A guy like Jacob would never go for someone like me. A guy like Jacob liked big-breasted bombshells with low IQs--unfortunately, my polar opposite. So why did I torture myself like this?
Two seats over, one seat back. I chose this seat in history class because it offered the best, most discreet view of my obsession. From here, I could watch Jacob's profile while pretending to pay attention to Mr. Whatshisface. What were we learning about today? I couldn't say. I could say that Jacob's black T-shirt clung to his broad shoulders like a second skin, that his biceps were perfectly sculpted, and that he had an oral fixation with his pen. That lucky, lucky pen was always in his mouth. He sucked on it, rattled it against his teeth, tapped it on his lip, chewed on it. I'd have given anything to be that pen. Could he feel the heat of my gaze burning over his skin?
My obsession embarrassed me, but that didn't stop me. Knowing I'm hopelessly infatuated just made me want him more.
It was so wrong of me to stare. Weird. Morbid. Creepy to be obsessed with someone who didn't know I existed. I'm glad he didn't know how much I longed for him, because if he did, I'm sure he'd reject me. Rejection would kill me on the spot. Acceptance would probably kill me, too. I'm not ready for this.
I had always been a straight "A" student, yet my grade in History continued to spiral downward like a maple seed falling from a tree.
I need to stop staring at him and concentrated on history. I was ashamed of myself. I can't stop fantasizing about him though.
The perfect man. Good-looking. Smart. Funny. Kind. Good-looking.
I'd never felt this way about anyone.
I just needed to get over Jacob--plain and simple.
Jacob toyed with the hoop in his earlobe. I shifted uncomfortably in my chair.
Get over him? Not gonna happen.
Mr. Whatshisface asked a question. I wouldn't have even noticed if Jacob hadn't answered, "Italy, Germany and Japan."
"Correct," Mr. Whatshisface said.
I smiled. It was strange to feel pride in a classmate, but I couldn't help it. Way to go, Jacob!
Jacob glanced over his shoulder at me. Did I say that aloud? I knew I hadn't, but I flushed anyway. He smiled at me, showing perfect, white teeth. My heart stuttered to a stop. Why was he smiling at me? Did he know that I was hopelessly in love with him? How mortifying.
I glanced down at my notebook. Blank paper. Fascinating! I wrote Italy, Germany, Japan. It seemed important. What happened in Italy, Germany and Japan? Hell, if I knew.
After a moment, I glanced sidelong at Jacob. He wasn't smiling at me over his shoulder anymore.
I was stuck between relief and regret.
At least I could watch him chew on the end of his pen again.
Even though it was final period, I was bummed when the bell rang. I closed my notebook, which still had only three words of notes. Germany? What was so great about Germany anyway? Well, I've heard their beer is pretty good. Props to Germany.
As the class jostled out of the door, someone pressed something into my left hand. I glanced up fast enough to see Jacob walk by, talking to one of his friends. My hand clenched around the folded note. Was it from Jacob? I'm scared to read it. It probably said, Stop staring at me, weirdo.
I went to my locker and stuffed my books inside.
I was stuck between curiosity and dread.
I unfolded the note to read it. If he called me a weirdo, I just needed to be more discreet when I stared, that's all. No problemo.
I need to talk to you. Meet me behind the cafeteria today after school. Jacob.
My heart throbbed. I crammed the note into the front pocket of my jeans and slammed my locker shut. What did he need to talk to me about? I couldn't possibly go. What if this was some kind of practical joke and a group of kids were all there waiting to make fun me for gawking at the hottie? Jacob's so far out of my league, he's MVP of the World Series, and I'm batting zero with the preschool T-ball team.
But what if this wasn't a joke?
I was stuck between indecision and anticipation.
I headed for the brick wall behind the cafeteria. It separated the dumpster from the main building. Kids used to smoke back here, but the principal caught them, so no one came back here anymore.
Would Jacob really be there waiting for me or would I have to wait for him? How long should I wait before I gave up and left?
I knew he wouldn't show.
A strong hand wrapped around my wrist and tugged me behind the brick wall. Jacob was there. And he was alone.
I couldn't look at him. I was too embarrassed. Look at him, idiot! He would figure out that I liked him if I couldn't find the strength to lift my head and meet his eyes.
"I wasn't sure you'd show up," he said.
"I wasn't sure you'd be here."
He still held my wrist. His fingers were like a warm brand against my skin.
"I notice you watch me a lot."
I shook my head slightly, wishing it wasn't true. "No, I don't."
"I'm not the only one who's noticed."
"Really?" That was bad. I glanced up at him and forced my gaze not to waver. The heat of embarrassment rose up my neck.
"So why do you watch me?"
My throat closed off and my mouth went dry. I can't tell him how I feel. I just can't. He watched me expectantly. As if he wanted me to tell him how I felt. As if he was hoping that I liked him.
I gazed down at the lettering on his t-shirt. "Because I... I like you." Damn, why did I tell him? "I'm sorry."
Now he'd tell me how disgusting I was. How I didn't stand a chance against his big-breasted bombshells. I braced myself for heart trauma.
He touched my face and I looked up into his eyes. They were brown. And gentle. He smiled. "I like you, too."
I couldn't believe it.
And I couldn't breathe.
"You do?" I gasp.
"The shy ones drive me crazy." His eyes rolled to the heavens.
He liked shy? Shy, I could do.
He stared at me for a long moment and then leaned forward to kiss me. My first kiss. I'm so awkward! Where do I put my hands? My fingers splayed at my sides as I leaned into him. Jacob knew what he was doing. Overwhelming pleasure and excitement coursed through my body when he applied the slightest suction to my eager lips. My toes curled in my sneakers. The musky scent of his antiperspirant, the feel of his hard chest against mine, the sound of the small groan in the back of his throat, the sweet, sweet taste of his lips--I wanted to remember this moment forever.
I knew my feelings for him were wrong, but they felt so right.
I loved him.
Eventually, embarrassment outweighed desire. I pulled away and averted my gaze.
"What's wrong?" he asked.
"This isn't right. We shouldn't be doing this."
Jacob smiled with understanding. "I know this is scary at first, Brian. I thought I'd die when I realized I was gay, but since then, I've discovered that love is always right, if it's real."
My hopeful gaze met his again. "Always?"
"In that case, would you kiss me again?"
My pulse rate accelerated in anticipation. Awesome.
I reworked this a little after the Valentine's Day short story contest. I think it's improved. Comments, edits and suggestions are welcome. Someone suggested it needed a different title. Any thoughts on that?