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Author's note: I wrote this when my friends and I had difficulty finding a romantic comedy that was also a bit realistic in the Young Adult section at our local Barnes & Noble (tired of Twilight and a girl can only read Meg Cabot's beloved books so many times!). We are Generation X (as many supposedly call us), the generation of technology and mass media communication, and we need a book that comprises of such. Spies are new and allow young adult readers to escape into a world they know of--a world of technology and vision, while also receiving the fantasy appeal that comes from reading books.
“Already?” her parents asked.
“Yes, the ticking hand of the clock draws near.”
The tall stiff man, a professor of obscure sorts, lifted the toddler in his arms and stared deep into her sparkling brown eyes. Funny, he thought. She didn’t kick, scream, or ask why a stranger was holding her. She just stared back into his own eyes, dull and hackneyed from life’s experiences. Staring, as if she was trying to read him like a book. Likewise, the professor himself tried to read her as well, except he couldn’t quite grasp what page she was on.
The professor placed her back on the floor, leaned, sighed, and stroked his jaw. It was decided.
“She belongs in my class for exceptionally talented children. Please call me with any concerns,” the professor gave the parents his business card and sped back to Operation Anachucada’s headquarters. His thoughts centered back on the young girl he just met. He didn’t know if she would turn out the way he hoped, but one thing was for sure, though:
She was different. And he needed her
“Mom! I’m leaving. Catch you later.”
“At 11:05 at night? Where?”
Crap. Hurry Kam, make up something. “Um, Tucci has a crisis. She can’t find her bifocals. Must help. Bye!”
And with that I slipped through the door, swinging it shut behind me.
Yes, I lied. But it didn’t matter. I had been lying for years. It was just what was done for those who worked in Operation Anachucada. Years of lying, lying, and oh, more lying. I really hated it, but the minute I thought about how many lives I’d saved, my parents’ included, I didn’t feel so guilty anymore. I hustled to my motorcycle and the engine started with a “vroom”. I unlocked my GPS, pressed the Transparent Shield to hide me from any onlookers that happened to be dwelling at night, and switched on the GNS, global navigation system, which showed where every member of Anachucada was at any given moment. It came in quite handy whenever I wanted to stalk people, like anyone with a Facebook would know.
I breathed in the fresh midnight dew. In just a few minutes, I would be there. The Anachucada. A network of teenager spies saving adults from self-destruction. Adults seemed to do that a lot these days. The first words out of a caught red-handed politician are always, “I didn’t do it”. We at Anachucada help them confess and seek healthier lives. The world ‘adulterate’ didn’t come from nowhere. Has anyone ever heard of ‘teenagerate’ or ‘childerate‘?
I swerved to a stop and sucked back the Transparent Shield. I would be visible from the moment I stepped off the motorcycle until I reached the front entrance. The building in front of me seemed like a dwindling run-down poor shack that even hobos would want to stay away from. But the secret was that that was what it appeared to be to the general public before someone stepped through the invisible golden bubble cover that enveloped the campus. Once through the protective membrane, the campus transformed into the glorious massive university complex that awaited before me. A huge python sculpture curved proudly at the entrance and a 1,029 foot long golden cobra wrapped itself around the entire campus. Leaning towers of flamboyant green and yellow colors attracted my every sense as they stood analogous to the main building of black shiny core.
The lush, coconut aroma filled my lungs and I became high with love for my alternate identity. I seriously did not know what I would do without my spy position. I got to fight crime, kick ass, and stay out past curfew. What more did a sixteen-year-old girl need? Well, besides a nice boy and guaranteed early admission to her first choice college.
Getting inside the complex was tricky. After the recent bout in 2001 where an innocent little boy just happened to venture into the building unnoticed, the Spy-techies worked fast and furious to innovate their newest shining glory-- the Wrap of Illusion. Not only did the appearance of the complex completely distort itself to hideous proportions, but the Wrap scanned every particle of one’s body before entrance. If the DNA didn’t match a piece of DNA already on file, the alarms would sound and before you knew it, you were tranquilized and put to inspection before the nurses at the Spyospital. More often than not, your memory got zapped and you would be brought to the nearby police station, labeled as “under the influence”.
