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Funny High School Romance

Everywhere I looked, there was snow. A minute ago, I had the warm sun on me, defrosting my frozen limbs. I was going down the slope way too fast; sweat poured down my face, pooling in my neck warmer. Breathe! The voice in my head screamed at me. I tried to move my body, but I felt like a freezer-burnt popsicle stuck to an icy surface.

When things couldn’t get any worse, my ski poles flew from my hands. I waved my arms in the air trying to keep my balance, but I couldn’t. I fell, hard, landing on my stomach. I started to roll, turning into a big ball of snow. Loose twigs and rocks collected around me; dirt flew into my teeth.

I glanced in the direction I was rolling and saw something in the distance—it looked like a giant, dark mass. I shielded my face with my forearms, bracing for impact, and squeezed my eyes shut. The wind started howling, and with it, I heard screams—human screams.

“Who’s there?” I shrieked, as icicles pierced my gums like a walruses’ tusks. I slammed into the mass unable to move. My call went unanswered. I was alone. Just me and the screaming.

I woke with a start; my whole body twitched like I’d been electrocuted. I sat up patting myself down like thorough security. I felt around my mouth—no icicles, whew

  I don’t get excited about much, but when my kind-of-friend, Darren, invited me to join him and some guys from his hockey team for a weekend at the Snowy Peaks Ski Resort, I was doing jumping jacks from my computer chair, as Mountain Dew spilled onto my sweats. It wasn’t until we were all stuffed into Darren’s truck, that I realized the situation that I had gotten myself into. I have never skied before. Between school and boring errands—I never leave my house. I feel more comfortable, hidden in the tough skin of my character: Tyrapheus, in my favourite computer game: Darkness in the Valley. In the game, I’m a hero. All built and strong, but in real life, I’m like a half-raw pancake that’s fallen out of the pan, and then gets stepped on by your dad’s mysteriously white sock. Flat, gooey, and just, no.

  I still said yes to the invitation though. I don’t have many friends, although I wouldn’t consider Darren a friend either— he’s more of a guy that’s in my biology class—who feels sorry for me. After I accepted, I went to this ski store and spent all my allowance on gear —that money was supposed to be for the next Darkness in the Valley 2 game, but my parents convinced me to use it towards ski stuff. They were thrilled that I was actually doing something.

 I sat in the very back seat by myself. Ski poles kept stabbing me in the back; goggles kept popping out of zippers and falling onto my lap. When I thought the drive couldn’t get any worse—Darren almost missed the turn going into Sturgeon National Park. He cranked the wheel so hard a case of beer slid off the suitcase beside me, hitting me square in the temple. I buried my head in my hands and released a grunt of frustration, praying that I would make it to our destination alive.

These guys that Darren is friends with though, they’re impressive. Muscular guys with hair that always looks good, and they always have girls staring at them. I don’t have much experience with girls. I dated one briefly in middle school. I really liked her—loved her, in fact. Her name was Miranda Thompson. She liked gaming, and we liked a lot of the same bands and foods. But then, a few months into our whirlwind romance—she smashed my heart into pieces, like Tyrapheus’s war hammer coming down on a goblin’s head.

There she was making out with Tommy Wildecox, band geek, who played the cymbal—the cymbal, like that triangle thing you hit with a stick. I stood there watching them with a red rose in my hand, freshly pulled from Mrs. Rickert’s rose bush. So, I tossed it into the trashcan and swore off women forever. She moved away shortly after that.

“Alright boys, we’ll be there in about ten-o-minutes!” Darren yelled, pounding his meaty fists against the steering wheel. His buddies cheered, while I hovered in the back, studying everyone, trying to remember their names. There was: Kevin and Gevin (twins), Gabe, and Justin—who had enough freckles on his face that if you connected the dots, you could outline the downtown core of a major city.

Exactly ten minutes to the tee we arrived at the resort. Darren parked in front of the lodge almost hitting a Bellboy in the process. The inside was okay, but it was right on the side of a mountain which was super cool. I peered out through the windows in the lobby while the twins checked us in. The drop was steep; my hands grew sweaty as I pictured myself falling through the glass, and down into the winter wonderland. I figured by the time I’d reach the frozen stream at the bottom, I’d look like a snowman—a dead snowman. I was so lost in thought, that I didn’t notice the huge mitt enveloping my scrawny shoulder.

“C’mon man, let’s put our crap away, and gear up for some mountain time,” Gabe said. His teeth were so white, they reminded me of those little marshmallows you put on hot chocolate.

When we got to our room, I went for the bed closest to the bathroom, hoping to claim it. As I began to put my stuff down, Gevin and Kevin flopped onto it, spreading their arms and legs out like starfish.

