Looking back all these years later, it’s easy to ask myself why I hadn’t plucked up courage and done something before.
Every day like our cat sitting by his bowl, I would gaze at her. Long golden locks cascading below her shoulders, bright eyes as blue as a summer’s sky as she sat on the bus in front of me. Surrounded by the cool kids.
Back then I longed to be part of the in crowd and I wished she would notice me just once. She didn’t even know my name.
It felt so hard being in love when the holder of your heart was entirely oblivious. The teenage angst in my mind overwhelmed me.
It’s a joke at home about how Mum and Dad met. History dictates that she was the cool girl that everyone wanted to be with and he was like me. She talks about his big gesture.
So now I must take the mantle and be the next generation’s gesture provider that people would talk about. Something that Clarissa definitely wouldn’t forget and would, in turn, tell her children.
Remembering her in that moment it is as clear today as it was as that young boy. All these years later my heart still does a little somersault as to how life might have been had I not plucked up courage to demonstrate just how special she was.
I arrived at the bus stop nervous and early. This was not a moment to lurk behind the others. I was going to be the coolest of the lot of them and life was going to change.
My sweaty palms betrayed me whilst a single drop of perspiration began to roll down my face. I had to get a grip or it would all be ruined.
Out of nowhere she arrived and I seized my moment. I walked as confidently as my lanky legs would allow and shyly thrust the bulky card in her face. ‘Happy birthday Clarissa’.
Shyly she opened the card containing an extremely squashed chocolate bar. Her smile could have lit up the darkest of thundery skies. A year ago I heard her tell a friend on the way to schoolhow she’d forgotten her chocolate bar and like everything else I had heard her say the brand was etched in my memory.
Clarissa sat on the bus with me from that day on and overnight I became the cool kid with lanky legs in her world. Ten years on and we still sit on the bus together, we still eat that same brand of chocolate, her golden locks still cascade and her eyes are as bright as ever.
It all just took one chocolate bar and a hell of a lot of nerve.