I stepped forward to let the Wrap examine my every pore. I always looked forward to this as the Wrap actually cleansed my body and it was because of this that I hardly ever had zits. Of course, I told everyone that the reason was genetics. Really good genes.
“Access accepted. Welcome, Kam Stephanie Julliard,” the Wrap whispered before a heavy gold plated door opened up out of the ivy covered wall. I stepped through and…
“Kam Stephanie Julliard!”
I halted. Two steps after I passed the doors, someone already knew I was here. Did I mention that the security was tighter than Megan Fox’s pants? I looked up, down, side to side, only to see that it was Tucci paging me from a nearby floating camcorder. Tucci Dibosco. Gotta love that Italian girl. Main goal in life is to never leave me alone. Favorite animal is a piece of uncooked spaghetti. Swears she knows 76 ways to kill or disarm a person with it.
“Oh God, Tucci. Thank you so much for scaring me,” I chuckled to myself.
“Professor Ferrero says that the meeting will start in exactly two minutes or else you’re demoted to Status B,” Tucci spoke like a nerd straight from Star Trek.
“What?” I asked. I was Status A, the highest status a spy could receive. Status B would be outright humiliation. Like if Harry Potter was to get his want broken in half by Voldemort.
Her phone beeped, distracting her from the current situation at state. “Oh. I have to reply to this. See you in two,” she mumbled as she quickly scampered away. In effect, the camcorder flew away, mimicking her actions.
I groaned with frustration. Tucci Dibosco, Italian model and computer hacker, had studied way too much as a child and found anything amusing and delightful, even a simple text message. I tell you, the hours she spent on the computer was another form of child abuse. She received a Macbook at age 4. Programmed her first computer program at age 7. Could hack into anyone’s computer system anywhere and anytime at age 11. Taped posters of Bill Gates in a Speedo to her bedroom ceiling and youtubed every single lecture that Steve Jobs ever gave. I thank the higher beings on a daily basis that I’m on her good side. Her thick purple glasses could cut up my liver faster than I could say “rump”. It was only because of her high-tech hacking skills that she was inducted into Operation Anachucada. And she never let anyone forget that. Especially on Macaroni Thursdays, when not even Professor Ferrero acted like an adult. Once the dismissal bell rang at school, we all raced on our motorcycles to the Operation’s headquarters to get a bowl of steaming, shiny artificially flavored macaroni. Tucci always hacked the school’s bell system to make her class dismissed five minutes earlier than the rest. I’ll never forget the Thursday when I hid her bike before class. She ran there and was still faster than us (I blame the five minutes advantage).
I continued on my journey down the never-ending hallway as television screens hung up on the walls screeched the current news from both my left and right.
President to pass health bill. Actress dead at 32. Spongebob Squarepants to air on Mondays now. Thirteen killed in bombing in Siberia. It was true to the current state of media affairs all right. Just like my Yahoo! homepage. I peeked at the screen broadcasting news about Spongebob and rolled my eyes. RoboTronicle flew down to greet me.
“Hello, Kam Julliard. Spy #8018. Would you like me to read to you the headline news?”
“No thank you, RoboTronicle. By the way, you are looking ravishing tonight.”
RoboTroncile whispered, “Thank you Kam Julliard, spy #8018,” and flew back up to her cocoon.
