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Once there was a thin boy; a very tall boy; a very shy boy. This boy moved from his hometown, the very place he was born, Boston, Massachusetts. This boy’s life had just begun anew, whether he wanted it to or not. This boy had a chance to start over. This boy’s name was Zach.
Zachary McKinnely was about 6’ 3 and he weighed practically thirty pounds under weight. His parents never believed that he was healthy for a seventeen year old boy. He didn’t care. He didn’t let it get in. He never really let anyone in.
Zach lived in a little town outside of Detroit his entire life. Because he was so shy he had few friends as it was, but moving to another state didn’t help at all. He never managed to obtain a girlfriend either, despite the fact that he was fairly good looking. Zach had rather long, black hair and reasonably tan skin. He had jade green eyes and he even had a kind smile. But the way he viewed the world was probably his best quality. Even though he was nice and polite, the fact that he had no friends to speak of came to his advantage. He wasn’t corrupt like most boys his age. He kept his childhood innocence.
Zach was always thinking of these little phrases; limericks and whatnot. he loved to write poetry. He even incorporated some his poems into songs. Zach loved to sing and play guitar and piano. But he was, of course, too shy to let anyone ever know. His favorite kind of music was mellow acoustic and soft piano. One of his deepest wishes was to be in his own band one day.
Zach spent his last few days of summer holed up in his room. He was frantically waiting for the first day of high school at his new school. He dreaded it more in those few days than he had anything in his entire life. To his despair, the first day of his Junior year came faster than ever.
Zach took his father’s Jeep that morning. It wasn’t really his style, but hey, none of these people even knew him anyway. He drove into the school parking lot, and he halted suddenly, dead in his tracks. There, on the crosswalk, was one of the most gorgeous, angelic girls he had ever seen. She had silk black hair; it went down her back and flowed in the wind like the fields in the summer. She had ivory skin and strawberry lips, which Zach immediately found himself wanting to taste. But his joy was short lived as the pickup behind him honked its obnoxious horn.
At lunch that day Zach sat alone, but he couldn’t help but notice the beautiful girl also sitting alone. Of course he was too shy to do anything about it, but for the next few weeks Zach saw that the beautiful girl sat alone every day. This puzzled him, but he still couldn’t force himself to go talk to her.
Homecoming came along, and Zach still had yet to make a single friend. He didn’t participate in any of the activities. And, of course, he couldn’t get a date for the dance. He stayed home and played his guitar, but the image of the beautiful girl hung in his head like a grand chandelier in a castle hall.
December came by, and all of its Yule-tide blessings eluded Zach. Even though every one around him was having a good time, Zach stayed in his unexpressive trance. Zach’s parents noticed this and bought him a new guitar and even some recording equipment for Christmas and his birthday. But none of it really lightened his spirit.
Finally spring came to ease the burden of Zach’s heavy mind. He made a few friends between January and March. But they were superficial friends, at best. They were enough to get him by though. That’s all he needed; enough to get by.
At last, the cool breezes and gentle warmth of Boston summer came to greet Zach with the promise of change. Within the first month of summer Zach wrote nearly a dozen songs about the beautiful girl he had yet to meet. Every poem he wrote was kept in a special notebook. Every song he wrote was burned onto a CD and then his Ipod.
Zach’s parents decided to get him out of the house by forcing him to start working out and jogging. They also hoped it would help him put some weight on. Zach always took his Ipod with him to review and revise some of his songs, so he sometimes took his journal with him to make corrections.
On one of the days he was running through the park, while listening and correcting, he wasn’t paying attention to where he was going. He suddenly ran into something hard and fell to the ground. His headband fell down to the point where it covered his eyes so that he couldn’t see, but he could feel long, thick hair in his face. Zach removed the headband, apologizing profusely, and stopped out of pure astonishment.
“Oh hey, you know, I don’t think I’ve ever heard you talk before,” said the beautiful girl.
“Oh, uh, I’m sorry,” stammered an incoherent Zach. He picked up his things and checked to see if she was alright once before he headed off.
“Nice meeting you!” she said as he slowly jogged away.
Zach got home later that day and went back to his room. Practically breathless from the experience, he plugged in his Ipod to his computer when he heard Beyonce playing…
Aubrey came to the park that Friday with a rather large smile on her luminous face. As soon as she stepped onto the sidewalk she immediately started searching for the boy who could write such passionate songs of love and sorrow all at the same time.
For the entire morning her efforts were unsuccessful. But around noon her search came to a marvelous conclusion. Aubrey didn’t even stop for the oncoming skateboarders when she saw the boy named Zach sitting on a bench all by himself. She checked to make sure his Ipod was still in her purse and then rushed over.
Zach was quite shocked to see anyone greet him in the park, but the arrival of the girl he only talked to in his dream nearly caused him to faint.
“Zach?”, asked Aubrey in eager anticipation.
Zach looked up at the breath-taking girl with a dry mouth and words that had been waiting a year to be spoken.
“Um, hello…” Zach barely choked out the words, almost as if he drank a gallon of maple syrup and then tried to say something.
“Is that seat taken?” Aubrey asked him, already knowing the answer was sadly, â€˜no’.
Zach shook his head rapidly, more nervous than any other time in his life, but at the same time, surprisingly intrigued.
“I think I have something of yours…”, said Aubrey as she removed Zach’s Ipod from her purse.
Zach’s eyes bulged out of his head as he saw the item that stood for all of the love that he harbored for this girl in her very hands. He pulled out her Ipod and the two exchanged them.
“You didn’t listen to it did you?” Zach asked anxiously inquired.
“Would it be that bad if I did?” Aubrey asked apologetically.
Well…” Zach started to say but Aubrey cut in.
“-because I really liked all of those songs! Did you write all of them?”
“Yeah I wrote them…” Zach said with scarlet cheeks. “I have more of them in my notebook right here…” before Zach could finish the sentence Aubrey snatched the notebook from his side.
Aubrey flipped through the abundant assortment of poems, from love songs to ballads of anguish. Her heart started to pound as she flipped page after page. Then she stopped and read aloud in a hushed voice:
“The way I look at you from afar makes every day feel the same. How can I love you when I don’t even know your name?” Aubrey started to read more passionately as she went on, “Sometimes life feels dark in a world of light. I can’t show you how I feel, but I can try every night, for the rest of my life,” Aubrey stopped halfway through and looked up at Zach who was staring at her through tear filled eyes.
Aubrey looked back into them with complete adoration. She slowly leaned in, never breaking their stare. But suddenly Zach drew back. They sat there for a few seconds, but Aubrey broke it quickly by asking if Zach wanted to come to her Fourth of July party the next Saturday. He nodded in agreement and Aubrey told him that she had to be going. As she got up to leave she gave him his notebook back and thanked him for letting her read his elegant portraits that made her heart sing.
As she turned to leave, Zach stopped her.
“Wait, I didn’t get your name,” he said.
“It’s Aubrey, silly,” she said coyly, as she once again said good bye and walked away.
“Aubrey…” Zach said repeated to himself.
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