‘High School certainly ripped the guts out of one’s manhood!’
The gallantry I portrayed was nothing compared to the knot that stung the insides of my stomach. It had come down to this day and I could not back out any longer. I had made all kinds of excuses in the past and today I couldn’t find any. I told myself that if I was going to get rid of the fear and frustration then it would have to be today. The timing was appropriate. We had been watching each other now for over three weeks and neither of us had been valiant enough to make the first move. I had convinced myself that my exams were near and I needed to concentrate every ounce of my energy into them. However today was different, I needed to throw myself at this problem without the many poignant excuses of the past. I had done whatever research I needed through friends in her class and my instincts told me that she had done the same for me. It was now or never I told myself and I had to go for it.
As I walked nervously towards her desk in a hall that looked more like a mausoleum with desks, people stared and whispered. Impaled by common sense within my subconscious I knew that these whispers where not as a result of my approach. That was easier said than done when I felt as though all the air within my lungs had been sucked away by a wind tunnel. I was so scared that the hairs in the back of my head stood at full length and the pores in my brow opened to release a shower of water that made me feel as though I was sinking in the Niagara. It was the here and now that mattered for me, I was no one of status to this crowd but I was going to be something if she walked out of that hall with me. I had to gamble and go for it.
I tapped her lightly on the shoulder and asked if she would follow me outside for a break. I had interrupted her day and I did not care. I told myself that what mattered was the fact that I had built up the temerity to be there and the sensation that would follow later if her answer was positive would be the icing on the cake. I did not have to wait long for as if in answer to my dreams she looked at me and my world rocked as she said my name and then proceeded to pack up her books and join me. In the confines of high school and at the age of seventeen I thought I had broken through a sound barrier that would take a lifetime of surprises to beat. How little did I know then that, ‘faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.’