My One True Weakness

Chapter 7

It was a full body shiver that made me slow down my steady pace as I approached Colin's locker. It was almost as if my nervous jitters were trying their best to 'shake' the extreme tension out of my tightly knotted muscles before they snapped themselves in two.

It was more than just a touch of fear...it felt more like a muffled version of outright terror...but warmed over with the brilliant light of extreme joy at the anticipation of getting to talk to him again. To see his smile. To bear witness to the beauty of his jade colored eye contact, and maybe the sensual nature of a well timed blush as he shyly tried to conceal his involuntary feelings from me. Feelings that I really REALLY hoped mirrored my own.

Walking in a straight line shouldn't feel this awkward, Russ. Left foot, right foot. Left foot, right foot. Maintain balance. Breathe.

Oh my GOD, I can't believe how amazing this feels! To actually be this scared of talking to another boy. The feeling is exhilarating like you wouldn't believe. It's on a level that I'm not used to. Is this what some of the people who claim to be hopelessly infatuated with me go through every time they get ready to speak to me? If it's anything even close to this turbulent disruption going on in my heart right now...then I think I finally understand why they act the way they do. In which case...I am beyond flattered! That says a lot!

I could feel the desperate pounding of my heart slamming against my rib cage like a malfunctioning jackhammer as I got closer to him. I even felt myself steering my steps further to the left of him so that I could remain in his blind spot for just a few seconds longer without having him take notice of me. It seemed like some sort of deep seeded, predatory, action on my part...but one that I used to my advantage, regardless.

Knowing Colin...he'd probably run off like a frightened deer if he caught sight of me too early. I needed to be super careful.

Just a few more steps….

Just a few...

Closer now...

Ok. Now...speak!

“Hi, Colin.” I said, trying to maintain my regular breathing and control the volume of my voice at the same time...even as it was fluttering with fear.

Colin spun around a bit faster than I thought he would. I guess I startled him by being so close. His handful of books hit my arm. Despite our combined efforts to keep his stack of texts from spilling over to one side or the other, it was too late for our reflexes to prevent the inevitable mess at his feet. Books and papers went everywhere, and we were both quick to get down on our knees and start picking everything up before his stuff got kicked or stepped on by the other students in the hallway. Almost bumping heads...we scrambled to get things back in order.

“Omigod, I'm sorry. I didn't know you were going to turn around so fast...” I said.

“Well...I didn't know that you were going to sneak up on me like that and say hello like the friggin' BOOGEY MAN either!!!” He replied.

“I say hello to you all the time.”

“Yeah, and you 'scare' me every time, too.” Colin was quickly stacking his books back up beside him, and as I passed him some of his folders and papers, he grabbed them from me and tried to put them all back in the appropriate order as fast as he could. I think he was a bit humiliated by the sight of him spilling his school books and folders all over the place like that, but it's not like I did it on purpose. Geez! Get a backpack! What the hell?

I had to stop 'helping' him at some point, just standing back and letting him re-balance his unstable pile of texts in his arms without my help, which he seemed to be refusing by practically pushing my arms away.

"It's ok. I've got it. Seriously." He said. "Oh wait...I need that. And that. Hand me that one. Thanks." He said, taking the rest of his random papers and tossing them, haphazardly, back into his locker. "I'll figure the rest out later. No big deal." His eyes met mine, and he seemed to suddenly be humbled somehow. He quickly looked back down at the floor and said, "Thank you, Russ. I mean, I didn't mean to holler at you or anything. You just...caught me by surprise, is all."

With a grin, I said, "And Colin doesn't like surprises, does he?"

Peeking up at me, his super cute, boyishly handsome, face nearly knocking me over with its subtle, but stunning, presentation of fresh teen beauty...he grinned, "No...I don't. Hehehe!"

He paused for a moment, and then shook himself out of his infatuated trance to continue picking up whatever leftover papers and notebooks that he had spread all over the hallway tile.

"You sure that you've got it all?" I smirked, raising an eyebrow.

"Disaster avoided. Yes." He grinned back. "Sorry. What's up?"

He was blushing again. Colin is so damn cute when he blushes!

"Ummm...I was wondering...do you have anything going on later? After school, I mean?"

"Why?" He asked. Why can't he ever just say 'yes' or 'no'? It's like he's always on guard, never answering a simple question until he knows every angle that might be surrounding it first.

"Hehehe, it's not like I was planning to kidnap you or anything. There's no need for you to be so worried about my intentions." I smirked.