A few more steps and I finally reached the twenty pound mahogany doors to one of the most magnificent rooms ever: the Aurora Room. This 30 feet high domed arena was where we consulted over daily political and social topics, along with the many tragically comical personal stories about ourselves and the lives of doomed celebrities. This room was where I once planned a two month mission to Russia, did my Trigonometry homework, and learned of Lindsay Lohan’s five-hundredth bailout from jail. If there was a second home, this room had to be it. I pushed through the doors and joined Tucci at the oval table, made with the finest stone from the caves off of the islands of Australia. It seemed like we were all here. Professor Ferrero, our beloved guidance teacher and tutor with a degree from Harvard Business School (this has helped Anachucada much more than you might think), Miso, our very own Asian baker and behind-the-scenes guy, Stover, our fashion designer, Enul, a sweet shy Hispanic with a knack for painting and astronomy, Tucci, our computer hacker,…and whoa.
The air stopped rushing. My heart paused for a moment. My conscience, for once in my life, failed to argue with me on the fact that…
A stranger was amongst us. A stranger had showed up in the headquarters of the Anachucada. A cute stranger at that, I might add. He waved his hands with an air of superiority and his aura twinkled as if he were conducting an orchestra in a casual manner. He was a light show. A picturesque fantasy. A beautiful statue of what I pictured Adam from the Garden of Eden would be like. I would definitely have to Google him later tonight.
Professor Ferrero cleared his throat and all feel silent. When the big dog speaks, all the little dogs listen.
“Ahem. Counsel. As you may know…” Professor had the habit of starting every sentence with “As you may know”. “As you may know, I have called a meeting to discuss what has recently occurred over the course of 24 hours.”
A voice piped up from my left. “Professor Ferrero, I abide your concern. However, there is no need to distress any longer. I have counteracted the germs against Ferrous Oxide and as I expected, they are susceptible to the solution,” Miso “the doctor” interrupted.
“And I have hacked the White House system, read their most recent records, and would like to share that the germs have a weakness--Windex cleaner solution,” Tucci added.
“Wait!” I blurted out, “…What in tarnation are we talking about?!”
All eyes were on me. The spy crew lasered shocks of bewilderment onto my face. Tucci’s mouth was gaping and Miso looked at me with confusion.
“Sorry?” I said, not quite sure what I was apologizing for.
“Oh Kam, my dear. You didn’t know?” Professor Ferrero asked. “Almost everyone including my blind dog knows! Now now, you needn’t feel stupid my dear, nor blush. It’s perfectly acceptable to be clueless to what may have been the most excitingly terrifying epidemic of our year!”
I blinked. This was definitely more embarrassing than if I were to be demoted to Status B.
Miso opened his mouth to speak. “Translation: Scientists have recently discovered viruses that are able to cause symptoms of certain types of cancer without actually being cancer. Thus, you believe that you have cancer cells throughout your liver and you seek doctoral aide. The medicines then are enacted to kill the cancer cells, which are not present, so therefore you weaken and adulterate your own body instead. But tests made exactly 2.34 hours ago have proved that the germs will turn a light purple color after exposure to a Windex cleaning solution. The solution also kills the germs and will be sobered to create a drinkable antibiotic. So no harm. And no worries.” He sighed and leaned back in his swivel chair, taking a sip from his coffee mug.
I made a mental note to hire Miso as my future doctor. If I ever contracted some strange foreign disease and had only 12 hours left to live, he would know what to do. “Thanks, Miso. I comprehend now,” I said.
Without further ado, Professor Ferrero claimed that the meeting was over and the case closed. As we left to embark to our own offices to work on our personal missions, I decided to ask about the blonde stranger.
“Hey Tucci, wait up!” Tucci was as fast and strong as an Olympian, but had never devoted time to athletics, because it took away valuable bonding time with her computer.
“What’s up, Kam Stephanie Julliard?” she stopped in her tracks and asked, pronouncing every bit of my name clearly and solidly, as she preferred to, many times even in an Italian accent.
“So…uh…who’s our new friend?”
“I’m assuming you’re referring to the cute blonde stranger.”
Damn. How could she always read my mind?
“Well, he is new,” she replied.
“Thank you. I totally did not know,” I retorted sarcastically.
“His name you’ll have to find out for yourself. It’s creepy to know someone’s name without them knowing yours,” she said as she tried to scadoodle out of here.
