#2) Ginevra

            She was sitting on the white leather couch in Julia’s living room.  It was Julia’s birthday party.  I knew Ginevra would be there.  I was standing in the dining room eating carrot sticks and cheddar cheese cubes.   I looked into the living room and saw her cross her legs and whisper something to the girl next to her.  It was August 8, 1998 and we were all just weeks away from matriculating to college.  For that past year I had been in love with her.  Now as I looked at her, I couldn’t feel anything.  She was still pretty but nothing else.  She was no longer my golden girl.  She wasn’t my angel.  She was nothing more than the silhouette of an old dream I once had.

The first time I noticed Ginevra was at the BETA Club meeting.  It was the first meeting of the year and held in the cafeteria.  My best friend Rohit had mentioned the name before but I couldn’t match it with a face.  At the meeting, I sat down with my crew in the back of the cafeteria so we could scout the selection of hotties in our senior class.  My eyes wandered, looking for her.  Rohit saw me and pointed her out.  There she was four tables up and two to the right. Ginevra turned to my direction and shot a quick glance from her brown eyes at me. I thought we had a connection when our eyes met.  The next couple of weeks I tried to find out as much as I could about her.  I became a reporter.  I researched, questioned, and probed everyone that knew her for clues to who she was.  

            I saw Ginevra often in the hallways or at lunch.  I began to notice peculiar things about her that attracted me.  The entire mechanism of her head is what fascinated me the most.  It started with her hair, which was a living and breathing organism.  It was an octopus, with each light brown strand a tentacle to draw you into the redolence of an apple orchard.  When she smiled, her hazelnut brownie eyes widened and her two pastel lips would spread apart to show glimmering, white teeth.

              Every skill, every technique, every trick I knew about the game of romance, I tried using to impress her.  I studied my notes like religious scripture.   Things were simple and concise in middle school.  If she didn’t like you, chances were her best friend would let you know.  As I matured, the anonymous notes, corny pick-up lines, and child-like charm dissipated.  I thought girls were weird in middle school, but in high school they became a whole new species.

            Everyone knew I liked Ginevra. If a friend or stranger passed me in the hallway, I would tell them about my discovery.  The rumor ran rampant through school that I liked her.  Ginevra of course knew it too.  One of the golden rules of chasing the girl was to remain discreet in your feelings for her.  You had to go about things covertly when you made your move, not announcing to every person you saw about your enlightened discovery.  It was something I learned later on.

I made her the princess of my life although we never spoke. Without knowing it, I eliminated any chance I had by telling everyone I liked her. 

             I fell hard for her and two moments of that year epitomized my blindness.

            At Homecoming I figured I could finally make a move: All the elements were in place.  My best friend was dancing with her.  I knew he wouldn’t mind if I tried to cut in.

I was like, ‘what the hell are you doing?’” Rohit recalled.  “You were in envy, cause I was dancing with her, and the only way you could get a dance would be if you cut in.  You didn’t have the balls to ask her yourself.”

 He knew how much I liked her.  He sacrificed his dance.

               As I danced the last two minutes of Bryan Adams’ “Everything I do,” with her, she suddenly became startled.  Her demeanor changed.  She must have felt awkward, but I was unaware of her feelings.

I didn’t think she wanted me to stop dancing with her, when you came and cut in,” Rohit said. “I looked into her eyes and I could read her thoughts, which told me that she didn’t want to dance with you.  I danced with Adrienne, and she said to me ‘I think Amar likes her.’  I was like duh.”

  I thanked her for the dance.  She nodded with a nervous smile on her face.  I should have read the signs.

The last minutes of Homecoming were waning.  I had to look for her.  She was getting ready to leave.  I leaped over a set of chairs and tables to get one last shot.

            “Hey, I was wondering, umm,” I nervously said. “Is there any chance I can get your number to call you sometime.” 

            Her face contorted in surprise. The words that followed from her voice stung.  “I’m sorry, I can’t.  I’m sorry.”   That was it and like Cinderella at the ball, she was gone.

            There I was, in the middle of the hotel lobby, wondering what I did wrong. I should have moved on, but the feelings still remained.  I wish I could have gotten over her.

            Months passed and I was still in love with her.  Prom approached.  The decision was made. I was going to ask her to prom. At lunch, I made my move.  As I sat with my friends, talking about which technique I should use, I saw in the corner of my eye that she was leaving.  It was just a coincidence that she and her friends sat near us at lunch.

            She walked briskly through the door.  I dashed out of my seat to see if I could catch her.  She ran track, so she walked fast.  As I dashed through the same door she had exited, I thought to myself; what an idiot I was. Before I could complete the thought she went to the restroom. 

            My luck was diminishing by the second.  There I was, hyped up, and she was in the bathroom doing her hair. As I waited her to finish, I talked to friends who were chilling in the hallway. 

            I didn’t even see her leave, but I saw her cut through a shortcut to her next class.  Then I went, head held high and consumed with anticipation. 

            Just before lunch, a friend told me she would say yes.  So I used that as motivation.  The blood rushed through my body as I yelled out her name, “Ginevra. She didn’t hear me. 

            I shouted louder.  “Ginevra.”

