Rendezvous Between Strangers
Just as the school year started, the month of August was nearing its end. The year was 1984. Tyler had been getting acclimated to everything slowly but surely. He was having a rough time getting used to things since he didn’t have many friends.
He was someone you could call an “outcast.” Tyler is the type of person that wants to have some friends, but only people who make him a better person and who he’ll always enjoy being around. Part of him wanted to be well known by a lot of people in the school, but the other part of him didn’t and really valued being by himself. The only issue with that was that he got very lonely.
Not talking to many people started to take a toll on him and started to make him a little bit more introverted than he ever wanted to be. Tyler thought it was time for a change. He said in his mind, “tomorrow is another day. Tomorrow, I’m going to talk to a few new people. I’ll see how it goes from there.” The next morning, the blaring sound of Tyler’s alarm clock slowly started to resonate in his mind as he became conscious from his sleep.
He began to slowly open his eyes, but it hurt a bit because of how bright the sun was coming through the window at the foot of his bed. He looked to his left slowly and reached for the button on his alarm clock. He saw that it was 6 A.M. Tyler thought to himself as he was grudging out of bed “Alright today’s the day. Let’s do it!” He took a shower and got ready for school.
Right as he stepped out of his house, he took a deep breath. Tyler started walking to school since he lived pretty close to it. Roughly a 12-minute walk. He got into class and sat down. He started looking around as class was about to start. Then he saw her.
Tyler had seen this girl a few times before but this was really the only class he had with her. He always glanced at her pretty frequently during class and always thought to himself, “wow she is absolutely beautiful.” For what felt like the longest time, Tyler was wanting to talk to her. He thought today might be the day to do so right once class ended that way he could walk with her to her next class.
He anxiously watched the clock. Just a few minutes went by but it felt like half an hour to him. He wasn’t able to concentrate on what the teacher was talking about. A bit of time went by and he looked at the clock again. “FINALLY.” He thought to himself.
He stood up quickly whilst trembling. He saw Calentine stand up as well. He started walking toward her and just as he was about to call out her name to get her attention, a voice in his mind started telling him “you’re going to annoy her then she’s not going to want to talk to you ever again.”
Tyler froze immediately as the other people passed him to go through the door. He was so mad at himself. “Why did I stop? She was right there.” He missed his opportunity. Right here is when Tyler learns that overthinking can easily ruin things. He always hated overthinking. It gave him so much fear and anxiety especially when it wasn’t needed. The school day was a few minutes from being over.
He began to walk home on his own. It was just him… and his thoughts. Tyler thought “How could I just ruin something like that? For no reason. The Opportunity is officially gone.”
A week went by and he just had not built up the courage nor confidence to go up to her again, despite how bad he wanted to. “Tomorrow is… September 10th” thought Tyler after looking at the calendar. He had been doing pretty well in school and had overall built up a solid amount of confidence. He was ready to talk to her tomorrow. He was thinking to himself as he got into bed “She’s a person too. I really don’t see why I should be so scared to talk to her.”
That 6 A.M. alarm came around quicker than he was hoping, but it was alright. He would talk to his crush for the first time ever today after all. He got ready for school, then left quicker than usual, determined, getting to school 8 minutes earlier than normal.
He sat down and looked at the ceiling for a little then started to zone out. He snapped right back to reality once the teacher said “Alright class! Today we’re going to be working on the study guide, so you’re free to talk to people and work on it with each other.” Tyler looked at where Calentine usually sits, and sure enough, there she was. The girl he had a huge crush on.
He thought to himself, “Should I wait until after class to talk to her?… or should I just try to work on the study guide with her right now? Maybe we can make better conversation that way and we would have way more time to talk that way it wouldn’t be super awkward.” Tyler had been planning this day out for the longest time and was absolutely ready to go and talk to Calentine.
He thought about it a little longer, then decided to stand up and head towards the desk right next to where she was sitting, which thankfully wasn’t taken by anyone. “THIS IS MY CHANCE. IT’S FINALLY HAPPENING” he thought as he slowly struggled to get up and walk over there whilst dodging a few people that were in between the desks. He looked at her as he sat on the desk next to her. “Um… hi! My name is Tyler” said Tyler with a half smile trying his best to not make it awkward.
To his surprise, she looked up at him with a smile. “Hey, Tyler! I’m Calentine… but something tells me you know that hehe.” Tyler replied back with “Oh I uh- how’d you know?” while looking a little bit embarrassed. He thought she looked so confident and didn’t seem to have anxiety as they started talking.
One of his biggest fears about talking to her was that it would be really awkward if they both couldn’t find something to talk about, but believe it or not, they instantly hit it off and started having a great conversation with lots of laughing. The bell rang and the teacher told the class to pack up and head out.
Tyler asked Calentine as he stood up “Sooo, do you wanna maybe talk again tomorrow?” She replied with “Absolutely! I’ll be looking forward to it Tyler!” with a smile. Tyler walked out of class the happiest he’s ever been. “I’VE FINALLY DONE IT” he thought in his mind. He went the rest of the school day completely zoned out and all he could think about was her. Calentine. He was really looking forward to school and what the future held. He was actually happy. Tyler finally had someone to talk to. Someone he really really wanted to spend time with. ***
The next day, Tyler woke up excited to go to school. He really had never been excited to go to school, but now he always has something to look forward to. He walked into class that morning and sat next to her. Thankfully no one sits at that desk anyways. They had a quiet conversation throughout class and really enjoyed each other’s company.
