I Said “Hi” and His Face Said “Bye”

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When I first came to school I couldn’t help but notice all of the appealing new faces around me. They were all so fresh. In high school, you get to know most of the people around you—nothing seems intriguing once you hit your senior year. But when nearly all of the people in your presence are unrecognizable, something incredible happens: You become confident. Nobody knows you, nobody knows your past… you can be anything or say anything.

Recently, I came upon one attractive face in this new pool that stood out to me. I had no idea what his name was, what he was like, what he enjoyed or if he was even friendly. I knew nothing. But I had the idea engraved into my mind that if I simply shouted “Hi!” in his direction good things would ensue.

Good things like falling in love, getting married, raising a family, etc.

Lucky for me, this magical man was in one of my classes. He sat a few rows behind me and occasionally I could hear him laughing with students around him. I kept imagining our first interaction and how perfectly it would go. I never found the perfect time to whip around and introduce myself, so naturally I chose the worst time to do exactly that.

The scene: It was a Tuesday morning, my hair was matted to my face from my hood (it was snowing outside and I was insanely groggy). There were several students in the classroom, despite the fact that I’d somehow managed to arrive a few minutes early. As I set my backpack down and made myself at home in the tiny chair, I took notice of my surroundings. I sipped my black coffee and began to feel myself come to life.

It was then that I remembered my magical man. Yes, I understand it’s a horrible nickname.

I was not exactly sure how to check for his presence without being completely obvious; there was absolutely no reason for me to turn around. The clock, doors, projector and all my friends were located in front of me…what was a desperate girl to do?

That’s when I heard that beautiful sound: his cough. I know, I know. I remembered the sound of his cough. But so what? I began to give myself a pep talk. Just turn around, Em. He’s totally going to be into you. Say your hello, introduce yourself and let it flow from there.

As I oddly spoke to myself in my head, a boy briskly walked past me and hit me in the head with his backpack. I noticed the athlete tag on his bag, which stuck to my face for several seconds. It was a lacrosse tag. The boy sat down close to my magical man and began talking to him about their game.

My love was a lacrosse player—what a perfect opportunity for me! I knew right then what I had to do. I spun around, met the eyes of my magical man and asked, “You’re on the lax team, right?”

Now: This was a major moment in my life. Not only was I speaking to a new person, but I was speaking to an attractive new person. This clearly wasn’t a major moment in his, however; he looked at me like I was a psychopath as he mumbled some response like “yes.” Then, as rudely as possible, he spun around and began a conversation with some more lacrosse players behind him.

Not only was I mortified by this failure, but I was hurt. My face turned tomato red and my heart sank. I spun back around and noticed a few faces staring at me in pity. That was the first day fresh new faces turned into mysterious, uninviting ones. I guess being surrounded by new faces has cons, too.

Emily is currently a Sophomore at the University of Notre Dame and is studying in the Business School. She hopes to one day write for a major magazine in Boston.

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