Monday, February 8, 2010

Chapter Six: A Mafia Murder To Remember

With his locker right next to mine, I knew there was going to inevitably be multiple run-ins with each other per day - before school, in between classes and after school. As if that wasn’t seeing enough of the new boy in town, I happened to have two classes with him as well: first period AP English and fourth period Psychology. Fourth period was right before lunch so we had the same lunch time as well. I couldn’t escape this boy if I tried! Amber and I laughed secretly about the locker situation. She knew my harsh feelings about Mr. Darin Gatsby, but she also knew that I thought he was cute. Big surprise there – who didn’t think he was cute? Let’s face it, his enormous smile was contagious and his eyes were the most beautiful shade of blue that my green eyes had ever seen. It wasn’t a matter of personal preference thinking that he was cute; it was a fact.

Let’s rewind to the story of how Amber knew that I thought he was cute. Our good friend had a birthday party a few months earlier (before Darin moved to town but after the beans – the chronology really does matter, so stay with me). The birthday friend was good friends with Darin and his family…so he invited him to his birthday party and thought it would be a good chance for Darin to make friends, since he was moving to our town soon. Darin came and I distinctly remember him. He was very, very quiet at the party. We played “mafia”, a game where the killer winks at a person across the room, and if you get winked at, you fall over dead. Most people were flamboyant in their death, screaming, falling dramatically on the ground and convulsing for 5 minutes, but Darin was quiet. I looked across the room at him, at those big blue eyes, and felt kind of sorry for him. He was at this party with mostly strangers, knowing very few people, and was about to completely start all over – right before his Senior year of High School. “That has to be tough,” I remember thinking. He was like Abraham, picking up and following because God called him to. He was faithful, even though it wasn’t the easiest thing to do. His parents had told him and his sister that they would move later on so that Darin could finish up his senior year at home, but Darin refused. He told them he knew the Lord was leading them there, and that they had to go.

He sat there amidst the group of us at the party, I’m sure wondering who would befriend him and make this year fun and memorable, and I could see a hint of fear and discomfort in his eyes. Darin is the type of person whose eyes and face display exactly how he is feeling and what he is thinking, and this was the first time I noticed that. His eyes met mine and I smiled at him as if to say, “I’ll be your friend. This will be great – you did the right thing by deciding to move here”. He smiled back and just as we had our little moment of bonding friendship, a wailing “WAAAAAHHHHHHHHH” scorched my right ear drum and another friend plummeted to their death.

The mafia killed our moment.

After entirely too many rounds of that game, Amber and I headed to the kitchen for some snacks and she asked me if I wanted to run to the school with her to pick something up. We left for a little while and as we ran to my car and jumped in the first thing she asked was, “do you think Darin’s cute?” I burst into laughter and screamed, “YES!!!!!!!!!”

She surprised me and replied with, “ME TOO!!!”

“Great,” I thought. “He’s casting that darn spell on both me and my best friend”. I smiled at her and we laughed at ourselves all the way back to the party.