I ran down the stairs out of the library. I was fourteen, quite an accomplishment, considering how clumsy I was. I was holding a large stack of books that I had checked out. I was addicted to stories and I often tried to find books on how to be non-clumsy. I tried yoga and dancing and gymnastics but I was awful at them all and gymnastics had resulted in broken bones. I liked to swim, there wasn't much for me to mess up on. I mean, I wasn't necessarily great at it but it was something I could put my whole heart and anger into without breaking anything or myself. Always a plus, you know? Anyway, I ran down the stairs out of the library. I should've known better. I mean, they were steep. And I'm not deep. I of course tripped and fell. My books went everywhere and so did my gangly teenage limbs. I groaned. I fell down almost a whole flight of stairs. My entire body ached. You'd think I would be used to such tragedies by now. But I wasn't. I tried to stretch the numb are that I had fell onto. Somehow, although numb, it ached immensely. Hey, I am weird. Fact of life. I put my head back onto the steps and hit it way to hard. I groaned again. I suddenly became aware of the fact that someone was directly in front of me. A guy. Not a guy, I thought, horrified. Probably thinks he's gonna be heroic or something by helping me up. "Hey," I said.
"You fell." He was smiling rather annoyingly.
"Shocker." I sat up slightly and began to pick up my books. I counted them as I piled them into my arms. "One... two... three... four... five...."
"Six." The guy placed a book on my pile.
I chuckled nervously. "Hey, uh, you don't need to help me. I've totally got this under control." I reached to pick up another book and the rest toppled back onto the sidewalk. "Heh-heh. I'm good."
"Yep. Really. I'm doing good today. I mean, I haven't given myself a concussion yet."
"Is that normal?"
"Hmm. Maybe." I continued to pick up books.
"How many do you have?"
"Reading is the only thing I'm good at to be honest. I'm okay at swimming, but I can't dance, yoga's not my thing, and I nearly got myself killed in gymnastics. So yeah, my life in a sentence." I glared at him, daring that stupid smile to object.
"Well, maybe you should try something else," he suggested. "Like, you know, wrestling. You're clearly not good at co-ordination. Yes, I'll just wrestle with the brothers and sisters that I don't have," I snapped bitterly.
"Mom's pregnant but that doesn't do me any good right now. So yeah, I'll just wait thirteen years to find something that doesn't require balance or anything like that."
"You could wrestle me."
"Ha! So what, I could die at your hands. Yes, very heroic."
"Heroic? Shut up. I'm not trying to be heroic. I'm just saying you're interesting and I'm trying to help you out. I mean really, accept my help please. Yes, and I know what you're going to say next. Interesting means that I have never seen anyone be so open about how clumsy they are. I mean, that's really fascinating. People don't like admitting their mistakes but you don't seem to mind," he observed.
"Wrong. It's not a mistake that I make. I'm a mistake in the making."
"Don't say that. It's not true. That's shooting yourself down. Love yourself."
"Thank you for the lovely pep talk," I said. "Goodbye."
"See you, I guess. What's your name?"
I pushed my mussed up black hair out of my eyes. "Jeannie. You?"
He stuck his hands into his jeans and shrugged. "What's it matter? Not like you'll ever see me again."
"Tell me your name."
He grinned at me. "If you must know, it's Jesse. Jesse Withers."
"You just objected to telling me your name, then you tell me your last name? Really backwards buddy," I scoffed. I turned around and started to walk away. He was cute but he weirded me out a little. Besides he was very cryptic. In my opinion anyway.
"I want your last name, that's why."
"No chance darling."
"Jeannie," he begged.
Jesse's eyes widened abruptly. "Ah. That explains it. Thank you, Jeannie Star. If I were you, I'd watch the world closely. Just a suggestion."
"It could change your life. So be careful. Stay safe."
"Oh, don't worry about me. Not yet at least."
Could you be a little less vague? "Okay. Good bye." And Jeannie walked away.