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One Mistake, A Thousand Regrets
My best friend sat next to me, and was probably talking about how gross my school-bought lunch was, or how she saw something funny on Saturday Night Live. I couldn’t concentrate on the happenings of a bunch of thirteen year olds when I saw him walk over to her.
He walked funny. It was that classic walk of the egomaniac teenager. He was headed towards the girl on the very end of the table. Not mine; I was watching the rest of my day crumble before me across the cafeteria. He had walked over to one of my friends, Kaleigh. Kaleigh was the new girl at the beginning of this year, and was best friends with Derek. Derek was great buddies with the guy I had hopelessly watched for three years, Erik.
Erik was my best friend. He fell for me the second he met me; it took me an hour after I met him. I have a low self esteem when it comes to a lot of things, like guys. I was convinced he didn’t like me. I wanted to hear it from him, not from our mutual friends. Not from my best friends in the world. Not from the way he looked at me, or the way he talked to me, making me feel like the only one in the entire multiverse of things beyond Earth. Not the way he had a look in his eyes as if he’d left something unsaid.
As I watched Erik tower over Kaleigh, a ten second conversation became ten minutes as I had a sudden flashback. It was in February, two years ago. I was sitting next to the same people, sitting in the same end seat with one across from me.
I was younger and dumber. I didn’t think things through. I was still the tomboy I am today; the girl who played sports with guys and who you could play Pardon the Interruption with- and lose to.
The empty seat across from me was suddenly occupied by a jock, Jason. Jason, at the time, was close friends with Erik. Jason was obviously here for business.
“Do you like Erik?” He asked, quite casually.
I’d been in the middle of a conversation with the girl beside me. I quickly said ‘no’, considering my pulse was skyrocketing. Jason nodded, and ran back to his lunch table. The look I saw on Erik’s face was…there were no words for it.
Erik and I didn’t talk the rest of the day.
I lied. Big time. I liked Erik a lot.
I zoomed back into reality, but my mind kept thinking about what happened two years ago. I have no idea what Kayleigh and Erik were talking about, and if it even had to do with Derek at all. The rest of the day, I just sat in my seat, or I sulked in the bathroom.
I was still attracted to Erik. And I regret not saying anything before.