That's why I found it quite strange when no one was waiting for me. I had received a note earlier that day, in my shoe locker requesting that I meet whomever the sender was in a particular classroom after club activities were over. Even though I had judged it to be some kind of stupid prank, I obliged and standing outside the aforementioned classroom that very afternoon, it was only then that I actually cared to wonder what the summons could possibly be about.
It wasn't a girl, that was for sure. My recent activities likely had trashed my reputation beyond recognition and I imagine those stains of infamy would follow me all the way to my grave. I didn't really want to think of what guys would ask me to drop into this scenario ripped right out of a love comedy.
Halting that train of thought, I opened the door and stepped inside. That's when the feeling hit, not exactly painful or sickly, but I felt its presence nonetheless. Wiping my eyes, I surveyed the room. Not a soul. What a lame prank.
I waited for an hour before leaving for home.
The next day was much of the standard routine. No surprise clothes-changing session, but a frantic afternoon of orders, arguing, and near fisticuffs. A lack of prank notes in my shoelocker brought an early departure from me, the desire for extrication from the Devil's Clubroom overwhelming any thoughts of my short-term punishment.
On the way home I spotted her. A subject of occasional conversation, yet remaining as a distant star as long as my afternoons were consumed by the brigade's activities.
"Yo!" I greeted. "Homeroom responsibilities keeping you busy?"
I jogged up to match her pace and she smiled, recognizing me. "No, actually. I was waiting for someone I needed to talk to."
She nodded. "It was getting late and I thought it would still be quite a while before he left, so I started walking home."
"Why can't you talk to him at lunch or something? Is he an upperclassman?"
She laughed. "No, just a person whose club activities tend to get in the way of things. It's an interesting club, so I don't blame him. Well, since you managed to get out early, can I take a bit of your time?"
I shot her a thumbs up and a smile to match her own. "I've got all the time in the world."
We ended up walking to a park a few blocks down from where I live. She bought drinks and even though it offered me no place to set my juice down, we decided to hold our conversation at the swingset. Deep in my gut I still felt that something monumentally important had failed to occur yesterday, but honestly, that wasn't really important. This was the class representative. AA+, or so I've heard.
"First of all," she said. "I'd like to apologize for not meeting with you yesterday like I had requested. I was about to arrive, but then all of a sudden I felt queasy...it's so strange. Anyway, I went home immediately after that. I'm really sorry."
I raised up calming hands. "Don't worry about it. I wasn't doing anything anyway."
"The truth is, I need your advice."
"I'm currently stuck in a very irritating position. Every day is passing by the same as always. Sure, there are responsibilites and other things to worry about but barring that there's nothing to distinguish one second from the next. Especially when I'm stuck in a non-active role, I feel like I'm going to explode out of frustration."
I sighed. "I know the feeling."
"That's why I think that some action needs to be taken. Even if it's not a guaranteed path of improvement, even if it may end up being for the worst. Isn't that much better than clinging to a stalemate?"
I nodded in agreement.
"Aha!" She smiled again. "I knew you would see it from my point of view. Now I'm glad that I didn't talk to you yesterday. I was going to kill you but I think this is better. Let's go out! Write down your cell phone number and give it to me."
A generation could pass and you wouldn't hear a confession like that.
I did as requested, not being able to mask the confusion on my face.
"Good good! This is wonderful. This will surely be the thing to end this monotony." She snatched up the piece of paper and waved to me. "It's getting a little late so I should be off. See you tomorrow!"
I waved back weakly. "Okay."