CHRIS BEDELL
Columnist

Another lump formed in my throat as I remained suffocated by my depression while I sat on my bed in my bedroom while I talked to my grandma. “Thank you so much.”

There was another awkward gap in the conversation before she finally spoke.

“So have you done any writing lately? You know how I love your short stories.”

I let out a depressed sigh. “No. I haven’t. It just feels like it doesn’t even matter at this point.”

“Don’t say that,” replied my grandmother. “Of course it matters. I really believe that you’ll make it as a writer someday.”

I let out another sigh as I grew more depressed by the moment. “Thanks. That means a lot.”

“Well anyway, I just wanted to check up on you,” she said as I could detect a hint of concern in her voice.
It took me a minute before I could find the courage to speak. “Thank you.”

I heard my grandma take a deep breath on the other end of the line. “Look Noel, I know this probably isn’t going to comfort you now, but you really have to hang in there. You just can’t give up.”

I could barely find the strength to speak. “I know…”

The next morning at school, the universe ended up being in a generous mood as I ended up getting a reprieve from Ron, the notorious bully who had accosted me numerous times. But that didn’t really change much though. Sure I was saved from being humiliated but that didn’t change the fact that I still felt invisible. I mean I could kill myself and no one would even notice. Although that wasn’t even an option because I didn’t want to embarrass my parents since I knew that no one would come to my funeral.

What was also surprising was that I had a smile on my face for a moment as I saw Stefan Paine walking through the school hallway. And boy was he hot! He was five-foot-nine with thin, short, dark brown hair. Oh boy, how I would have given anything to make out with him or even for him to notice me. I mean his slightly unshaven appearance really made his appearance pop! But I knew that wouldn’t happen.

Popular people just didn’t associate with people like me, and that was the harsh truth. Although truth be told, I would have done anything for him to notice me. Sure, it might have sounded superficial, but it would have been nice to be with the popular crowd.

Three days later, Raina Jensen, a gorgeous, thin, blonde haired girl, approached me in the school hallway as she happened to be walking up to everyone as she handed them fliers.

“Here you go,” she said as she handed me a flier.

I furrowed my eyebrows at her for a moment. “And what’s this?”

“It’s a flier for my annual back to school party tonight,” she revealed. “You should come. Everyone is invited.”

Raina soon strutted away in her red high heels as I was left all by myself.

I then glanced down at the flier for another minute. I could go to the party, but I didn’t really see the point of going to the party if I was just going to be all alone.

On the other hand, it beat another Friday night alone in my bedroom watching DVDs of my favorite television shows… And if I went, it meant that I might possibly get to see Stefan since he was Raina’s boyfriend. However, I couldn’t help but almost want to laugh at the idea of Raina inviting everyone and anyone to her party since she was one of the popular brats. Although I supposed even if she didn’t care
about anyone who wasn’t popular, it would certainly help elevate her status if a lot of people attended her party.

In the end, I decided to go to the party and several hours later I was currently standing on Raina’s gigantic patio terrace as I stood by myself a distance away from the benches, where Raina, Stefan and a couple of other people were sitting while I was drinking from my red cup.

But then, something unexpected happened. Stefan glanced at me and he gesticulated for me to come over. “Do you want to come over here and sit with us?”

Surprised, I immediately walked over to the bench, as I sat down next to Stefan and all of his friends, which included his best friend Tom, and his younger sister Lola in addition to his girlfriend, Raina.

Stefan continued to glance at me for a moment. “So, I’m Stefan and you are?”

“I’m Noel,” I replied in a depressed tone.

“Well, nice to meet you Noel,” said Stefan. “And this is Tom, Lola and Raina.”

Tom ended up speaking. “So what is everyone watching on television these days?”

Stefan let out a brief chuckle. “Not much. My shows keep getting canceled. I really do miss ‘Greek’ and ‘Blue Mountain State.’”

“Yeah, those are lame shows,” he said. “No wonder you like them.”

Stefan let out another laugh. “Gee thanks.”

Tom smirked for a moment. “As for me, my girlfriend keeps trying to get me to watch ‘Pretty Little Liars.’”

“And where is your girlfriend?” asked Raina.

Tom snickered at Raina’s question. “That’s actually a very good question…”

Twenty minutes later, Stefan and Raina got up from the bench but Stefan turned to look at me before he left. “Well, Raina and I actually have other plans but it was really nice to meet you. Why don’t I give you my cell phone number?”

“Sure,” I replied in an indifferent tone.

Stefan then gave me his cell phone number as I added him to my contacts, and then a minute later he was gone.

Lola ran her fingers through her strawberry blonde hair as she couldn’t help but cast judgment on Raina. “How rude of Raina. She left her own party!”

A twisted smile quickly formed on Tom’s face. “I know right!”

Ten minutes later, as I drove back home from the party I couldn’t help but smile a little bit at the thought that my crush now knew that I existed. I mean it really was interesting how I had spent more time with him this evening than I had over the last two years of high
school. If anything, it gave me another reason to wake up in the morning…

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