“Hey…Kim. Will you…d-dance w-with me?” Kyle hesitated, standing about two feet away from her.

Kim cast her blue eyes down at his short black hair, raising her eyebrows in surprise and confusion. Kyle raised his almond eyes to meet hers, though it was difficult for him to avoid looking at her bosom. Fourteen was that awkward age when boys were either a head taller or a head shorter than girls. Though, in Kyle’s case, he only stood up to her waist.

“Who are you?” Kim asked

Oh, crap! Kyle thought. Of course, she doesn’t know who I am! I’m a freakin’ nerd!

Hurt and embarrassed, Kyle backed away.

“I’m…Kyle,” he answered quietly. “We’re in…math class together?”

Why did you say that like a question, Idiot?! Kyle’s head screamed. She’s gonna laugh at you! You don’t stand a chance!

“Oh,” Kim responded awkwardly.

“I’m…really sorry. Are you with someone? I’ll go,” Kyle stammered.

“No. Um…I’m not…with anyone,” Kim replied. “I just moved here. I’m sorry. I don’t know anyone.”

“You came here alone?” Kyle questioned curiously.

She is new here, he remembered. Didn’t she start school, like, a week ago? How does she still not know anyone?

Kyle stepped a few inches closer to her, mesmerized by her beauty. Her long red dress flowed around her slender body gracefully. Kyle’s mind swirled with mixed emotions—relief that she still didn’t know anyone, but dread that she might become one of the popular girls.

“Yes. I know. It’s…a little weird,” Kim laughed, flipping her hair back and shyly looking away.

“No. It’s fine. I just…thought you met people,” Kyle replied.

Good. You didn’t tell her she’s pretty. So she might not think you’re a creep.

“So…I guess I’ll start over. My name’s Kyle. Welcome to Jameson Middle School,” Kyle said, stretching his arm out for a handshake.

Weirdo. Who gives formal introductions in middle school?

“Haha! Hi, Kyle. My name’s Kim. Nice to meet you,” Kim laughed.

That’s great! She’s playing along!

“Nice to meet you, too, Kim,” Kyle laughed, straightening his tie.

“So…What about that dance?” Kim asked.

“Right…”

Kim took her shoes off and put them against the cafeteria wall. Then she kneeled down, wrapped her arms around Kyle’s stomach, and stared into his eyes. There they were, blue eyes meeting chestnut brown. Kyle couldn’t believe it. He didn’t know what he was doing, but she did.

“Put your arms around me,” Kim said.

“Sorry…I”

“Let me help you.”

Kim took Kyle’s arms and put them around her neck.

“Now you look like you’re a little taller than me,” Kim joked.

Kyle laughed. “Thanks for letting me be the man.”

Kyle spun Kim, dipped her down, and gently pulled her back into his arms.

“Well, height aside, it was pretty manly of you to approach a complete stranger and ask her to dance. And that dancing just now…”

“Well, technically, we weren’t strangers. I knew your name before you met me.”

“Stop being a smart ass!” Kim giggled.

“Haha sorry. That’s just how I am.”

Kyle spun Kim again. This time, she twirled into him.

“So you weren’t creeped out?” Kyle asked.

“Well…I would usually be creeped out,” she said. “But something about the way you asked me to dance with you made you seem more innocent.”

“Oh. Well, I’m glad I didn’t scare you off. In what way did I seem more innocent?”

“You were…shy.”

“Yeah…I’m awkward and nerdy. I’m white and nerdy.”

“I like white and nerdy,” Kim stated.

“Good,” Kyle whispered.

An awkward silence fell over their conversation. They swayed with their arms around each other. Then Kim lifted her head off of Kyle’s shoulder and gazed into his eyes.

“Was that a Weird Al reference?” she asked.

“Took you awhile,” Kyle teased, thrilled that she heard of him.

“I have some of his albums on my phone. Do you want to go to the park and listen to them with me?”

“Are you…asking me on a date?”

“Yeah. I guess I am,” Kim flirted.

“Aw! I guess you get the man card now!” Kyle laughed.

“Well…you’ll get it back.”

“When?” Kyle asked.

“In a few years when you’re taller than me.”

Kim pulled away quickly, stood all the way up, looked down at Kyle, and giggled. Kyle just laughed.

I’m going to be her man, he promised himself.

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