Love….. by David Macfie

 I cycled past her house for probably the umpteenth time today. I’d been doing figure eights, with the center of the number lined up on her front gate, for at least three quarters of an hour. This had become a regular part of my Saturday morning routine ever since she had arrived at my school about a month ago. It was love at first sight.

Of course, I’d never spoken to her, never even met her. But my feelings didn’t care. Just the thought of her made me go weak at the knees, have heart palpitations and behave like a complete moron. If I wasn’t on my bike I probably wouldn’t even be able to walk, so weak would my wet-spaghetti legs be.

I had visions of what it would be like if I ever did meet her but I don’t really expect that this will happen.

After all, I’m a year younger and at our age that’s a huge chasm. And she’s about the best looking girl in the school so all the older boys had already put her on their radar. They’ve been buzzing about her like flies and she clearly enjoys the attention. But on the positive side, she hasn’t gone out with any of these admirers yet. Also, I’m big for my age and I work out and train a lot, so I’m pretty well built. And although I’m not nearly the tallest boy in the school, I’m not nearly the shortest either. At any rate, I am taller than her.

Pity about the acne and the very introverted personality and the social ineptitude, though. I can say without much fear of disagreement that I’m hardly my – or anyone else’s for that matter – idea of a romantic hero or a knight in shining armor or a stud. In fact I’m at my most comfortable hiding behind something (anything!) with a paper bag on my head. Shy is an under-statement.

I suppose I might have a chance if I got to know her, talked to her, showed her my good side. I’m intelligent, loyal (like a pet dog) not excessively ugly, polite, attentive and I’ve got good legs. But seriously, the idea of walking up to her and asking for a date, terrifies the life out of me.

So here I am, cycling backwards and forwards past her house in the hope of catching a glimpse of her at the window or, even better, being close by when she comes out of her front door. Well, maybe not the second option because that would probably send me rushing off, pedaling like a crazy man and blushing like crazy. Maybe, if she just noticed me cycling past, she’d be so curious about what I am doing there, she’d want to meet me, just to ask.

Maybe and maybe not. Still, if I’m not in it I can’t win it. If I don’t talk to her, I certainly can’t be her boyfriend. On the other hand, if I do and I get rejected, I don’t know if I’ll be able to stand it.

Even at a distance, she’s become part of my life. What will I think about, dream about and fantasize about if she’s not there? My life will be empty. There’s no one else. There can be no one else. She is everything. But the problem is that she doesn’t even know I exist so how can she know if she’d like me or even love me? It’s a conundrum. I’m scared of what will happen if I do talk to her and I’m equally scared of what will happen if I don’t.

But it keeps on coming back to the same thing. I’m damned if I do and I’m damned if I don’t. And one downside of not doing it, is all this endless cycling. And one upside if I do, and I get it right, is that I’d be sitting inside with her instead of sitting on this excruciatingly uncomfortable saddle.

I never realized that love was so difficult, so uncomfortable and so scary. Will I, won’t I? Can I, can’t I? Can she like me, Can’t she like me? Will she like me, won’t she like me? Everything is a question and I have absolutely no answers. Just longing…… for her! This is all so stupid. Why am I not able to walk up to the front door, knock and when she opens, sweep her off her feet?

The handsome hero always manages to do it in the “Soapies”, why not me? Apart from my obvious shortcomings, of course. But it should be possible. I mean, what’s the worst that can happen?

A picture forms in my mind. I’m standing on her doorstep. I have already knocked. Nothing is happening so I knock again. I wait. I wait some more. I get tired of waiting so I start to turn away. The door opens and there she is. Radiantly beautiful but stony faced. She looks me up and down. My heart nearly stops. She stares at me with no expression then she slams the door in my face………. That’s the worst that can happen.

My day-mare has distracted me and I haven’t been watching. I nearly hit a parked car and in swerving to miss it, I notice a guy striding along the pavement towards her house. I recognize him from school. He’s a senior and he’s the baddest guy in the school. He’s been nearly expelled four times for fighting, swearing at everyone, drinking, smoking and taking drugs. I don’t want him to see me so I take my bike behind the parked car and peek over the top. He’s kind of handsome in a greasy sort of way, skinny and shorter than me. And his legs are stick thin.

I watch in morbid fascination. He surely isn’t coming to her house?

Hell and damnation, he is coming to her house. He saunters up to the front door and gives it a tappet-tap. It opens instantly and there she is. Radiantly beautiful and smiling warmly from ear to ear. They hug and she pulls him inside.

My heart breaks into tiny pieces. I climb onto my bike and cycle slowly away. Close to tears, I think – no, that’s the worst that can happen.

Love sucks!