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Skinny Love Overload
Look at me. He’s so great, and I’m just me. I like him so much that it makes me feel dizzy when I stand up. It makes me sick in all the healthy places—so basically, everywhere. He is my best friend, and he asked me to be his prom date about a month ago. And now, I’m here with him.
Well, I’m not actually with him at the moment; I’m in the restroom. I had to get away for a little bit because: a) I still feel self-conscious under the full layer of makeup that my older sister caked and slathered on my face in an attempt to make me look as modelesque and flawless as she is. b) The dance floor has gotten pretty crowded and is currently swarming with hyped up teenagers dancing to—what’s that song the DJ is playing? —It sounds like Rack City. c) Anytime I dance with, talk to, or so much as look at Henry, my friend Minah is somewhere in my vicinity, throwing me silly knowing looks and gleefully mouthing “skinny love” before scampering off to dance with her date.
Skinny love, yeah right. Minah told me that her grandma says it’s when two people love each other, but both are too shy to admit it to one another. My brain laughs a million ha ha’s at the thought of Henry being in any kind of love with me. As I look into the bathroom mirror now, my reflection just confirms it. My nose is too wide, my eyes too squinty, my face too long, and my skin too spotty. I want nothing more than to scrape off this ridiculous makeup and this hindrance of a dress, and cry a small lake into my pillow at the fact that I’ll never be pretty enough. Am I the only person on the planet who likes the way she looks when she cries? My face gets colorfully red, my eyes shine as they swim in tears—as opposed to looking dull and boringly black, as they usually do—my mouth looks painted, even my eyebrows take on an artistically arched form.
I better get back out there. After one last pitiful glance at the mirror, I push open the swinging restroom door and delve into the crowd. I easily spy Henry goofily dancing with some of his equally as shameless pals from the swim team. I stand and watch him from a distance. He’s being incredibly wacky, but somehow manages to appear humorously suave. After a minute or two, the music transitions into a soft slow song. The switch in tempo sifts out a few dateless dancers, who retreat to their tables.
Henry scans the crowd with searching green eyes; the search is over when they land on me. What a feeling, to be something that he is looking for! We meet each other halfway, and he asks me if I’d like to dance. Such a question for him to be asking me. He takes my hand and leads me across the floor. We pass Minah and her date, the former of which taps me lightly on the back and wiggles her eyebrows at me with a taunting grin.
Henry finds a space, stops in his tracks, and locks my waist in his arms; I place my hands behind his neck. We wordlessly sway in time to the music. A very short amount of time passes when I feel something pushing me—no, pulling me. Henry pulling me. Henry pulling me closer to him. Whatever distance that has previously been between us has vanished, along with all control of my heart rate, which is galloping and skipping wildly. My chin is on his shoulder; his warm cheek is pressed against my temple.
If I turn my face to look at him, we will surely be kissing—that’s how close we are. Is that what he wants me to do? A million suns are burning and blazing in my cranium. A gargantuan helium balloon is inflating within my chest. I’m recognizing something: a moment. This is a moment, a chance, which I know I’ll never have again. All I have to do is look at him. And if he kisses me, this sickening not-good-enough feeling will disappear forever and ever, cast off into the universe. If he doesn’t kiss me, then okay. He’ll smile and I’ll smile, and we will continue dancing and all life will continue living. It will only take a second.
Aww, look at Elle and Henry. They’re so adorable. And Elle looks gorgeous tonight; her sister is such a talented makeup artist.
I wish they’d kiss already. If I have to hear either of them whine about how much they like the other, I’ll explode from skinny love overload. If only they both haven’t sworn me to secrecy… I’d let the cat out of the painfully transparent bag.
Wow, Henry’s really squeezing her tight. And the way he’s gazing at the back of her head…you’d think he’s seen an angel or something. Elle does look pretty angelic in that flowing white dress—she’s practically floating. Oh look, Henry keeps screwing his eyes shut and taking these long drawn-out breaths. Is he going to kiss her? No, Elle has to look up. Her head is buried in his shoulder. Look up Elle, damn it! Just. look. up!
I want to look up, but all of a sudden I can’t. The million burning suns have burnt out. The helium balloon has deflated and is currently being incinerated by the acid swishing around in my nervous stomach. I can hear Henry taking deep breaths through his mouth. I probably smell. I didn’t even realize that I was sweating. I bet he thinks I’m disgusting.
The song is finally over. A fast one is playing now. I won’t get another chance. Of that, I am one hundred percent certain. Scratch what I said earlier, about crying a lake into my pillow. Tonight, I’m going to cry an endless ocean.