*Writing Prompt: What comes to mind when you think of the word ‘plaid’*
A chill ran through my body as my butt cheeks made contact with the cold, hard bleachers.
It was Friday night and this was the place to be.
The varsity football game was the social event of the week.
The sun was sinking into the ground and leaving the blue sky colored with shades of pink and purple. Soon it would be dark and the bright stadium lights would push down their harsh light onto the field.
“Move down!” one of the girls I was with said and I moved from my warm stop to a cold one sending cold up from my butt through my body.
There were big fluffy clouds still in the sky, some looked like scoops of ice cream and then others looked like an elephant dancing with an alligator.
These images made me smile but I would never tell my friends next to me.
We were high school freshmen.
We were the ‘little kids’ on campus trying to make a name for ourselves and be cool. And it totally was not cool to be looking up at the clouds, day dreaming about what their shapes.
I turned towards my friends and tried to focus on what they were talking about.
The conversation bounced between current crushes, new couples and what teacher was the dorkiest.
I shivered as the wind cut through my shirt.
There was a part of me that wished I had listened to my mom when she told me to grab a jacket but a jacket would have covered up my shirt.
I was proud of my shirt.
It was an over sized, plaid flannel shirt that was all the rage with the girls in my class. I had begged and begged my mom to buy me this shirt during our annual back to school shopping trip.
At first she had out right refused.
She just didn’t get it. She thought it was ugly. It was not something a young girl should be wearing. It looked boyish. She tried to get me to choose other options but I stood my ground.
I don’t know if my begging and whining finally wore her down or she saw in my eyes how important is was to me to fit in and be like everyone else.
The base color of the shift was deep purplish blue. It was plaid with navy blue, pink, purple and white running through it. I wore it with jeans and a white shirt underneath as was the style.
To complete the look, the plaid flannel shirt had to have the front tucked into your jeans.
I hated wearing my shirt this way because unlike my girlfriends who all were thin as rails, I had a bit of a tummy (although, now I would kill for that ‘tummy’ I had in high school).
I was ashamed of my curves and desperately wanted to hide them in that shirt. I didn’t want anyone to see how different I was from every other girls in school. The fact that I was 5’10″ did that enough.
I tried to change the way the shirt was tucked by tucking it in only in the back. It worked for me. My stomach was covered and my butt exposed. I was trying to be “one of those rap guys girlfriends… baby got back” but my friends just laughed.
So I followed the crowd.
I hugged my arms around me trying to push the soft flannel closer to my body and keep the chill out.
“Hey,” someone said tapping my shoulder.
I turned around to see who was talking to me.
“Do you know what time it is?” he asked.
It was then that the world seemed to stand still. For talking to me, was the hottest guy in the Sophomore class. This was the guy that most girls fawned over as he walked down the hall. He was the resident bad boy and every girl in school prayed that he would pick her for a date. His picture was plastered in every female locker and maybe even in the teachers lounge, was was that cute. Yearbook all had hearts around his picture and ‘Mrs Bad Boy Hot Guy’ scribbled in them. Girls wanted him and guys wanted to be him.
“Do you know what time it is?” he asked again.
By now this little interaction had drawn the attention of my group of friends. All of whom stopped chatting mid sentence, some with mouths hanging open and others cursing themselves for not being me.
It was like my brain was not working. I knew he wanted to know the time. I knew that I was wearing a watch but it was like I had forgotten how to move.
My heart raced in my chest.
I felt like I was going to faint.
Finally after what seemed like ages, my brain remember the action of telling time. I lifted my arm and pulled back my sleeve.
“Um-um,” I stumbled trying to make sense of the circle with numbers on it on my wrist, wishing that I could be calm and cool like a Hollywood movie star, “it’s 7:09.”
“Hey, thanks.” he said holding his hand up for a high five which I tentatively gave him, “oh and you look really nice in that shirt.”
With that he and his group of friend got up and left as I started planning our wedding.
This post is part of Writer’s Workshop