“This bed is officially taken,” they said at the same time, which was creepy. I mean, Miranda and I used to finish each other’s sentences but… I spun around hoping to call dibs on the other bed near the window, but Freckles already had his things neatly laid out.

   I sighed and collapsed onto the couch, too lazy to pull the bed out. I pressed a musty-smelling pillow over my face, and let the springs push painfully into my back hoping that this was just another nightmare and that I’d wake up to the familiar faces of my video games and comic books. I could hear Darren enter the room, telling Freckles to move his stuff over. I wish I had that kind of authority around people, but as my gym teacher once told me: I was a ‘yes dear’ kind of man. He got fired shortly after for being a creep with the girls’ volleyball team, so I didn’t take his comment to heart.

“Aaron, get the pillow off your face and listen up,” Darren said, as all the guys gathered around the kitchen table.I groaned. Propping myself up on my sore elbows.

“To start the day off, we’re gonna skip the bunny hill. We’re all pros so we don’t need to hang out with all those noobs. We’ll go straight to the big slopes. I want to see all of your best out there… and Aaron,” Darren’s stare pelted me like a thousand snowballs. The guys turned and looked at me, grinning mischievously.

 “If you’re as good as you say you are, I want you to impress me man.” Darren pumped his fist in the air. The guys cheered. I moaned.

Fortunately, I was smart enough to watch videos of how to suit up and snap my boots into the ski’s bindings. I even practiced walking around with them on in my house; at least I was semi-prepared. My mom held my hands as she guided me down the hallway, and I clomped around like a giant awakening from a siesta in its dark cave. My dad peered at us over his newspaper and sighed, shaking his head in that way—that basically told me that he was disappointed in the kind of son he got.

As we were walking through the lobby, I slyly (or what I thought was sly), peered at the girls waiting to check into the hotel. One girl kept catching my eye. From where I was standing, she was really pretty. Blonde hair, a small nose that turned-up slightly on the end. My heart beat a bit faster. Then, she turned and looked straight at me. I froze. She froze. The guys turned around standing directly in front of the entrance doors, blocking everyone’s way; they didn’t seem to care. 

“Hurry up, man!” Freckles called, impatiently waving his hand. Miranda said something to the group that she was with, and strode over to me, looking as surprised as I felt.

“Hey, Aaron, how’s it going?” she said, pulling me into a hug.

Thousands of emotions were coursing through me. Shock, anger, embarrassment, and love? No, not love, desire?

I awkwardly wrapped my arms around her and glanced at the guys making obscene gestures. She smelled like strawberries.

I hesitated. “Uh, it’s good, yeah, good.”

“That’s good to hear. I didn’t know that you skied?” she said, looking slightly suspicious.

I shrugged. “Yeah, I picked it up shortly after you moved away…I— I’m really good.”

She laughed, a warm laugh, like liquid honey. “Well, it’s good to see you, Aaron. Maybe I’ll see you around?”

I laughed too, but it sounded more like a bird squawking. Part of me was hoping that I’d see her around. She was way more beautiful then I remembered.

“Yeah, for sure, see you around Miranda.” I watched her walk away until Darren’s obnoxious voice pulled me out of my love bubble.

 “C’mon Aaron! We don’t got time for chicks right now. We got some sick pow to pound.”

 I glared at him as we marched towards my death.

No words could have described how sick I was of being cold. The wind pierced my face like toothpicks in soft cheese. I wiggled my toes in my boots that were too tight and held on for dear life. The higher we got, the more I remembered my nightmare from last night. Was I going to crash into something? A tree? Or maybe an animal? I knew a kid once whose parents hit a moose. Their car was toast—like parts scattered everywhere, including a lone hoof sticking out of the grill.

I tried to focus on the scenery around me; it was beautiful. The mountains were huge with pine trees dotting their rocky exterior. Smoke billowed from the lodge’s chimney, making the perfect scene for a painting.

 As we approached the station, I began to panic, forgetting every video that I had watched about getting off the lift without falling onto my face. I tightened my goggle straps as Freckles began to lift the bar. I took my ski tips and pointed them up, just a bit, like the Australian guy told me to on those educational videos that I binge-watched. I watched Freckles place his skis parallel in front of him; he arched his back as the lift slowed down, flawlessly maneuvering himself from the seat onto the snow. I, on the other hand, forgot what I was doing, and hung half-on-half-off the seat; my ski poles dragging across the frozen ground.

“Aaron, get off!” Freckles yelled, lifting his goggles off his face. “Stop screwing around!”

