Friday, February 8, 2013

Story # 12: "No Way, José"

This epistolary short story was inspired by memories of my own high school experiences, and how awkward it was to like someone who didn't like you, but how hard it was to let it go even though you knew it was hopeless. I never got a letter like this myself, but under the right (or wrong) circumstances I probably could have. The story is fiction, but parts of it are based on real-life events. I'll leave it to you to decide which is which.  ~  JH


Dear José,

What I'm about to tell you is not going to be easy. For you, at least. I know you like me. I've known it for a long time actually. As if the Valentine's Day cards and the flowers and the notes in my locker weren't enough to give you away, you playing with my hair in History class every weekday for the past year and a half certainly did the trick.

I probably should have told you to knock it off a long time ago. Maybe I've been unintentionally leading you on, and if so, I'm sorry. The fact is, I really like having my hair played with, and I figured if I blew you off, I'd have to go to the trouble of twirling my fingers through it myself, which is totally not the same.

It's not that you're not a nice guy or anything, because you are. It's just that I'm not really into nice guys. I'm more attracted to the bad boy type. Guys like Mark. You know, from fourth period? He's such a rebel!

Anyway, I just wanted to let you know that I'm not interested in ever going out with you. That looks really harsh now that I've written it down. But I'm afraid if I put it any less plain, you'll hold out hope that you still stand a chance with me. And you don't. Not even remotely.

If only you were a little bit taller, I might have given you a second glance. But you're not – you're super-short, and I'm tall for a girl, so it would never work between us. I know it's not your fault that you're short, and really there's nothing wrong with being short. I'm just more into the tall, dark, and handsome kind of guy myself. Like Mark. What a hottie!

Anyway, you can do way better than me.  I'm just some dumb cheerleader. Granted, a really hot dumb cheerleader, but still. I'll bet you could go out with any girl you wanted if you could just get over your obsession with me.

I know it's hard to believe, but there are plenty of other fish in the sea. Like Wanda Moody, for example. You know, from our homeroom? I know she's not exactly Miss America material or anything, but she's got a really sweet personality, and I just know you two would hit it off great!

To be quite honest, I think Wanda is way more your type than I am. She's, well, simpler and less complicated than me. You probably couldn't guess it from looking at me, but I'm actually a pretty high-maintenance girl. You might not be able to keep up with me – socially or financially. My parents are loaded, you know, and well, your dad's a handyman. Not exactly apples and oranges or anything.

Anyway, I've probably taken up enough of your time already. I just felt like I should let you know where we stand. Which is nowhere. Not now, and not ever.

I hope you find whatever it is you're looking for, José. You're just not going to find it in me. Think about Wanda – I'm serious.

Your "just friends" friend,

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