The fall air was crisp and dry, easy to breath, and perfect for football. My friends and I took turns watching the game and talking. The girls would all go to the bathroom together and talk about the boys. Something about a group of girls and boys in high school, it seems everyone pairs off.

The game was going like all our school football games went, relatively uneventful and we were losing. The football was secondary to the socializing though, that’s really why anyone went to a football game. It was almost the end of the second quarter our hands were clenched tight as we desperately breathed hot air into them hoping to warm up and  James offered to go get us all a hot chocolate. 

“I’ll go with you.” I wanted one too and knew that James really meant he would get him and Kristen one because he couldn’t carry six or seven hot chocolates. 

We walked together to the concession stand, talking about football for a moment, Kristen, and the jersey I was wearing. He laughed when I told him how awful and boring my lunch date had been. 

“Maybe he was just shy.”

“Maybe,” I agreed. “But I can’t go through another lunch like that to find out.”

He laughed. 

We paid for our hot chocolates and started walking back to the group. He stopped before the stands and looked at me. 

“Uh Tori. Can I ask you something?” He seemed nervous. James was never nervous. He was loud and strong and I had never seen him anything other than confident. “Do you think Kristen likes me?” 

I started laughing and James started at me confused. 

“Yes, she is obsessed with you.” I said reassuring him and suddenly wondering if using the word obsessed was a good call. 

“Cool. Thanks.” He turned and started walking again. 

“Anytime, friend!” I followed along behind him. 

We returned hot chocolate in hand and suddenly the group was in their pairs, and Kristen and James were laughing and talking and googling at each other as though they had never met. I turned my back to them to let them have the gross but cute romantic comedy start to their relationship and started watching the game again. 

“7, 8. 6” 

“No! That’s not a 6, that’s definitely an 8.”

“What planet are you on?!”

Who was shouting numbers and what were they doing? I turned around. Standing right behind me were two boys. One was short with brown hair that was either buzzed or so tightly curled it looked buzzed wearing a green sweatshirt and arguing with his friend. 

“It’s flat! There’s nothing to it. You are just too nice.” Green sweatshirt said. 

“Whatever, you are just wrong, and don’t want to admit it.” 

The second voice was coming from a tall boy with brown curly hair, and big brown eyes with  three freckles on his left eyelid that started at the end of his eyebrow and formed a line to the corner of his eye. 

I recognized him immediately, his handsome face had been burned into my memory and seeing it again brought all my butterflies right back.

This picture was taken from one of our fishing trips together.

“Hi.” I said staring at him. 

“Hi,” Jake said looking up at me. “Do I know you?” 

“It’s Tori. We, uh, you uh, well before your freshman year we hung out once.” 

“I knew it was you,” he said with his crooked smile forming. “Nice to see you again. How are ya?”

2 thoughts on “Dear Hello Again…

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