They both learned more about each other than they originally knew yesterday when they first met. This kept up for a few days all throughout the week, and Friday came along. That day, she said something that Tyler never thought she would mention. At least not yet. That day when they were talking in the hallway while walking from one period to the next, she brought up to him if he wanted to hang out with her on Saturday.
It came so suddenly Tyler got a wave of excitement and anxiousness. He felt a bit bad that he didn’t ask her that question first because he thought it was too soon, but he was so excited to hang out with her tomorrow! He went home and told his mom the good news that Calentine told him today and she replied with “oh thats cool Tyler.”
His mom really never was happy for him in any way. It was always like this for as long as he could remember. She was most definitely a narcissist… Well at least Tyler had that feeling for the longest time just because of how she didn’t really care for him. He woke up the next morning as quick as he’s ever woken up. “I GET TO SEE HER TODAY” he excitedly whispered to himself.
He leaped out of bed excitedly and began to get ready. There were a few hours left before he saw her which gave him some time to fully prepare himself physically and mentally as much as possible. He picked out an outfit, and some shoes and headed out the door with 30 minutes to spare which gave him some time to bike there. Tyler’s heart was racing with anxiousness… but the really good type.
He had never felt so- alive. Not in his entire life has something made him so excited. He arrived at her house, got off his bike, then leaned it against the fence on the side of the property. “There. Hopefully, she doesn’t mind me putting it there.” As he walked up to the doorstep, he felt even more anxious. He rang the doorbell then his heart dropped. He was really nervous.
“I’ve seen her at school almost every day… Why am I so nervous?” Then… the door opened. There she was. She looked absolutely beautiful. Tyler stepped inside awkwardly and said hi to her. They both greeted each other awkwardly. She asked him “did it take long to get here?” Then Tyler responded a little bit quicker than he was wanting to “nah it wasn’t long at all!” Looking at her with a slight grin.
Calentine smiled back. She looked so happy to see him. They talked for a little while in front of the door where he came into the house. Something was really strange, yet interesting. To his surprise, he found that that awkward feeling went away surprisingly quickly, and he had been talking to the girl he liked consistently without any awkwardness or any moments of silence.
Calentine’s mom came out into the foyer which was where Tyler and Calentine had been standing, and said to Tyler, “Ahhh you must be Tyler! I’ve heard a LOT about you from Calentine!” He glanced over at Calentine and saw her blushing so hard that she started turning red.
They both then followed her mom into the kitchen and had lunch together. They talked more and more about how the school year had been going and what they wanted to be when they grew up.
Tyler put is arms on the table quickly then crossed them as if about to say something sudden “So Calentine (he said whilst holding back a smile)… what do you want to study in college and get into when you get older?” She replied with “Well, now that you mention it, I was always really interested in psychology and I’ve been really studying it more these past few months!”
Tyler felt comfort inside because that right there told him that she was someone that really cared about her future. Tyler responded back, “WOAH psychology!? That is actually quite interesting! Not many people fancy that field but since you, so I’d say that makes you really special!” Calentine smiled really hard trying to not blush once more. She was very happy that someone found it to be interesting, and that someone was Tyler.
Noon turned into the evening, and before the two of them knew it, it was already coming up on 7 o’clock. They had so much fun talking and messing around all day, that the almost 6 hours they spent together felt as if it was only thirty minutes. “Shoot, it’s getting dark now isn’t it? ” sighed Calentine with a frown. Tyler looked at her with sadness and said with a nervous laugh, “Yep, it sure is.
I should probably start heading home now… so you know- my mom won’t get mad at me.” As Tyler was heading out the door, Calentine abruptly said loudly, “WAIT ONE SEC ” and she hurried inside. Tyler stopped dead in his tracks and stared at the door was Calentine was just standing. A few seconds later, she came running outside with a piece of paper. “I’m so sorry I almost completely forgot!”
She gave him the piece of paper that was neatly folded into a small square. “See you on Monday!” Said Calentine with a goodbye wave. Tyler waved back at her with a smile, and just as he turned around to get ready to ride his bike, his heart skipped a beat as he felt her hug him from behind. Tyler was so taken by surprise that he couldn’t get words to even come out of his mouth. “Goodbye!”
She said again. He said goodbye back to her and started riding off down the street. “No way all of that actually just happened” Tyler continuously thought as he kept riding. “SHE LIKES ME SHE REALLY DOES.” Once he got home, he put his bike inside of the garage and went flying in through the door, and ran into his bedroom. He quickly reached down into his pocket and pulled out the piece of paper that she had given him.
He turned on the lamp on his bedside table and un-crumpled the paper since it got all bent in his pocket. To his surprise, not knowing what was written inside of it, he saw a series of ten numbers that read: “872-4531-8217.”
He was in shock that she gave him her phone number! He hurried over to the other side of his room and pinned the piece of paper onto the corkboard that was hanging on the wall above his desk. He slowly walked backward, put his hands behind him, then slowly sat back down on his bed. Tyler had finally done it. What he had thought was always the most impossible thing, he made possible tonight.
He felt like the luckiest guy in the entire world. “This is where it all begins” he thought to himself as he happily began to drift off into sleep, feeling more relaxed than he ever had before. Tyler had finally changed his mindset for the better. He was a whole new person. Calentine had brought out the best in him.