My Favorite Freshman | Teen Ink

My Favorite Freshman

January 24, 2014
By SimplyRachel PLATINUM, Charlotte, North Carolina
SimplyRachel PLATINUM, Charlotte, North Carolina
48 articles 6 photos 40 comments

Favorite Quote:
"Yesterday is history, tomorrow is a mystery and today is a gift, that's why we call it the present."
"Things change, friends leave, and life doesn't stop for anybody."
~Stepgen Chbosky

It was my senior year of high school, the year I had always been waiting for. I was nervous, but excited. This was finally going to me my year. I had two classes with my best friend, Savannah, and we were ready to kick senior (and junior) year in the ass. The first day of school came and was just like every other. The teachers only give you the rundown of what to expect in their class. Savannah’s fourth period was a freshman science class and so she texted me and asked if I wanted to eat outside. I had office aide fourth block, so she met me outside of the office and we walked over to the picnic tables.
All the tables were mostly full so we had no idea where to sit. We finally picked a table that had three open seats and walked over to it. Savannah asked if we could sit with them and they said sure. We sat down at the small, wooden table and took out our lunches. A small, skinny, brown haired boy pushed his glasses up and smiled.
“I’m James.” He said.
“Savannah.” My best friend said.
“And I’m Rachel.” I told him.
“Are you guys seniors?” James asked.
“She is, I’m a junior.” Savannah told him.
“We’re freshmen” James said, pointing to the other two boys sitting with him, Samuel and Caleb.
Savannah and I sat there and talked like we usually would and we let our new lunch mates continue with their conversation. They talked about Pokémon and Dragon Ball Z and other video games. They were adorable in their own little awkward, dorky way.
The next day, we sat with them again. This time, we spoke to them a little more than we had the day before. One day, I sat down at the table and only James was there.
“How are you?” I asked.
“Good” James said.
It got quiet again and I silently prayed that Savannah would get there soon.
“What teachers do you have?” James asked. I paused, wondering where such an odd question came from, and then I told him.
“I don’t know any of those.” He said.
Being a senior, I knew almost all the teachers and I was just about to ask who he had when Savannah came over and sat down and my attention turned to what she had to say.
One day, Caleb decided to stop sitting with us; I don’t know why, but he left and never came back. Samuel never really said much, he mostly just sat there and ate his lunch in silence. Since that only left James, Savannah and me, we really had no choice but to talk to each other. Slowly, we got to know him and he became more than just “that awkward freshman we eat lunch with”; he became out little freshman friend.
Halfway through the quarter, we were joined by a new freshman, Lucas. He was a friend of James’, as they had met back in the sixth grade and were still friends (and in school together) now. Savannah always said he looks like a younger version of Leonard from the TV show, The Big Bang Theory.
Lucas talked to us a lot, but he was harder to become friends with. He was rude at times and seemed to have no filter between his brain and mouth. One time, he claimed to like Savannah better than he like me because she’s “nicer, funnier and prettier” than I am. He wasn’t the nicest person, not in the least bit, but the more we ate lunch with him, the more we got to know him and we realized that this was just his personality.
When he said something like that, we just rolled our eyes and shoved it away. Eventually, we became friends with him too and he warmed up to us so his comments and rude remarks minimized. The four of us would joke around and give each other a hard time. You would never believe we had only met a couple months before. We found multiple similarities between all of us too. James became Savannah’s twin and Lucas became mine, of course, he wasn’t incredibly happy about that.
Somehow, when we were talking one day, the topic of relationships came up. James and Lucas both had girlfriends and when we heard that, Savannah and I shared a look.
“What does that say about us?” I asked, only half serious.
“You don’t have boyfriends?” James asked.
I shook my head.
“I can't believe that you two are single.” James said.
“Why is that?” I asked, curious as to where he was going.
“Because,” James said. “You’re both so pretty and nice.”
I smiled and shook my head.
“Tell that to everyone else.” I told him, and that was that.
He made comments like that every now and then, Lucas would makes a few directed towards Savannah. Neither one of us ever took them that seriously. After all, they were just two freshman boys and we were both upperclassmen. They did stop and nothing was ever brought up along those lines again until December 7, 2013. Homecoming. Homecoming is the only dance our school has with the exception of prom. In my four years there, I had never been so Savannah decided she was making me go this year.
That Saturday, we got ready at her house and headed to the dance. When we got there, we found James and Lucas standing with their girlfriends by the table near the entrance. They looked at us and waved. Savannah and I placed our jackets on the other side of the table and I started to walk away when Lucas stopped me.
“You look really pretty.” He said.
I smiled and said “Thank you.”
He smiled and went to get a drink and I walked over to where Savannah was standing. As the night went on we talked to the two of them and other friends as well. We socialized and danced around. Well, Savannah danced, I more just swayed around. Savannah and James tried to get me to dance, but I’m terrible at it so I never did except to one song.
I had been ruffling James’ hair all night and he would always fix it. I tried to get him to keep it that way so he made me a deal. James told me that if I dance to one song then he would let me mess up his hair any time I wanted to. So I danced, badly might I add, to Still into You by Paramore.
Later on that night, I was sitting that the table talking to James when someone formed a dance circle. Savannah wanted to go closer so she grabbed my hand and pulled me towards it and I grabbed James’ hand and pulled him with us. We stood there watching for a minute, but when I looked behind me James had disappeared. I walked away and found him a few feet away from the end of the dance floor. He looked at me, a concerned look on his face.
“Are you okay?” He asked. “You look sad. Did you ask someone to come and they say no?”
“I did, but I don’t care.” I told him.
“You shouldn’t be sad.” James said. “You could have your pick of anyone here. Except me. You can dance with me, but you can't have me.” he smiled.
“Why do you say that?” I asked.
“Well, you’re beautiful, you’re smart, you’re funny. You’re shy, but that makes you cuter.”
I have never been one to give people hugs, but right then that was all I wanted to do.
“Can I give you a hug?” I asked.
James smiled slightly and I gave him a hug and said thank you. He made my entire night with that one compliment. It may seem small to some people, but I’m a very insecure person and it meant more to me than I have ever been able to explain.
I’ve forgotten most of what happened that night, but I’ve never been able to forget that little moment on the dance floor. The little moment with James, my favorite freshman.

The author's comments:
I was thinking one day about how my senior year of high school is almost over and about all the people who made an impact on me or who helped make this year as good as it has been and I realized that James is one of them. Then, from that one little thought came this story.

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