We had 6th period Geometry together. Mrs. Rust’s class was very fun. I had many friends in the class, and while I certainly learned lots about shapes and calculations of areas, I had many friends in the class, so it was fun. I had not talked much to Megan before though. She knew that I played the bass. She had once asked me if I would give her lessons. Of course, with my busy schedule at the time, I explained that I couldn’t. Of course my mother gave me a hard time about this, as she was sure that this was a sign that she liked me. I denied any possibility of that and dismissed it as ridiculous. After all, this is me we are talking about.
Me in 9th grade was not a pretty sight. I had grown out my hair the longest it had ever been and it began to poof upwards. It was constantly a mess. My hair was perfectly complimented by my bulky double chin and I wore an old navy fleece jacket nearly every day, along with an old pair of jeans and black suede Birkenstock clogs. I wasn’t exactly Prince Charming. I didn’t play sports at all. My physical activity consisted of PE and the occasional walk home. Instead I did music and for a short time, after school drama club. I had already turned down the bass lesson offer, but Megan was not about to give up. Since she couldn’t act, she figured she could do some behind the scenes work, for the drama club. It would be relatively painless, and she would get more time with me.
As Megan approached me, I figured she was probably going to tell me about some prop that I needed to use, or how she was working on a new one. After all she was the prop girl. I had had little interaction with her other than prop-related discussion and the occasional borrowing a quarter so that I could get a drink during the breaks. “Hey Brandon,” she began, “I uh, hey, how are you?” “Oh, pretty good.” I replied. “How about you?” “Oh pretty good yeah. Um, so hey, uh I made you a tape. It has some of my favorite songs on it.” “Oh…” I said, slightly surprised at the kind gesture, especially since I didn’t know her all that well. “Thanks” I said as I looked at the tape. It read “Megan’s Mind”. “You really should listen to it…” she said. “Ok, I will, thanks” I said. “Okay, break’s over, everyone back in here!” we could hear the director call from the gym. I stuffed the tape in my backpack, put my Robin Hood cap back on, and continued rehearsing for The Somewhat True Tale of Robinhood.
I enjoyed acting. The play was a humorous take on the story of Robin Hood. It was full of all sorts of one-liners and witty little remarks that junior high kids don’t necessarily get, but their parents love. Of course, being one of two guys in drama club, I was cast as the lead role, Robin Hood himself. It would not have been strange being on stage with such classic characters Little John and Friar Tuck, except for the fact that these roles were played by girls. But after all it was acting, so we all did the best we could.
Now, even though it was 9th grade, I was still a little shy around girls sometimes. Sometimes. So when I found out that I was going to have to kiss Maid Marian at the end of the play, I was mortified! I had never had much interaction with girls, let alone kissed one! This was going to be awful! The moment our lips touched, I would surely die! I would get endless ridicule from my peers, my parents would shun me and my older brother would never let me hear the end of it! I couldn’t go through with it! Acting is acting, sure, but as a 9th grader who was still uncomfortable around girls, I saw having to kiss Maid Marian as pure torture. There was no way around it. I would probably have to quit the play.