 I attempted to push myself off the seat, but instead, I fell butt-first onto the compact snow. I sat there dazed, and crazy embarrassed, as the guys circled around me, pulling me out of the way so I didn’t get myself into the same situation that the moose did.

“You alright brother?” Darren asked as the twins each took an arm and lifted me back onto my skis.

“Yah, I’m fine, just a little rusty is all,” I grumbled, brushing snow off my butt. I took a moment and used my skis to balance my weight by gently sliding them back and forth. I was so focused on not making myself look like an idiot again, I almost didn’t hear girls giggling behind me. Mechanically, my head swung around. Miranda stood a few feet away from me, talking excitedly to a group of friends. I scratched my head—almost impaling myself with the ski pole, wondering how she got up there so fast? Did she teleport? Did she drink a Red Bull or something?

Before she could notice me, I dug my poles into the ground and carefully slid towards the guys, readjusting my weight to maintain my balance. Those people on those videos make it look so easy. I felt like Bambi walking on ice for the first time.

Darren clapped a hand on my shoulder, and said, “I say that Aaron goes first. We gotta see your skills so we can own you.”

Gevin nodded, “Yeah and whoever does the worst has to buy first round later.”

“Hell yeah!” Kevin nodded, looking too eager for my liking.

They all slid back, giving me space. This was it. I peered down at the slope, and gulped so deeply, I thought my Adam’s apple was going to break through my skin—the slope was a lot steeper than I thought. Huge pine trees stood guard on each side. I looked over at Miranda one more time in case I died, but before I had a chance to burn her image in my memory, she took off down the slope, expertly moving both her body and skis.

I jumped as Darren came up behind and whispered, “need a push buddy?” I swatted him away with my glove, nearly missing him as he backed off, howling at the sky.

Without a moment’s hesitation, I went for it. Blocking the nightmare, moose, and Miranda from my mind.

It was wild. At first, I had great control. I shifted my weight around and really focused on gliding. The skis were now part of me. I went slow, slower than I should have for an ‘expert’ but at that moment I didn’t care. I kept my shins tilted forward, and my ankles flexed. When I got to what I thought was probably halfway down the hill, I heard a scream. I opened my legs into a wide triangle and stopped in a perfect breaking-wedge. Before I had the chance to pat myself on the shoulder, I saw Miranda propelling full speed down the slope, she had lost one of the poles, and was trying to keep her balance with only one; snow sprayed around her like a winter waterslide. She was headed straight for a cluster of pine trees

My thoughts turned into a blizzard; everything that I had learned melted away by the merciless panic that beat in my chest. But, somehow, I managed to stumble down the slope—going sideways. I could hear her screaming for help and realized that I had to move faster. So, I did what I do best: I flopped on my stomach, and slid after her, flexing my abdominal muscles to keep my skis in the air. After what felt like forever, I got close enough to her that I could almost touch her. I turned around so that my skis were facing Miranda, and saw I was headed face-first into a thick, angry-looking pine tree trunk. I stretched my legs out and pushed her with my skis using all the strength I didn’t ha—


“You’re an idiot, Aaron Monroe.” I opened my eyes slowly. Pain radiated down the left side of my face. Miranda sat at the foot of the bed smiling. She wore a hospital gown and had a few scratches on her face, but other than that, she looked fully intact. I, on the other hand, took the full impact. I broke two ribs and my pinky finger—good thing I don’t need that finger to game.

“You don’t even know how to ski, do you?” Miranda asked.

 I coughed, taking a laboured breath.

“No,” I admitted. “But I did pretty well considering.”

Miranda stood from the bed and grabbed my hand.

“Well, I think it was super cool and brave what you did,” she said softly.

“And…,” her face went scarlet, “kinda sexy.”

   I jumped back into my love bubble, moving too quickly, and winced—it felt like a thousand knives were piercing my organs.

I wet my lips, hoping for a kiss, until a nurse walked into the room and announced that it was time to prep me for surgery. Miranda hopped off the bed, scribbling something on a piece of paper.

“ Here, she said,” ducking out of the way of my IV bag. She folded the piece of paper and placed it into my hand, curling my fingers into a fist.

“We’re moving back to Chesterfield in a few months. Keep in touch and I will let my night in shining armour—I mean, skis—take me on a date.” She giggled, kissing me on the cheek.

“See you Aaron and let me know how surgery goes.” She waved, limping out of the room. 

Two porters came and pushed me through the labyrinth of hallways. I smiled like an idiot, squinting at the fluorescent lighting above me. My nightmare was partially true, but it didn’t mention getting the girl in the end, which chances are, I just might.

January 21, 2022 19:52

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1 comment

Boutat Driss
10:30 Jan 26, 2022

well done. I loved it


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