual class clown, who kept looking over his shoulder at something in the back, procrastinating as usual.  With every turn of his head, his elbow was pushing his cup of soda—contraband in a computer lab—closer and closer towards the edge of the table.

He could not help but look back at her, wondering if she noticed him.  She was usually looking out the window for no obvious reason.  Someday he would get the guts to ask her out.  If she only knew that every pun, every prank, every joke was just for her, in the hopes she would notice him.

It was such a beautiful day, and she couldn’t wait to go outside and feel the bright green grass tickling her bare feet. Instead, she was temporarily stuck inside, reading a chapter and then responding to it in essay form while glancing out the window every chance she got.  The smell of liquor was pouring into her nose every time she inhaled, and she kept wondering which student came to class drunk.

He had such a rough night, and wished he hadn’t slept with her yet again.  She was upset over a bad grade, drank all of the wine in the house, then moved on to a bottle of whiskey she’d left in the liquor cabinet for years due to the disgusting taste.  He slept next to her in the bed after a night of wild lovemaking; he’d stayed sober because she was using an X-acto knife and he didn’t want her to cut herself.  Now, in class, he kept looking at his phone, worried she would text.  A loud, unexpected bang startled him back to attention.

She was sure the guy sitting in front of her was asleep, and all she wanted to do was wake him; bring him back to the torture that was this class.  She’d slammed her book down hard, startling the rest of the class but with no visible response from him.  She had to do something to wake him up, to force him back to this reality that everyone else was part of.

The flashing fluorescent light above him was driving him crazy; his head was killing him and the bottle of aspirin in his bag was empty.  As soon as class was over he would head straight to the pharmacy to get more.  The random loud noises didn’t help his headache at all, either.  He wished the stupid person would stop dropping whatever it was, but his head hurt too much to even open his eyes and turn around to discover the source.  And for some reason he swore he smelled peanut butter, which could also mean a migraine was coming on.  He always smelled odd aromas before a migraine.

She snuck the peanut butter crackers into her mouth one at a time, trying not to get caught through her sneaky nonchalance.   They were supposed to be her in-between class snack, but she just could not wait any longer.

She watched the smug girl eating some variety of crackers, knowing full well the professor had just reminded the class of the strict “no food and no drink in the lab” policy.  It was so obvious that this girl felt that just because she was the smartest in the class, she had an advantage over the teacher that allowed her to eat and break the rules.

Superficially, she was beautiful, even as she glared at the girl eating the peanut butter crackers.  He was shaking a little bit, because he had decided today was the day he would ask her out.  Sure, he knew beauty was only skin deep, knew all about what they say about judging book covers, but it would be enough for him.  He would ask her today.  But for now he would listen to the professor, who just rose to his feet and walked to the podium, signaling the beginning of a discussion.  The clock ticked and ticked but never seemed to advance as he thought about asking her on a date.

The professor was at the podium, standing silently, waiting for everyone to look away from their monitors and towards him so he could begin the lecture.

Inspirational words:  anticipatory, procrastinate, superficial, advantage, response, stupid.