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Joe waited at the spot where they would usually meet, with flowers in his trembling hands and his bike parked on the side. Today was going to be the day; the day he would ask Ariel out to prom. It didn’t matter if they had never talked before, because he knew she at least knew of his existence. She had to, they always took the same route to and from school since they were kids.
That’s how they first met; she was riding her skateboard and he was on his bike. Some times they would race down that one big hill right before hitting the last block to school, but they never talked about it and they separated by the time they hit the bike racks.That was enough for him. She didn’t have to say anything because he was pretty shy anyways.
Some people thought she was weird and a bit of a loner, but that didn’t matter. He didn’t really care, but it would have been nice to have talked to her once before. Since that didn’t happen, his high school romance seemed liked a lost cause except she would find mysterious ways to lure him back in and he would continue his secret love for her.
He realized quickly that she was nothing like the other girls at school. She was short and small, but could intimidate a bear. She was into punk music, wrestling, and she didn’t talk much but she made her presence known in school. Her group of friends were pretty close to her at all times too, which made it hard for him to talk to her at school. So today would be the day he would talk to her and ask her out, as he waited for her at the corner of the block normally where she would be far enough away from her friends, and close enough to home so he could race back if he was rejected.
Suddenly he heard the familiar scrapping of broken metal on the concrete side-walk, probably from one of her broken back-wheels on her board, and felt his heart palpate faster and his stomach sudden jump to his throat. She was coming fast and unlike every other day, she turned to look at him. That was new, but even stranger was she seemed to be approaching him. His throat felt like closing, as she circled around him on her skateboard a few times. She stopped her board a few feet away from him and faced him with her normal, indifferent stare.
“Hi,” he managed to say.
She was confused for a second.
“Hi,” she nodded back. She got off her board, and she looked at her broken wheel. “I didn’t know you could talk.”
“Oh…” he muttered. He cleared his throat and grunted a little before continuing. “These are for you,” he said, handing the flowers to her.
Ariel dropped her skateboard on the floor before she examined the flowers, then at Joe for a few moments. She slowly took the flowers and nodded again.
“I-I have a card, there,” he pointed at the white folded piece of paper. “You can read it later, when you get home.”
She took the card embedded in the flowers and gave a deadpanned look back at Joe.
“What is this?” she sounded exasperated.
Joe’s nerves were shot by now. “Um…it’s something I wanted you to read.”
She read the card, right there and then, and crushed it in her fist. At his amazement, she didn’t pound on him or say anything. Instead, she rode past him with the flowers at hand. He wondered, did he win? It was done. She knew his intentions and the ball was now in her court. Not a few seconds had passed, when he suddenly heard a loud bang coming from behind.
Joe turned around and saw that Ariel had dumped his flowers in a garbage can, rode away and didn’t bother to look back at him. His hope of progression to any romantic endeavor with Ariel had been trashed.
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