“How do you know he doesn’t already know my name?” I yelled to her as she was already halfway to the exit.
“He asked about you.” Tucci projected back and sped off, exalting no emotion whatsoever.
I was left alone. I couldn’t breathe. Nor think. Wow, he asked about me? For some weird, strange reason…my heart started expanding furiously. Interesting indeed.
I couldn’t sleep. Which was okay since I rarely ever slept before one o’clock anyways. One of the many perks of being a teenage spy: you learned that sleep came in the same quantities as food did: available whenever and on short supply. Tonight though, I would have given up sleep for food. Because I was hungry. Hungry for him. The cute blonde stranger with the mystique. For some strange reason, ever since I laid eyes on his cute luscious blond hair and striking posture, I had fallen head over heels in total crush mode. I wanted him; I wanted to talk to him; I wanted to look at him; I wanted to laugh at his jokes, hug him, heck, I even wanted to eat nachos with him. How was I supposed to wait a whole day to see him? If I even would tomorrow. The agony of wanting something that was not yours yet. Shakespeare was wrong. What lust through yonder window breaks? For there was definitely lust was beyond that window pane.
“I’m Kam. Kam Stephanie Julliard.”
“I’m insert some incredibly hot exotic name.”
“I feel like we’ve met before.”
“I had the same feeling”
We gazed into each others sparkling eyes. I stepped closer to him. He pulled me in. Blinded by the sun, the next thing I sensed were his lips pressed against mine. We moved to the porch swing, him rubbing my arms as I wrapped them around his toned strong waist. It was a full minute of glory and crashing birds. Butterflies were in a frenzy. The flowers seemed to sing Messiahs and the water glistened as the grass swayed with the gentle oceanic breeze. This was heaven. And I would stay here fore--
--“Beep. Beep. Beep.” Shitalkingmushrooms. Gosh darn it. I groaned as I heaved my hand onto the alarm clock. Damn it, it was a dream! It was already morning? The first thing I thought was why the dream fairy insisted on torturing me like this. I could still feel his lips upon mine. His breath, which smelled like flavored sparkling water in my dream, was breathable even now. His hair, fluffy as my old kitten who ran away, I could feel between my fingertips. His eyes, sparkling and twinkling, were still pierced into my visual memories. I could picture everything! Damn you, dream fairy!
The second thing on my mind was...the time. I forgot to set my alarm back to school mode. It was 7:00 AM, the time I woke up every day during the summer for Operation Anachucada, which meant that I had exactly…ten minutes to get to school. Well, so much for looking good on the first day. Sweatshirt and jeans and a quick finger brush was all I had time for. Such was the reality of my life.
Hmm…maybe his name is Brad Pitt Bond Jr. III? Has a nice ring to it.
Kam, you have no reason to be bored. Lolita is still unread. Your English project over Plato’s Republic hasn’t been started. Your Pre-Calculus review is not checked. You should be studying vocabulary! How will you ever get into Columbia University? Well, I’m smart. Book smart and people smart. So there. Yes, but what about academics? Your foundation for your “smartness” to build on? I have been studying my whole life. I think I’ll manage. But other people are preparing for their SAT’s as we speak! I will do fine. I’m going to get into Columbia with two ways: my awesome school record and fantabulous personality and sense of living. My two lobes Logic and Creativity were battling it out again, Creativity acting haughty and Logic acting sensible. But this time, I decided to push away my friends and listen to my Heart. I was still pondering deeply about the blonde boy. I didn’t know his name and this was driving me crazy. Every time I tried to concentrate on something educational or productive, the game of guessing his name crept into my mind. Tom Frank? Nah, he’s not hillbilly. Chico Martinez? He isn’t Hispanic. Peter Yu? No, not Asian. Brad Pitt? Never mind, he didn’t seem like the kind that had 100 children. I wonder when I would see him again, when I would be able to gaze into those beautiful--oh shoot.
I don’t even know what color his eyes are.
