Susie POV

Let me die. Let me die. Let me die. After that scene in English class I wish I could just completely disappear. Not only have I been embarrassed beyond belief, I may have just lost my best friend. That idiotic Calvin! He ruins everything.

I'm currently in the bathroom, hiding from anyone and everyone. My goody-two shoes sense is telling me I have to leave soon, or else I'll be marked as truant. Someone like me does not simply skip class. I decide to leave the bathroom, and go straight to the office and ask to be signed out. I'll figure out an excuse. I look at myself in the mirror before going. I look horrible. It looks as though I've been crying for the past 15 minutes, which is unfortunately accurate. I splash water on my face, and leave the bathroom before anyone I know comes in and sees me. I half walk, half sprint to the office.

Before going in, I start to think of my alternatives. The simplest one is to say I'm sick, which isn't really a lie because I'm feeling pretty nauseous. I push open the door, and slowly walk inside. The receptionist looks up from her desk for a moment, but then does a double-take. I guess my attempt to look presentable failed.

"What happened?" she demands. That's flattering.

"I don't feel well. My stomach hurts and I'm really sick. I need to go home." I try to sound desperate.

"Of course you do! I'll just call your mom to pick you up."

"No—I mean, she's working. I live close-by. I can just walk." She can't call my mom. She would never let me leave, no matter how sick I look.

"Hm… I have to call her anyway though. School policy."

"Please don't! She'll just worry! I'll call her when I get home." She types in something on her computer and reads something on the monitor, while I wonder if she'll let me go.

"I see you have high marks, and you are never late to class. This once I'll let you leave without calling, but just because you are a good student." She smiles at me, and I'm glad I've caught her in a good mood. I sign a couple sheets, and she enters my illness into the school records, and I'm free to leave.

As I turn to go she says, "Wait!"

I freeze, worried she could tell I wasn't really sick.

"You dropped your pen!" she states. I breathe a sigh of relief. "Get well soon!" she tells me.

"I'll try!" I say as I run out the office and head home.

The entire walk home I check over my shoulder to make sure no one (Calvin!) was following me. I run up my front steps, throw open the door, and slam it shut. I lock the door, something we rarely do. I sprint upstairs and close myself in my room. For a while I just sit numbly, my mind uncomprehending of how crazy today was. I must have been sitting there for over an hour, because the phone rings, and it turns out to be someone from my school. Specifically my good friend Sarah, who happens to be in my English class. This is exactly what I wanted to avoid, but now I suppose it's inevitable. I pick up the phone with a sigh.

"Hello?"

"You know it's me. You have caller ID."

"Nice to see you too, Sarah."

"You know why I'm calling. Dish. Tell it all."

"I don't really want to talk about it. I kind of just want to forget about it, and then maybe it will go away."

"So you're calling Calvin 'it'. I don't think he'll be that easy to forget."

"Ugh. I know. I wish I could."

Sarah makes a noise of frustration. "You are so weird. A cute guy professes his love for you in a brave way, and you think it's the end of the world. Imagine how hard it is for him. Or Beth!"

"I guess… But isn't it creepy?"

"What are you smoking? It's romantic! He tried to ask you out, and he was really creative. Then you run out of the room, leaving him embarrassed. Not to mention how Beth made a fool of herself."

"Yeah… I don't know. I guess I'm not one for surprises, romantic or otherwise."

"Apparently not. I'm so jealous. I would go out with Calvin anytime! If you don't want him, can you drop hints about me?"

"Um no. Do it yourself."

"Glad to know you're always there for me."

"I don't want to!"

Sarah grumbled a bit into the receiver.

"What did you say?"

"I said you were rude, if you really must know."

"Aw, I'm sorry! I didn't mean to offend you, but I really don't need to have that awkward conversation with him."

"Not that! Ok, maybe a bit of that. I was talking about how you treated Calvin. You were pretty insensitive. You brutally rejected him in public, and ran away!"

"I didn't technically reject him!" I didn't say a single word.

"Your exit was pretty clear."

"Fine. I'll apologize. Happy?"

"Yes. Be good, ok?"

"I'll try," I say sarcastically, and then slam down my phone.