            This time she heard me.

I caught up to her and tried to stir up conversation. We began walking on a sidewalk path silently for about 15 seconds, and then I decided to break the ice.  “So, what are your plans for spring break?”

              “Oh, I don’t know, I think my parents are planning to go on a trip or something,” she said.  

            I then decided this was enough running around.  I dropped the question.

“I know that you know what I am going to ask.”  I wanted to run home and hide under my bed.  “Okay here goes.  I was wondering if you don’t have a date for Prom, if you would like to go with me.”

 It was a relief.

            I looked up to see her reaction.  Her eyes held the answer.  I looked at them but they couldn’t look at me.  That was enough to draw my conclusion.

            She spoke as I awaited her every word knowing exactly what she was going to say.  “Thank you for the offer but I was planning on going with someone else.  I’m sorry.” 

She smiled weakly, but nothing could keep me from becoming an emotional wreck.  How could I blame her for saying no?

            Again she repeated, “Thank you for asking.”

            Prom was a week away and I made the decision not to go.  If I wasn’t going with Ginevra then I wouldn’t go at all. Then Julia told me Ginevra was going stag.  I changed by mind.  I now had a reason to go.   It was Prom night and anything was possible.  I looked at it as a second opportunity.     

            I arrived at the last hour.  Waiting till the last minute meant no limousine or restaurant.  I had to settle for my dad’s new Benz and dinner at McDonald’s with my friend Christie. 

 My goal was set on one thing for that evening; I wanted one dance with Ginevra.  It was the only reason I went.  For the next 45 minutes, I wandered around the hotel lobby and dance floor searching for her.

“You were sitting there and sulking all night,” said Rohit.  “Chicks were coming up and asking you to dance but you said no and just stared onto the dance floor looking for that girl.”

It was my own fault.  I lamented to anyone who would listen.  I found Julia, but she didn’t have any sympathy for me. 

“You brought the misery and heartache upon yourself,” said Julia. 

I finally found her sitting at a table. She wore a gold dress and a tiara.  She was a princess.

I took whatever courage I had left and walked to the table. She saw me come and her smile was replaced with teeth clenching scowl.  I was ruining her evening.  I asked her simply if I could have one dance before the night ended.  She looked at me with detached pity and said no without any explanation or sympathy.  I stood there looking at her with tears streaming down my cheeks.  She took another look at me, turned, and walked away.  

“With your persistence, things got worse as the year progressed,” Julia told me.  “She got more pissed that the whole school knew you liked her.  Yet, she didn't know you. .  She was mad at you and tired of you talking about her to a lot of people and knowing so much about her.  Her meanness was almost a sense of revenge.”

My best friend came to my defense. “I watched you go up there and asked her to dance,” Rohit said. “I could hear everything you were saying because you were shouting. Then you popped the question. You kind of looked like you were kneeling. Then she said, “NO!”  I was like ‘what a bitch.’”

I couldn’t take it anymore and I stormed out the hotel with my fists clenched swinging at the air and yelled “AHHHH.”  I wanted everyone to feel my pain.  I was outside now and people started to look at me.  A police officer asked me if I had a problem.  I said, “Yea, I have a big problem.  Girls! That’s the freaking problem.”  The officer chuckled.

 I asked her for one dance, not her hand in marriage.

 “You were overly optimistic,” said Julia. “You shouldn’t have wrecked your whole prom over some girl you didn’t know.  Your dream shattered with one word.  And that was “no.’”

I adhered to a hope that any girl was attainable. I couldn’t look at Ginevra for the rest of the year without feeling my heartache.  She had rejected me so hard without even knowing me. I wanted to hate her.  But I couldn’t. 

A couple days before school ended I was making my ascension up a staircase to get to class. Ginevra was making her dissent down them.  Before she would say “hi” or at least wave but things had changed.  I moved as far as I could to my left and she did the same to her left.  I didn’t look at her and she didn’t look at me.  When I passed her, I decided I needed one last look.  I turned my head around and looked down stairs.  She had turned around at the same time.  We stared at each other with critical eyes. Suddenly she smiled. I smiled back.  Then she moved on and I stood still. 

Ginevra continued to sit in the white leather couch.  My stomach was getting full from all the snacks I was munching on.  Rohit came up to me and commented on the object I was staring at.  “Bro, look at her,” he said.

 “You wasted your whole senior year on her. You didn’t gain anything.  She looks like a_.”

Before he could finish his lecture, I cut him off. “Listen bro,” I said. “She might be a bitch or a hoe or whatever. But for a time she was my angel.”

Rohit began to laugh.  “Damn. You’re so full of shit. You know she isn’t worth it.”

I looked at him for a second trying to understand his point.  I couldn’t. “Yeah, maybe you’re right,” I said.  “Maybe she isn’t worth it now, but damn, she sure was before.”

I continued to stare at the girl on the white leather couch.

Current Status of Relationship

Ginevra is the only one of the five who I am truly friends with. After getting over someone you can truly treasure the type of person they really are. Ginevra. Ginevra. She did a page similar to mine where she called me a little twirp. But it's all good. Now, she and I are cool. I think it's the beginning of a beautiful friendship. Here's looking at you kid.

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