I woke up early just to check my Smail, Spy Mail-- an account special for Operation Anachucada notices. One had to lift his thumb up to the touch screen in order to open the message. Yawn, yawn, click click and…Professor Ferrero sent out an email constituting another meeting. YAHOOOOO! I leapt off of my butt, combed my hair, added a pinch of Chanel lip gloss (shade 92 Rogue), put on a bright aquamarine scarf and jetted downstairs. This would be blonde boy’s second time seeing me and second impressions are just as important as firsts. Everybody knew that.
“And where are you going in such a hurry?”
Crap. I forgot about one thing: my mom. Of course she would interrogate at such a precious, important, life changing moment of my young adult life.
“I’m going to grab some milk at the store. There’s no--
“Whatever, just come home soon,” my mom yawned as she treaded slowly back to her cozy room.
I pounced off of my borrowed Vespa from the HQ and started running to Anachucada’s doors. It would be so much easier if parents and friends were allowed to know of our spy status. My thoughts reflected on a memory when I was six--taking the Anachucada Oath of Secrecy and Legitimacy. It was in a dark hollow room with ceilings fifty feet high at the HQ. I stood in the middle of a flaming blue fire with Professor Ferrero standing right outside the perimeter of the flame. All around were other professors from various Operations who were witnesses of my induction. I had to swear an oath three times and if my heart was pure, the fire would stay the same color. If I had an impure heart, the flame would burst out into red flames. Under no circumstances must a parent or friend outside of Operation Anachucada be aware of Anachucada or any of the following subjects encoded under the Operation. The only exception to this moral code was if the death of a spy occurred. All I remember now is that the flame did not change color and that Professor Ferrero gave me a lollipop for “being so brave”. From that moment on, I had to lie to my parents every single day about my whereabouts. One day it was the imaginary Student Council meeting. Another time I had to leave for Choir rehearsal (I can’t sing to save my life). I’ll admit, sometimes it’s hard to always constantly fear revealment and I felt almost guilty for lying to my mom about my whereabouts. Almost. I still have my certificate for Professor Ferrero’s “Gifted Class”. My parents naively thought it was a Gifted and Talented class. It was really training for becoming a future spy. You didn’t know it though. You never knew anything until you passed the exam, which you didn’t even know you were taking. Everything was top secret like that. Ironic, because now that I think about it, the whole sha-bang from spy training to the induction resembled life. In life, you never know what’s going to hit you.
I reached the Operation’s HQ and stepped forward for the Wrap to scan me. I pinched my cheeks for color and exhaled three times. I pulled open the doors and made my way down the all too familiar hallway 007 (in honor of James Bond. THE James Bond, graduate of 1985, Operation Anachucada’s hero now and forever.).
I walked into the Aurora Room, today filled with a fresh, pineapple scent, and sat at the oblique, elongated meeting table. Professor Ferrero started the meeting upon my arrival as I had been the last to arrive, as per the usual. Being late was a bad habit of mine. I was born late. Fifteen minutes and .34 seconds, to be exact.
“As you may know, I have convened this meeting today…”
Professor Ferrero lectured on as my insides turned warm. There he was. His hair looked extra shiny and smooth today; was it for a good second impression, perhaps? He had such a mysteriously friendly aroma and I found that deliciously scrumptious.
“… Not for dire news broadcasts, but for an update on Operation Anachucada. This update is extremely beneficial to our newest member. Welcome,” Professor Ferrero said as he nodded to the blonde boy. Why didn’t Professor say his name? What was up with this name mystery? WHY IS THE UNIVERSE HIDING THINGS FROM ME?
