Just last week, I was the normal Macy Adams. I was the Macy who pursued nothing but my future, the Macy who cared more about test scores than anything else. I was, well, perfect. Smart. Organized. I was the kid who, in third grade, made a list of each step that would lead me to my dream job: a neurosurgeon. I was the kid who managed mountains of notes and homework and tolerated no, and I mean absolutely no, distractions. My school binder is, in essence, a state-of-the-art, chronologically organized, prioritized, and (not to mention) color-coded masterpiece, including all of my goals for the rest of my education. And I intend to follow it to the most miniscule detail. Or at least, I did. The truth is, I forgot to account for one thing in my seemingly-comprehensive plans: the possibility of a crush.
Let's go back to last Tuesday morning. I was walking through Valley High School’s hand-sanitizer-and-graphite-scented hallways when I was immediately flanked by my two best friends, Sasha and Vivi. For our morning stroll, of course.
We’re an unlikely group of friends - I mean, look at us. I’m short with long, blonde hair and wear a simple sweater; I am noticeably plain compared to Sasha, who flaunts a shockingly pink trench coat that somehow complements her caramel complexion. From her effortless curls to her elegant silver earrings, you can tell that she is probably the best-dressed in the entire building. Beside her, Vivi sports a simple baby blue dress with her short, dark hair in a ponytail. She might seem innocent, but her almond-shaped eyes mask a complete madwoman, and her pockets hide a full set of two inch-long, neon-orange acrylic nails.
We’ve been stuck together like glue since freshman year, and we've kept each other sane through two years of high school. I wouldn’t trade our friendship for anything.
Usually, our morning walk is uneventful, but today something catches Sasha’s eye. Or, rather, someone.
“Who is that?” Sasha murmurs, eyebrows raised.
“Who?” I ask, staring at the speckled tile floor.
“Him.” She raises an eyebrow and smiles slyly. I roll my eyes. Sasha is always interested in some guy or another. “I’ve never seen him before. Maybe he’s new?”
“Ooh, he’s actually cute,” Vivi whispers in agreement.
“And, he could use some company,” Sasha croons, turning to look at me. They burst into giggles. I roll my eyes.
“Seriously, you two…” I look up from the floor tiles and - there he is.
He is leaning against the brick wall, eyes closed. He is tall and lean, with messy brown hair swept to one side and a perfect jaw. He. Is. Gorgeous.
I swallow and shake my head, mentally suffocating any butterfly stirring in my stomach. Get it together, I think.
“Well, someone is speechless,” Sasha whisper-giggles. She and Vivi look at each other with a glint in their eyes. My stomach sinks - they’re up to something. Their hands reach the back of my bookbag and start moving, no, pushing me toward the guy. No, no no! I silently plead with my eyes, but it’s too late. Sasha and Vivi plop me down at my destination and promptly dash around the hallway and around the corner, leaving a trail of laughter behind.
I hold my breath, staring at his closed eyes, which are only a few inches from my face. I can still escape, I think. I turn around slowly, rolling my foot down carefully with each step. My heartbeat echoes in my throat. One step, two… SQUEAK! I wince, already feeling his eyes on the back of my neck. I whirl around, putting on the most genuine smile I can muster.
“Hey, I’m Macy. How are you doing?” I manage to get out. I can practically feel my vocal cords roll their eyes.
“Oh, hey. I’m Alex,” he says in a smooth voice, running his fingers through his soft hair. Something inside myself longs to do the same.
“Cool.” I swallow, suddenly aware of my burning cheeks. I clench my hands in nervousness and try to look away, but somehow, I can’t stop staring into his eyes.
“Well, I hope we have a class together or something. See you around.” He stuffs his hands back into the pockets of his hoodie as I turn around.
“Yeah. Bye,” I reply reluctantly. He waves as I walk away. Why do I sound so dumb? I think, annoyed.
I don’t even make it down the hallway before Vivi and Sasha appear out of nowhere at my side.
“Ohmygosh,” Sasha pants.
“I literally just said 'hi',” I mutter. “It was nothing.” I inhale slowly. I am not interested in Alex. I am not interested in anyone. I am Macy Adams. Yet, I don’t know why I can’t stop thinking about him. Vivi reads my mind.
“Macy, you’re totally into him,” Vivi squeals, tucking in strands of her hair with her sunset-colored nails. I try to disagree, but I betray myself and I look back down the hallway at Alex. He moves his deep brown eyes to meet mine. My heart flutters. Sasha, watching from behind me, bounces with excitement.
“And he is totally into you! Gosh, I can’t wait. When are y’all getting married?” she bubbles. It’s Vivi’s turn to roll her eyes.
“You two, I’m not going to get with some guy. I have things to do,” I explain, finally clearing my mind. I push my feelings down into my stomach.
“Things like what? Imagining your future with him?” Sasha pretends to daydream.
“Nope. Working toward my actual future. Come on. It’s Tuesday morning and I have biology.” I motion down the hallway. Reluctantly, Sasha and Vivi start walking. Great, you have a crush, I sigh to myself. No more distractions.
“Gosh, you’re so boring, Macy,” Sasha whines.
“Yup, I am,” I mutter. Our footsteps echo through the hallway.
Little did I know how “unboring” this week would become.