I hate Mondays. Especially cold, rainy Mondays like today. I stand in front of my house, nervously awaiting my school bus. Why am I nervous? Well, this Friday is the 8th grade Fall Ball. The Fall Ball is the biggest dance of the year, and today I plan to ask Francesca Deveraux to be my date.
By the way, my name is Archie Huffnagle, and there are only two things wrong with my plan. Number one, Francesca is the most beautiful and popular girl in school. Other than my Mother, not many other girls consider me beautiful or popular. Number two; Francesca and I have been in the same class since the third grade, and we’ve only spoken to each other four times. Last week, I tried talking to her after class, but it was a disaster.
“Hi Francesca.” I mumbled, drooling on myself.
“Hi Arthur.” She answered, curling her upper lip, as if she was going to puke.
Immediately, I started to sweat and my voice began to crack.
“Actually, my name is Archie.” I said. “Did you know that the temperature on the Sun is over 10,000 degrees?”
Francesca stared blankly at me for a few seconds.
“Whatever, Arthur.” She replied, as she walks off with her friends.
Believe it or not, this conversation went much better than some of my other attempts. My friends Booger, and Yuki are the only people who know how I feel. Eugene “Booger” Bogumil has been my best buddy since second grade. We met at a science fair, where we both created a volcano using baking soda and water.
Yuki Lee is the smartest girl in school, and probably the world. Not just book smart either, she knows about people, and life. Two years ago, she transferred here from our rival school. Booger and I met her when we signed up for Chess Club. She is the only girl that I can talk to without tripping over my tongue.
When the bus finally arrived, I plod through the muddy yard, and climb aboard. The cramped bus smells like sweat socks, and Swiss cheese. On our bus, the cooler you are, the further back you sit. As usual, Booger and Yuki are sitting in the front row, right behind the bus driver. We like it in the front because it is safe from the spitballs and wedgies.
Before sitting, I can’t resist taking a peek at Francesca in the last row with her friend Veronica Knickerbocker. On rainy days like today, Francesca always wore her long black hair in a ponytail. We make eye contact for a split second, but she doesn’t notice me.
“It’s not polite to stare.” says Booger, laughing.
I snap out of my fantasy, and sit down between Yuki, and Booger.
“Today, I’m asking her to the dance.” I say
Yuki, and Booger stop laughing.
“Please don’t do it!” Begged Booger. “Guys like us don’t have a chance with a girl like Francesca.”
“Why not?” I ask, confused.
“Because we’re Nerds.” Whispered Booger
“We’re Nerds?” I whisper to myself
“Archie, technically, you’re a Geek, because your grades aren’t good enough to qualify as a Nerd. But, your poor social skills, and your slight social anxiety definitely signify that you are in the nerd family.
“So, I have Nerd DNA?” I ask
“Exactly.” Responds Booger.
I can’t believe what I’m hearing. Luckily, Yuki interrupts our insane conversation.
“Archie, never take love advice from someone who still sleeps in Cosmic Ranger pajamas.” says Yuki, laughing. “If you want to ask her, then do it. You are a great guy. You’re smart, funny, and sweet. Francesca would be lucky to have someone like you.”
I smile. As always, Yuki was right. The worst thing that could happen is having Francesca reject me, and break-dance on my self-esteem. But, obviously at this point that was not an issue. I mean, I’m sitting on a smelly school bus, behind the bus driver, next to a self proclaimed Nerd named Booger. This has to be rock bottom.
At this moment, I muster up enough courage to do the unthinkable. I unbuckled my seatbelt, stand up, and start walking towards the back of the bus.
“Oh no! What’s he doing?” whispers Booger, as I fight my way through the rain of spitballs, coming from the back of the bus. My hands are sweating, and my heart is beating like a drum. I turn to my friends. Yuki smiles, and gives me the “thumbs up,” Booger covers his face with his hands unable to watch.
I stop in front of Francesca, and look into her big, beautiful, green eyes.
“Francesca,” I say. “You are the most beautiful and popular girl in school, will you be my date to the Fall Ball?”
There is a second of silence, but it feels like an hour. Finally, an eruption of laughter comes from the back of the bus. I stand quietly waiting for Francesca’s answer.
“I don’t date Nerds.” Answers Francesca, as she shoots me between the eyes with the biggest, gooiest spitball of all-time.
Everyone in the back of the bus laughs even louder.
Without responding, I turn around and slowly walk back to my seat. At that moment I realize that Francesca was not the girl I dreamed about. She is still beautiful and popular, but not the type of person I would like to spend much time around.
When I got back to my seat, I can still hear the laughter from the back of the bus, but I don’t care.
“Those guys are jerks.” Whispers Booger. “You are a hero for Nerds all over the world.”
“Thanks Boogs.” I reply.
“Archie.” Whispers Yuki. “Since your not going to be busy this Friday, maybe you would like to come to the Fall Ball with me?”
I turn to Yuki, and smile as the big gooey spitball falls off my forehead.
“You’re asking me to the Fall Ball?” I say.
Yuki bashfully nods.
“I know, I’m not as beautiful or popular as Francesca, but I would love to go with you.” Adds Yuki.
This is weird. I haven’t though of Yuki as a “girl” since she beat Booger and I at chess two years ago. She is a very good person, and surprisingly cute, even with her glasses on.
“Thanks Yuki, I would love to go to the Fall Ball with you.” I say.
At that moment, the bus stops and the doors swing open. We were at school. Everyone rushes off the bus, and straight to class. Even though the bus ride was only ten minutes long, I think it changed me forever. I guess Mondays aren’t so bad after all.
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