“Operation Anachucada has been running for well over 101 years now. We are dedicated to uncovering hidden corruptness in legal systems, untangling confusions within the world of the media, and maybe most importantly, saving kites that are stuck in trees.” Every laughed except for the blonde boy. We all remembered Tucci’s big cry for help when her kite had gotten stuck in a tree. Professor Ferrero and the rest of the gang had just happened to be driving by when we found a little blonde girl crying on the sidewalk. It was this incident that led us to her and interestingly enough, when we arrived, all it took was a little introductory consoling and Tucci knew what to do. We all stood and watched as she saved the kite herself. The way she was able to swiftly climb up that tree and just as swiftly climb down amazed Professor Ferrero. Once we found out that she was able to program computers at the speed of sound, we were hooked. She was inducted into the Operation the next day and has been a contributing spymate ever since.
Tucci hid her face and Professor beamed at her before continuing on. “We are the world’s, if I dare say, superheroes. Anything sinister occurring undercover, we dig up and arrange. Just last week, we helped save the world. We kept a drastic medical discovery from public exposure and the world is acting as if nothing happened, which of course is only because to them nothing did happen. We save the world from itself. But we can’t physically be in all seven continents at once. Which is why we have opened facilities in three more areas of the global world. One in Spain, China, and Antarctica.” The lights went out and a blue hologram projected up from the middle of the table. “The Spain one, Operation Fuego, will reach all areas of Europe. Operation Taiyan, based in China, will seek out any misfit plots of all of Asia. And last but not least, the system based in Antarctica, Operation Pearl, consists of only computers and satellites which will contact us if any unusual actions occur in Space. One day we will have enough funds to reach Africa and South America. But for now, this is the current situation we have planned.”
I raised my hand. “Professor, I’m not sure, but weren’t there other professors in the world? I vaguely remember them at my induction.”
“Ah yes, Kam. Those are traveling professors. They, up until now, never had an Operation to call home. They were nomads, always on the lookout for suspicious criminal activity. Now, of course, they have the privilege of finding a more permanent location at one of our three new facilities.”
“Professor Ferrero, none of us would have to transfer to the other foundations, right?” Tucci asked.
“No, no, no. You will all stay here in the United States, unless of course, one of you guys volunteers to transfer,” Professor Ferrero explained.
“Professor?” a voice piped up.
Whoa. The cute blonde stranger just spoke. Tingles shot up my arm. Sounds from his mouth proved that he existed in real life and not just in my head. Others turned to look at him. He didn’t blush. He didn’t hesitate. He calmly started speaking again, clasping his hands together as if he had some genius idea to put to the table.
“We can’t have spies that are naïve in spy training. What if they accidentally expose themselves to the general public? How can we be sure that they are just as secretive and passionate about their duty as we are?”
The cute blonde stranger may not have blushed, but Professor Ferrero did in awe of how much our new spymate cared.
“As you may know, we do have criteria. But that is secretive and no one must know, except for the four professors. We test the candidates on surprise. We want them to act how they normally would in certain situations. We never reveal the testing system. We are, one might say, the Harvard of the Ivy Leagues. Our approach is holistic; there is no set formula and we will never reveal anything. Good luck trying to figure it out.”
The blonde boy nodded. “I was also wondering, Professor, if I may ask a simple question.”
“Why sure, boy. Speak now.”
“Why was I chosen to be a spy?”
“Ah, the ancient question that has been troubling the spies of the Operations ever since existence. I’m sorry but I am not liable to tell you. The only person in the history of Operation Anachucada to ever know is sitting right here in this room,” he nodded towards Tucci, “And even that was an extreme case. She only knows because it is obvious.”
“How will I know what to contribute to the Operation then?”
“You will know innately, my dear,” Professor Ferrero said as he slowly circled the table. “It is within you. Everyone was and is chosen for a reason. It doesn’t matter whether you’re aware of it or not. You are part of this family and should always trust whatever instincts lie within you. Make no mistake about it, the Operation’s headquarters are never wrong. Everyone chosen belongs here.”
The blonde boy stared at the Professor. And Professor Ferrero stared back. It was a battle between green and black. The boy’s green eyes were no match for Professor Ferrero’s piercing black ones.