I leave my room, and go to a window. I can see Calvin's house from here. I wonder if I have been overreacting this whole time. I could believe that if it wasn't for the whole episode where he yelled at an inanimate object. And how my mom told me he had some issues. Other than those tiny concerns, this seems like a reasonable idea. I see Calvin emerge from his house, and my first instinct is to flee, and draw the blinds. I hear Sarah's voice telling me to be good. I force myself to look at Calvin, and not let my prior judgements taint it.

He sits on a bench outside his house for a while, an envelope in his hands and a slight smile on his face. I think of Sarah's comment about how he's cute, and I try to see it. If I'm honest with myself, he is pretty attractive. He has messy blond hair that some guys may spend hours using gel to produce, while he must wake up with his like that. He's average height, but is reasonably built in the arms and chest. His eyes are a grey-blue that change sometimes. I shake my head, forcing myself out of the world where I can stare at Calvin and ignore his personality.

Just as I do this, he stands up and walks down his driveway. He turns when he reaches the sidewalk and heads towards my house. I freeze up for a moment. In an instant I decide that I absolutely must see what he's doing, and that he absolutely cannot see me while I do this. I run to a window upstairs with a sort of bamboo or wood shade pulled over it. I can see through it, but Calvin can't see me.

He advances, and I hope that he keeps walking past my house, without even a glance. Unfortunately, this does not occur. He walks up my driveway, heading up slowly, and a bit uncertainly. A small part of me is excited that he is coming to see me, while the rest of me tries to stop this feeling.

The envelope he was holding on his bench is still in his hands, and he glances at it nervously now. He seems lost in thought, when suddenly he shakes his head and jogs up to door and places it on our welcome mat. I'm anxious to see what it says, but am still determined not to show myself to him yet.

After a painstakingly long amount of time, Calvin is finally back in his house. I wait a few more minutes for good measure, but I can't stand still with the mystery of the letter waiting for me. I try to reason with myself. It's probably something for my parents. Or a letter of apology. Or an invitation to a party someone he knows is throwing. It might even just be some notes I missed in class. No need to get my hopes up high. Not that I'm be hoping for anything.

Even with all my rationalizing, I realize that this letter can only be one thing. I quickly open my door, grab the letter, and slam it closed again. I run up the stairs to my room, even though I'm partly dreading opening this. I sit on my bed and turn over the envelope in my hands. On it, written in neat writing is simply "Susie". I rip it open and read the handwritten letter.

Dear Susie,

I would love to talk to you about this in person, but I figured after today's English class, that wouldn't be possible. As you probably now know, I like you. I would've liked to go out with you. I understand if you want to say no, but I'm hoping you'll reconsider. I'm sorry I surprised you in class and embarrassed you and your friend. I couldn't contain it, and I was hoping you'd feel the same way as I did. Here's my official asking you out:

Susie, you are gorgeous. Your smile makes you dazzling, your face makes you pretty, your body makes you sexy, but your mind makes you incredibly beautiful. Would you please accompany me on a date sometime in the very near future?

That's all I have to say. Sorry again, and I hope at the very least you can forgive me, even if you don't want to see me again. Please let me know your decision as soon as you can.

Love,

Calvin

*Call me at 671-555-1234* (or just come next door)

I'm in shock by the time I finish. My initial jitters changed to stress at his proposal. Then it went to embarrassed and bashful as he described me. I felt remorse at his last lines. Did he really think I was that harsh? I feel stupid for running, and now I realize how much it must have hurt him.

I decide to give him a shot. It's not fair to judge him without knowing how he is. I take a deep breath, because even though I know this is the right thing to do, it scares me. A million possible endings flash through my mind, trying to get me to reverse my choice. I pluck up the courage, and get off my bed before I scare myself out of it. In black Sharpie I write "YES" on a sheet of paper and stuff it in an old envelope. I scrawl "Calvin" on the front, wishing my writing was neater. I push myself out of my bedroom, all the way out my front door. I sprint across the part of my lawn that we share with Calvin's family. Jumping up his steps, I drop the envelope and ring the doorbell. Then, using as much energy as I have, I race back into my house and shut the door. I look out to see if he saw me. I arrive in time to see him open the door. He looks around for a bit before spotting my note. He immediately tears it open, and scans it only for a moment. A smile breaks out across his face, confirming that I made the right verdict.

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