It was time. She’d fought against it for so long.
Eliza waited near his locker after lunchtime. She knew everyone felt happier with a full stomach, and Eric was no exception. Boys were supposed to do this first, and this thought tortured her for the past month. Prom was only a few weeks away, and Eliza knew Eric hadn’t asked anyone yet. But she couldn’t wait forever. She had to take matters into her own hands.
And there he was, coming down the hall. Eliza tried to look distracted on her phone, but that failed miserably. His brown, shoulder-length hair, his muscular arms, and the way he smiled… She could feel her face blushing.
She forgot everything she wanted to say. Eric was only seconds away from talking to her, and he already spotted her and waved. Her legs felt weak, her hands cold, her mind cloudy. He’s just going to say no. He’s going to laugh. Those were the only thoughts that came to mind, and then Eric said hi.
“Hi,” Eliza replied.
“So, what’s up?”
“Umm, you know. Nothing much,” her voice carried a story untold. She had to tell him, but couldn’t.
Eric seemed to sense there was something more, and paused for a bit, the corner of his mouth curling into a smile. Eliza looked into his eyes, opened her mouth as if she wanted to say something, only to quickly close it like a false start.
“Something’s up. I feel like you want to tell me something,” Eric said and smiled even more.
Eliza bit her lip. She felt the silence on her part was making it much more awkward than she thought it would be. It should be so easy, just say, “I really like you and want to go to prom with you, will you be my date?”
Eric laughed, but not mockingly. Eliza realized she said what she thought aloud, her face as red and bright as a strawberry. His laugh disarmed whatever tension remained, but Eliza still felt her heart beating fast and hard.
“Of course, I thought you’d never ask,” he said.
Eliza’s eyes widened. “Wait, what?” she said. “I mean, awesome!” she let out a nervous laugh, which seemed to calm her nerves. “You were waiting for me to ask you?”
Eric slowly nodded. “Well, yeah. I kinda get a bit nervous asking a girl out.”
“Yeah, me too—I mean, not girls, but with guys.” The two of them laughed.
The more they talked, the more they found out how similar they felt. Somehow, all awkwardness melted, all anxiety faded away, and Eliza couldn’t believe how easy it was to talk to her crush. The bell for classes rang, and Eric opened his arms up for a hug. Eliza stepped in and wrapped her arms around him, smiling up to her eyes.