Miso broke the silence. “Exciting. Well now that that has been said and done, I will bring out some of my famous Shiro Miso soup in order to celebrate our foundation’s success.”
In two minutes a bowl of miso soup was situated in front of every spy. All of the earlier anxiety that had existed before vanished as we ate. We laughed. We made jokes about how the other spies probably look like monkeys. How they thought that we probably leapt around from rooftop to rooftop. Which we actually have done. Miso gave us more soup. We ate. We drank. We became high on soup. Our cheeks flushed. I noticed that even the cute blonde stranger was having a good time. Success so far? Even if I wasn’t the direct cause of his happiness, he seemed to enjoy the biggest part of who I was.
After a ten minutes or so, I decided to man up and go talk to him. I straightened my attire and walked up to the snack bar where he was currently reloading his depleted stock of munchies.
Holy cow, Kam. You actually spoke! %#$%^!$%!@
Awe, he’s stuttering.
“So…I noticed you’re new. And I just wanted to introduce myself, before it gets too awkward to tell you my name later on, and I don’t want this Operation to seem awkward…so yeah, I’m going to stop talking and tell you my name.”
Wow Kam, way to be clear and concise.
“I’m Julian. Julian DeCecco.”
Wait, huh? Can you say that name again? I think the angels are singing. Baby Beethoven would have definitely named a song after you.
I stuck out my hand. “I’m Kam Julliard. My middle name’s Stephanie which was named after a Full House character. My parents chose Kam, because, as a baby, I always spoke to my parents via webcam. They used to live London in order to work on some science project.”
Kam, do not let your brain turn to mush. Be smart. But aaah ooohghheea, his name is the hottest name I’ve ever heard in my life. Julian? Way better than Brad Pitt. And minus the kid baggage. What a bonus, cha-ching.
“Hey do you have a Spy Book?
He’s going to add me on the spy social networking site? Can someone say success?
“Yes I do. You?”
Of course he does, you idiot. Why else would he ask you if you had one?
“Yup. I’ll friend you.”
“Cool. Well I’m gonna jet, before my mom gets in a fuss. See you around…Julian,” I tried to end the conversation as smoothly as I could and quit talking before I really embarrassed myself. I grabbed my bag and headed towards the exit after I said goodbye to a few people.
Whoa. Whoa. Whoa. My heart was rising. My head was pumping. I could not believe this. I actually talked. To. The. Cute. Blonde. Stranger. Whose name, I now know, is Julian. It was worth the wait. Julian. DeCecco. Beautifulllll. Tasted warm and familiar. Like a chocolate brand.
I drove back home, ecstatic. Ate dinner with my parents in a funky mood. I could barely concentrate on anything besides those beautiful twinkling green eyes.
The alarm rang. School was in session again. The first thing that popped into my mind was Ah shoot! I never finished my vocabulary unit! The second thing that popped into my mind was if Julian would attend my school now. But I couldn’t focus on things like that anymore. School was back and I morphed into Nerd Mode. Must get good grades. Must be education oriented, so I can attend the school of my dreams, Columbia University In the City of New York. I put on a sequined dress and went to do my hair. I straightened my already straight hair and curved my bangs and curled my lashes. I applied some feature enhancing blush and sparkly eyeshadow. Added some of that Chanel lip gloss (shade 92 Rogue) and I was set to go eat breakfast. I had a major grade speech to give in exactly forty minutes, but I couldn’t focus. I had to tune him out. Julian. The cute teddy bear with the sparkling green eyes. NO. No more thinking about him, talking about him, looking for him, bringing him up in conversations, tuning people out because you’re thinking about him, writing essays about him, no more! I had to focus on my studies now. The holiday was officially over. The bell for first period would ring in exactly 6 minutes and I decided to go to Advanced Placement Chemistry early. As figured, I was the first one in Chemistry. Mrs. Clapper, the wonderfully sadistic teacher sat behind her computer, checking her emails. I realized that a lot of teachers did that. An email to them is like SpyBook to us, nothing really new but something we desperately needed to check twenty times a day. As the minutes ticked away, my fellow classmates poured in. Thirty seconds left until the tardy bell and that’s when Nillan came in. Nillan