Disclaimer: All characters belong to their respective owners and others associated with legal rights.

Author's note: I've had this story sitting in my notebook for some time. In the movie, Clifford came off as sensible and mature-a clear thinking young man compared to the rest of his peers. But would he be as confident when it came to girls? I decided to play with this idea and make him a little not-so-confident when it came to his own feelings. The girl in question? I dunno, I just threw a girl there so what she looks like can be up to you, the readers. Will Clifford be able to pull off asking her out on a date? I believe so :)

And yeah, yeah, you probably already noticed my heavy preference to the Ricky/Shelley pairing XD

Go Clifford!


"Clifford Struggles"


"Hi, my name is Clifford. You and I have English together with Ms. Jump. Heh, well, yeah, you probably already know that. Um… I was just wondering if you'd wanna go out sometime?"

He stared dumbfounded at his own reflection in the bathroom mirror and saw that his entire face was glowing red.

"Ugh."

He ran his hands over his face a couple of times, allowing time for his emotions to calm down. Swallowing a couple of gulps of air, he tried again, this time with a smooth looking smile.

"Hey, how about that English assignment?" He chuckled. "You think you'll be needing any help with it? Oh, you do? I'm free this weekend if you wanna… go the movies afterward? My dad runs a nice hotel we can eat at…" He suddenly faltered. "No, no… wait…"

Now he was sounding desperate. He didn't want to frighten the poor girl. He needed to get this down right so when he was ready, he would come off as suave-not stupid.

"Okay." Clearing his throat, he took another stab. "Hey, you probably already know me. I sit a few rows away from you in English. Do you want to go out sometime? We can… um…"

His voice trailed off and he stared helplessly at his reflection. Defeat was eminent in his eyes alone.

Why did asking a girl out have to be so hard? It shouldn't be. Growing up, he was surrounded by adults and in his private schools, he was with other well educated and articulated students. Asking someone out should be a piece of cake. So why was his skin changing colors like a chameleon and his voice cracking?

Practicing in front of a mirror should have been a sensible way to build his self-confidence. Yet every time he started talking, his own image vanished and was replaced by the gorgeous girl in his English class: soft looking skin, beautiful eyes, moist pink lips…

Squeezing his eyes shut, he leaned his forehead against the mirror and groaned. He just had to go about this alone, didn't he? Though he had thought about asking his father for advice in the beginning, he didn't want to bother him during his hectic hours managing the hotel. The poor guy had enough stress to handle. Plus, he didn't want to get his hopes up if things didn't turn out well. His feisty grandmother would no doubt become aware of his situation soon enough, because she seemed to know everything that was going on. He knew she would advise him to be honest with his feelings and just flat out ask the girl out.

I'm trying to, I'm trying to, he kept thinking to himself as he pushed back against the wall behind him and tilted his head up to the ceiling, eyes opening once more.

Most of his friends wouldn't be of any help to him, because while they were good friends (he never questioned that), they just weren't experienced enough in the dating world. The only ones that came to mind were Linderman and Shelley. But then again, Shelley was the one who asked Linderman out. The big guy, who probably frightened more girls than attracted them, got into the dating scene only because the quirky and upbeat girl took the bull by the horns with her own churning feelings.

Things would be a lot easier if that same thing happened to him. But of course it wouldn't happen, because life wanted to challenge him. Plus, he would just imagine both Linderman and Shelley telling him the same thing that Gramma would tell him: just ask the girl out.

"I'm trying," he said out loud.

Looking over at his reflection once more, he decided to give it another go. Though sadly, he couldn't help but feel that confronting bullies seemed a heck of a lot easier than this.