The Assignment

The Assignment
28 de nov. de 2021 · 7m 44s

It's a good thing I excel in speech and drama; otherwise, I'd be screwed in Mrs. Todd's class this year. Kelly is by far the biggest distraction in my life...

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It's a good thing I excel in speech and drama; otherwise, I'd be screwed in Mrs. Todd's class this year. Kelly is by far the biggest distraction in my life right now, without a doubt. I called her at least three times over the summer and hung up as soon as she said hello. Thankfully fate gave me an hour each day right next to her in class. We've spent the entire time bonding while our teacher became nothing more than background noise. It's worth trading my A+ for an A- as long as I get a date by year's end.

It looks like Mrs. Todd has an announcement to make, "Alright, class, I'm going to assign you to groups of three. You will have two weeks to write a one-act play. I'll choose the best one, and we'll perform it in front of the school. You'll have plenty of time to work on it most days in class, so two weeks should be ample." There is a stellar chance this is not good news for me and my pending relationship. No way is she going to put Kelly and me in the same group.

After separating about half of us into teams, she finally says my name. On my trip to the front of the class to await my fate, I can't help but think of how my instructor will ruin my life. My progress, destined to fall apart if she doesn't match us up. Maybe I can will her to call Kelly's name with my mind. It's worth a shot, "Kelly, call Kelly! Mrs. Todd, call Kelly's name," is my thought that will hopefully make it to her brain somehow. Oh gosh, here she goes; my fingers crossed, and she says, "Miller." "Seriously! Miller? He is not who I sit at my desk thinking about all day. He doesn't make me dizzy, nor does he give me that 'Christmas morning' feeling in my stomach," I think to myself. The teacher speaks again, "and Kelly." Yes!

It took me a solid twenty minutes to get over my excitement, but my bliss didn't prevent me from coming up with a strategy. In all honesty, I could have knocked out a decent one-act play in a night by myself, but I convinced my group of three we should meet after school to work on the task. We planned on me picking them both up on Tuesday to rent a conference room at APSU. It would give me more time with Kelly and hopefully a chance to seal the deal on that date I desperately wanted. Thanks to my quick thinking, blinding sparks will fly, and our love will ignite the darkest Tennessee sky.

"Mom, I have to borrow the car. It's a mandatory assignment, and if I don't, then I could fail," she reluctantly rewarded me with the keys after my plea. Okay, so I didn't entirely tell the truth, but I didn't lie either. Her car is an ugly mammoth tank that enjoys stalling in the middle of traffic. I'd rather walk or ride my bike in most cases, but the brown beast is my only hope in this scenario. Sometimes a guy has to make a decision, and I'm determined to do whatever it takes.

Miller is practically my neighbor, so I have to pick him up first. It would look a little suspicious if I went to Kelly's house and then circled back for him. I'd have to think of something clever to get him in the back seat instead of shotgun. Before he could even open the door all the way, I said, "Hey buddy, it might be polite to let Kelly sit up front since she's a girl." He informed me that he tends to get car sick if he rides in the back and sits beside me. It wasn't the best excuse, but it's all I had, and it failed miserably. On the way to our next stop, he insisted on me taking him home by six for dinner, or his parents would get mad. That only gives me a couple of hours with Kelly at most. He's been in the car for one minute, and I already want to leave him on the side of the road.

As soon as I pull up, Kelly comes busting out; she hops in the back, and we head out on our adventure. Whenever I look up into my rearview mirror, her reflection catches my eye and puts me in some weird trance. "Dude, watch the road," Miller says with a bit of dread. We turned on Riverside Drive, and the car died, so I had to coast to the turning lane. It's a pretty good workout with no power steering, but I managed. We sat there for a second before I restarted it and merged back into traffic. My anxiety would have been manageable if Miller hadn't flipped out. More than anything, it's embarrassing because I'm doing my best to make a good impression on Kelly. After catching her giggling in the mirror, it made me feel better. There is no sign of panic in her eyes, so I should be good.

After acquiring our room, we worked on the script for ten minutes before more interesting topics took over the conversation. Knowing Miller had to be home by six, I suggested grabbing a Blizzard at Dairy Queen afterward. Kelly perked up and agreed that was a great idea. Miller told me he'd like that too but reminded me that he had to be on time for dinner. "Darn, Miller, I totally forgot about that. Well, crap, it looks like it'll just have to be me and you, Kelly. I'll take him home, and we'll come back to town for ice cream," I said, trying not to look overly excited.

We began discussing the play again, and Miller excused himself and went to the bathroom. A few minutes alone with Kelly is all I ever wanted, and now I have it for the first time. She has no clue that she seized my heart more than a year ago when I caught her beaming over one of my stupid jokes. It was a combination of laughter and sympathy because it wasn't funny at all. The situation was less about her reaction and more about having her full attention, even for a few seconds. There was no hope after that; she had me, and I fell hard. Hopefully, our unofficial date tonight will turn into an official date very soon.

Miller shuffled back into our private room and insisted he had great news. "Don't keep us in suspense; what's up?" I asked after being ripped from my deep conversation with the girl of my dreams. "I called my parents, and they said I could stay out until seven, so I can go to DQ with you guys after all," Miller said with great enthusiasm. My friend raised his hand for a high five from both of us. The fake smile I summoned was only to hide the feeling of disastrous disappointment. He has once again unknowingly thwarted my plan to sweep Kelly off her feet and drive off into the sunset in the brown beast. After concluding fate may not be on my side, after all, I decided to suck it up because Miller is my friend, and I'd never dream of hurting his feelings.

We left Dairy Queen and headed toward Kelly's home as the evening came to an end. I was determined to make my own destiny today because some things in life are worth the extra effort. The first date with Kelly isn't going to materialize by itself, so I have to take charge with another plan. My schedule is open all week, and if it weren't, I'd cancel whatever I had to if it meant another day with Kelly. Even if Miller had to tag along, it would be worth a few more moments with her. We're only a couple of minutes from the stop, so I'd have to make my move quickly.

I spoke up as we turned on to her road, "We should do this again this week; what works best for you two?"

"I'm good anytime," Kelly says from the backseat.

Miller jumps in, "I have tennis practice every day but Friday, so that's best for me."

My genius idea, "Aww man! The only day I'm available is tomorrow." That sucks, Miller. I guess Kelly and me will have to go without you. I don't mind pulling a little extra weight on the project so you can go to practice; I mean, what are friends for, right?"

They both agreed it was a good idea before Kelly hopped from the car and strolled inside. Miller talked about tennis the whole way back to his house. At least, I believe that's what he was rambling on about during the drive. I dropped Miller off and headed back to Mellon Road with a heart full of hope. Tomorrow is another day, and it looks promising. About the time I parked Mom's car Whitesnake came on the radio. Is This Love packed my chest with optimism while I looked up at my special moon from the front seat of the big brown beast.
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Autor Chris Sherron
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