the Villain. Her nickname was Nilla, only the most retarded nickname I’ve ever heard in the short course of my life. Her thick short coarse hair resembled her face. Her black, raccoon eyes portrayed her heart. Cold, black, and mean. “Oh me? Well I want to be a doctor.” Nilla said as she walked in. “Really? That’s so cool! Why?” baa-ed one of her sheep followers. “You see, being a doctor is really cool. Plus my parents want me to be one. So yeah.” Nilla, the genius, replied. “Oh. Yeah that’s why I want to be a model. My parents think I would be a great one.” the sheep follower baa-ed once more. Too bad she could barely stand up straight. Nilla took her seat, one row ahead, directly in front of me. I could smell the spices from her house. “These spices are very expensive, shipped directly from India.” she once told me when I asked someone what the smell was. My keen and trusty nose, educated from Operation Anachucada HQ, deducted that it was just plain cheap old barley and a lot of hot peppers from the nearby grocery store. I remember when we used to be friends. Heck, I even remember when I used to not care about her massive B.O. smell from P.E. But I soon realized that report card after report card, she was a huge competitor and a sore loser. If I got a 98 and she earned a 96, then it was because I had an easier teacher. One time I received the Excellence In History award and she passed around a petition saying that I was a teacher’s pet. She got a total of 13 signatures, thanks to her dad’s checkbook and loads of free candy. She even had enough "slow" genes in her system to accuse me of bribing my teachers for good grades. It didn’t take me long to realize that she was one of those people that only liked you if you weren’t “as good as her”. If you weren’t competition and just basically epically failed at life, Nillan the Villain adored you. Everyone else, well, apparently we’re just “jealous” of Nillan and want to try to compete with her awesomeness to make ourselves feel better. Right. And I’m a kangaroo from China. As class started on their warm-up problems, I reviewed my literature notes for a test later on that day, The Tale of Two Cities test, but I could hardly focus with all of the mumbling taking place in the row in front of me. “Did you see him? Did you see him?” the sheep follower whispered to Nillan. “The new guy? Yeah. I think I’m going to invite him to my party, and we’ll see where it goes from there.” Nillan slyly responded as she copied another girl’s warm-up answers. “Ooh! Nillan’s gonna score with the new batter.” the sheep follower crowed. They started giggling, like idiots. I just sat there, counting the days to graduation, counting the days to when I would no longer have to endure through so much torture. The day when I would be free from imbeciles. On the other hand though, I couldn’t believe Julian went to my school! The School of Tomorrow’s Future enrolled Julian DeCecco! Although I didn’t have any classes with him, I was grateful enough for the fact that for eight hours of the day, I got to walk to same campus as the cute blonde stranger. My heart leaped for joy. All of a sudden, I had a lot of energy. It didn’t matter that I had stayed up until three the night before. I was electrified with excitement. But this energy both feared and motivated me. I have always been scared to love, to be attracted by people. When I was little, love was a silly thing. Boys were annoying and just meant for me to conquer them (My grandma raised me up to be a feminist, can you tell?). In the pit of my heart, crushes were embarrassing to me. I guess I was open-minded to everything in every way except for one-- opening my heart to love. You see, you must love yourself first before you love another. You must also be brave. Who can be shy and also show love to another person? I guess I just was never brave. But somehow through the course of freshman year, just last year, my heart grew. My strength got stronger and I believed. I started believing in love at first sight, in loving others. I opened my mind to the fact that love was, in theory, not an embarrassing subject at all, but a very philosophical and deep one. Love was what made the world go round. You live for love. You live because of love. You are a product of actions of love. You were born because your mom loved you. You get along with others because you love them. If you can’t have love, then what do you have? If you don’t love yourself, then what are you? If you’re not capable to love another, then why are we a civilization? Why are we here?