When we first met…he was just a guy off the block. I was the ordinary girl next door. Plump, 15 years old and clumsy, I loved sports and was always disappointed when I was not selected to represent my house for any athletic activity. It didn’t help that I was an extrovert who has no looks. Deep down, I knew that people liked me for my jokes and not for my looks. It bothered me that I was not considered for any dates or dances.
I took up basket ball when I realised that I could practice it at my backyard. I didn’t have to please anyone and it didn’t matter if I wasn’t a pro at it. It gave me a release to just play. I would braid my long hair every evening and tuck it in a cap before I played for an hour. One evening, after an hour of aimless playing, I heard a voice commenting on my aim.
“Aim more to the left. You have a good arm”
Not a soul in sight. The backyard had a few trees outside the fence.
I asked looking around.
“To your right… Look at the tree house.”
The voice continued as I looked up. It was the next door guy. I had never seen him up close. He looked tall and his legs were stretched out in from of him. He was lying on a hammock tied to the tree branches.
“Who are you?” I asked, I felt conscious and started to blush. I was wearing a blue T shirt that had a Care Bear on it and I was sweating buckets. I looked like a lumpy mess. I hated it when people saw me this way. I felt angry that this ‘dude’ decided to watch me play without a warning.
“We have not been introduced…” he said as he sat up and climbed down to my backyard effortlessly. “ The name is Alexander, my friends call me Xander.” He appeared in front of me. He was tall and I had to look up. His grey eyes had a piercing look in them.
I blushed when I realised that I was staring and muttered a “Hi…”
“I am sorry to disrupt you play….I watch every evening. You can be good at the play if you observe a few rules.”
“Am I embarrassing you? I am sorry. I just know the game. Would you rather I leave? ” He inquired.
I was tongue tied. I hated the way I looked. “No, show me how to play”
We spent the next hour learning new moves and playing. It was fun. Xander was quite a charmer. He played well and I loved the way he smiled. He had dimples when he smiled. His room faced mine and it was easy to climb up to my window from his tree house. By the time the sun has set, I made a new friend and it was a guy. I felt thrilled.
Every evening he would appear to play and we played and learned all sorts of moves. I began to enjoy the exercise. I often wondered why I never met Xander at school. I was sure he would be every girl’s heart throb. I would be proud to say that I had his undivided attention every evening. Secretly, I was glad that he was not at our school. All the pretty girls would have all his attention. I hated myself for being selfish about him. I never spoke of him to my friends. My brother would occasionally join us to play and then disappear back to his books. Xander began to come home during the weekends to play video games with my brother and occasionally look over my shoulder at some algebra or school work. He was always encouraging me on how to get it done better. Some nights, he would climb up to my window to share something interesting like a book or CD. It felt wonderful to be thought of and it made me happy. It never occurred to me that he was unhappy, not until a year has passed by.
What happened next? Continue reading here