The pounding in your chest throbs up through your head and drowns out the drums currently playing on stage. Too soon the sophomore twin brothers are finished. You know you're next. Sucking in deep breaths, you wipe the palms of your hands on your soft purple sundress. A tiny bit of feedback echoes through the gym as the principal calls out your name on the microphone. Clutching the neck of your guitar for dear life, you scuffle across the stage.
It takes a moment to see anything through the glaring spotlights. You blink rapidly, straining to see your best friend in the third row. She's grinning and nodding, giving a thumbs up. Then, more discreetly, she points to her left. You glance over at the row across from her and scan the faces.
There he is.
Closing your eyes and taking in one last calming breath, you arrange your left fingers on the strings and start to strum with your right hand.
"I don't think that passenger seat has ever looked this good to me..."
The song starts out like a generic love song. Nobody can tell anything yet. As you sing out into the crowd your pulse doubles yet again. You're certain you're shaking, and it's a war just to keep your fingers and voice under control. Just get through the song and you can leave. It'll be over soon.
"He'll never fall in love, he swears, as he runs his fingers through his hair. I'm laughing 'cause I hope he's wrong."
What were you thinking?
You avoid looking at anyone you know and throw your focus into the music. The chorus starts. There's no turning back now.
"And I could tell you his favorite color's green, he loves to argue..."
How many other boys do you know with one sister and a birthday on the seventeenth? Oh my gosh, everyone will know. That's what you wanted. But what if-no, just finish the song.
"He stands there, then walks away."
The song's almost over. The most personal part... you can't let this moment go. You've been practicing and praying for months. You'll regret it if you don't... so you look directly at him.
"He'd never tell you, but he can play guitar. I think he can see through everything but my heart."
You can't read his face, but he fidgets a little and pretends not to notice your gaze. Still, you can't look away. This is what you've been planning. This is the moment you bare your heart to him. He has to have at least suspected it all along.
"First thought when I wake up is my gosh, he's beautiful, so I put on my makeup and pray for a miracle!"
The song comes to an end. The gym explodes with clapping and you can hear your best friend screeching and whooping. But it doesn't matter. Your eyes are locked on his. Your hands shake. Your pulse beats against your skin. Your only thought is "Please. Please. Please."
And he finally smiles.