"That sounds like something a kidnapper would say." He loved to tease me, and it was cute...but I was sort of trying to make some sort of effort here while I still had the guts to look him in the eye.

"I was thinking we could hang out or something. Just for shits and giggles, you know?"

Colin narrowed his eyes for a moment. It was like he couldn't understand why I would want to just randomly spend time with him like any other normal person would. I swear, it was like he had this immediate force field go up in an attempt to protect him from harm the moment I mentioned it, and I couldn't figure out what I was doing wrong. "I mean...well, I didn't have any major plans exactly, but..." He seemed to be struggling with himself. "...What did you have in mind?"

"Ummm...well..." I started, but I was interrupted as a few other boys passed us in the hallway and said hello to me. "Hey, guys." I replied, and they just kept walking. "I'm not really sure that I had much of a plan either, but I was thinking..."

"Hi, Russ..." Said a girl who was walking by with two of her friends. I gave them a polite smile and returned the brief greeting, causing them to giggle and rush off to go to their next class.

"Sorry." I said. "Like I was saying...I was just thinking that we could hang out somewhere. Have another chit chat. Nothing special."

Someone else passed us in the hall and greeted me, and I noticed that Colin was beginning to look a little uncomfortable with the attention I was getting. I mean, I hardly even knew these other students as anything more than classmates or occasional acquaintances...but, they say hello, and I say hello back, and that's the end of it. I know it can be a little distracting, but I was clearly making him the center of my focus. He can see that, right?

"Well, if you're busy or something, that's ok. I mean, you can hang out with your friends or whatever." Colin said softly.

"My friends?" I said. "Oh...no, I just have classes with those guys. It's totally cool." Then I smiled at him and said, "Come on, let's go do something. I promise not to bore you too much. Maybe we can get a couple of milkshakes?"

"HA!!!" Colin shook his head. "No thank you! Your milkshake privileges have been revoked since you nearly drowned me with the last one. Don't expect me to hurry back for another 'incident' on that front."

God...he could be so cute sometimes!

"Alright, alright...fair enough. But maybe we can find something else to do instead."

He gave me, yet another, suspicious look. His voice sounded a little shaky as he tried to laugh it off. "You seem awfully anxious about all of this. Are you sure you're not planning to tie me up and hold me hostage in your basement or something? Because this is getting weird now."

"Hehehe, no promises. But, if I did...would it really be all that bad? I'll keep you well fed. My mom knows how to make a killer lasagna."

"Now you're just getting creepy." He snickered.

"Creepy enough to get you to hang out with me?" I asked.

"That is, like, the exact opposite of what creepy means, dude."

I looked up at the clock in the hallway, and we were going to be late to class if I didn't sell him on at least giving me a decent 'maybe' in the next thirty seconds or so. "C'mon. Say yes. I don't have anything else to do, and neither do you. You just said so. Let's go do nothing together somewhere." He peeked up into my eyes, and I could practically feel his force field thinning out, more and more, by the second. Yes! Just another nudge or two, and he's ours for the afternoon! "I know you wanna hang out. Tell me you don't. Go ahead. Tell me."

With an adorable roll of his eyes and a bashful smile, Colin said, "Fine. Geez!" And he locked his locker back, getting ready to head off to his next class. "You'd better stop making me feel all special and appreciated though. You're gonna end up giving me an ego."

"You deserve to have one." I said. And maybe it came out as a bit more flirtatious than I expected it to, but I refused to take it back.

Something about Colin really draws me in and makes me happy to be around him. It's like this irresistible charm that invades you on every level when you get to be in his presence. I can't explain why it's so seductive, or why it feels so refreshing to interact with Colin as opposed to everybody else at that school...but I appreciated it, through and through. It made me feel as though I was in the presence of greatness, and a lot of people never get the chance to experience that. Not on this level. He's just...he's so...wow!

"I'll meet you here after the last bell. K?" I said.

"M'kay..." He replied, his voice softening until I almost couldn't hear him clearly. And then he said, "See ya then?"

"I'll be here."

