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Man of My Dreams

By:Faith Andrews

To the man of my dreams and the two beautiful girls we created together. I love you always, forever and a day.

I pace the pale green carpet in my room, back and forth, over and over, twirling a chunk of my hair into an unruly knot. “Do you think he’ll be there, Grace? I really don’t want to go if he’s not.” I don’t hide the embarrassing fact that I have no desire to attend this thing if Noah isn’t going. Grace gets me, even if she thinks it’s pathetic to swoon over the one person I am invisible to.

But this is my last shot.

High school will officially be over soon. Sure, I’ve done my job of cozying up to Noah. We’d swapped calculus notes a bunch of times, sat together in the cafeteria for lunch on occasion and even attended the same parties on the weekends now and then. He may even consider me a friend, but there is nothing special that ties the two of us together. And soon we’ll graduate and go our separate ways.

“You have to go, Mia. Who cares if he’s not there? Your friends will be. And besides, you’ve spent the last four years popping up where you knew he’d be. Look where it got you.”

I take the cordless phone away from my ear, and stare at it, practically snarling. I don’t need a reminder of what a loser I am. “Yeah, yeah, I know. You’re right. But what about the what if? This has to happen. I have to kiss him before he leaves for college and I never get the chance again.”

“Arrggghhh!” Grace groans in agony. “Mia, I love you like a sister, but you have got to stop this! You could have any guy in that school and you can’t stop obsessing over the only one who has no idea you exist. I swear, if he’s there tonight I’m going to flip out on him for being so blind.”

“You wouldn’t dare!” I growl into the phone.

“Too bad this isn’t middle school. I would just dare you to a round of seven minutes in heaven or spin the bottle!” We giggle together at the thought, but deep down inside I actually wish she could do just that.

A silly game may force him to understand the connection. Because I know if we ever touched—in that way—it would be like a thousand sparks of meant-to-be coming to a culmination. Surely he’d realize what he was missing out on. And I—who am I kidding? I wouldn’t be able to form a sentence, let alone explain to the guy that I’m the girl destined for him.

Grace interrupts my pointless train of thought. “Mia, we’re going. It’s your rite as a senior. And I have to live vicariously through you because you won’t be here for my senior year in that crappy hell hole of a Catholic school. We’ve always had a good time with Lisa and Kristen without Noah. And when you’re all away at college you’re going to regret that you didn’t go to these last few parties because of your Noah obsession.”

I hate to admit it, but she is right.

I’ve lived the last four years on the edge of my seat just hoping and praying for the opportunity to be in his presence. It’s absurd—I am absurd! If I ever have a daughter, I will be sure she knows that no guy, no matter how hot, is worth making her second guess herself, making her consume her day around his every move.

“Fine, we’ll go.” I whine, resigning to the fact that I’ll probably still have a good time, even if he doesn’t show.

I hang up the phone and drag my feet to the closet, taking a good look around. I want to make a lasting impression. Make sure that even if I don’t get my wish tonight, Noah will remember how pretty I looked. Fat chance! Frustrated, I slide the closet shut, staring at my plain-Jane reflection in the mirrored door. Lifeless dirty blond waves and too-big brown eyes. Am I even Noah’s type? Hopefully, I’ll find out tonight.

I know I’m hovering over the threshold to Loser-ville, but I’m alone in my room so I mutter to myself, “Please God, let him be there, please, please, please.”

When we walk into Lisa’s, Kristen and a few of the other girls from my school are already huddled around a bowl of Doritos, gossiping. I help to fill the bowls with chips and pretzels, half-listening to the girls’ incessant chattering. My mind, however, is back on just one thing. The same one thing that’s always on my mind. Noah.

Maybe I should just ask if he’s coming. At least this way if he’s not, I can set the tone for the evening, get the sour mood out of the way and enjoy some of the night. But if he is coming—there’s a lot more internal preparation I need to do for that. Forget it! I decide not to ask; I don’t want Lisa to think that the possibility of being in the same room with Noah is the only reason I showed up tonight. Even though, really, it kind of is.