I smiled at him, and he was quick to turn around and start walking away from me...but as I kept my eyes fixated on him the whole way, I noticed that he turned his head to look back at me a few more times before rounding the corner. His cute little eyebrows kept wrinkling up. Like he was trying to figure out what my ulterior motive must be for being so nice to him. Does he not recognize how alluring he is? I mean, sure...as far as being easy on the eyes and the usual 'skin deep' appeal of his obvious, but modestly presented, teen beauty...Colin was probably one of the cutest boys in school as far as I was concerned. But there was more to him than that. His entire aura was attractive to me in a way that drove me WILD! His personality, his sense of humor, his quick comebacks and his witty conversation...all decorated with a shy and bashful sprinkling of heart that sweetened the deal like a thin dusting of powdered sugar on freshly baked pastry. He was a total package like I've never seen before. And something about that was just...it's just...

...SEXY!!! Hehehe!

So...the waiting game began the moment the next bell rang. I was sitting in my English class, and my teacher was talking and trying to inform the class about the proper use of colons and semicolons or something...and I just...I couldn't take my mind off of Colin. I kept smiling to myself, and I had to cover my face a few times to keep anyone else in my class from staring at me, as I'm sure I looked like some kind of psycho, just sitting at my desk with a big sinister 'Joker' grin on my lips. But I couldn't help myself. I kept thinking about the way he scrambled around on the floor while he was trying to get his books and papers back in order. I thought about him tricking Joey to look for dictionary definitions in the library...but being sweet enough about it to feel bad about it. Even if he really didn't have a reason to. It was just another lovable part of his sweet disposition, I suppose. And then...I thought about him in the bathroom with his shirt off, trying to clean up the ice cold milkshake that I had spilled all over him. Trying soooo hard to look mean, but failing miserably, as he was too cute to be intimidating to much of anybody. Hehehe! His skinny waist and tiny nipples, pale, smooth, skin, and flat tummy...something about it aroused me. Almost as if he needed 'protecting', and love, and snuggles...and I wanted to be that guy for him. I wanted to hold him close and prove to him that I wasn't half as scary as he thinks I am. Or...at least, I don't mean to be.

Maybe I should turn up the heat a little bit. I don't want to make him feel pressured or cornered in any way, but I get the feeling that he thinks I'm just sort of goofing around. Not really serious. Maybe I should drop a few more hints so he can see where I'm going with all this. Can I do that? Balance things out where I can flirt a little bit more, but not seem like I'm luring him into some kind of perverted trap where he feels uncomfortable or 'forced' into trying to please me or be polite.

I don't want that.

I just...I want him to maybe give me a chance. You know?

I'm sure that people look at me and they think that I could easily have my pick of anybody that I wanted, but nothing could be further from the truth. The 'pretty people' get nervous too. A mirror never reflected someone's true heart and emotions when it comes to this kind of thing. It only gets reflected in the eyes of the people that you choose to share them with. And until Colin allows me to give him all the love and attention that I think he deserves...I feel like the real me doesn't have any reflection at all.

Is that weird? It feels kind of weird to me.

I need to find a way to take things to the next level. I know that it's a bit scary, but I can't just leave our daily run-ins to just be reduced to a few moments of awkward conversation and some heavily avoided eye contact. I want him to know that I'm...you know...interested. I don't want to come right out and just ASK him if he wants to make out some time! I'm not trying to pounce on him like some hungry jungle cat. I've got to be subtle. Inspire a few persuasive thoughts on his end that might get him to meet me halfway. Otherwise, I'm going to end up feeling like some kind of 'bully' or something.

I don't want that.

If I can just get him to talk to me more, he'll get more comfortable. I mean, he sort of acts like he likes me. And his friend, Missy, definitely seems to be pushing him in my direction. So that's a good sign, right? Should I take some time and do some more investigating before I end up making a fool out of myself? Or are my silly little strategies just another way of me delaying my own progress until I can come up with an excuse to not say anything to him at all? A way of procrastinating until my emotions feel stable enough to tell Colin how I feel? God, I hope not.

Because, let's be honest...that may never happen. Being around Colin and 'emotional stability' are two ideas that don't really seem to be compatible with one another.

So...I waited. I tried to think of something that we could do together, or some place that we could go that might...you know...impress him or something. I kept thinking of ways to compliment him and encourage him to maybe let me know what was going on in his head so that I could maneuver around my own doubts and fears and possibly connect with him on a level that went beyond us just being familiar faces in the hallway. But...I can't say that I've ever had any practice with anything like this. So I was kind of stuck, attempting to solve a puzzle that I didn't have all the pieces to yet.

Sighhh...thing were SO much easier when other people were doing all the work, and just running up to me and asking for a date.

Being on the other side of the equation? It kind of sucks. Seriously.