For weeks and weeks I have been watching him. Poppy says I am virtually stalking him. You probably think I'm crazy after this introduction but honestly, I'm not.
Yesterday was Monday 10th February and I had History, English Literature and Biology. I find that Monday is the best day of my week. One of those reasons could be because he is in all three of those lessons.
Okay, maybe I should explain properly. This already sounds utterly complicated and confusing though it isn’t when you understand what I am saying. Poppy and I attend sixth form at the local fourteen to eighteen college, also known as Meadow Hill Community College. There's an extremely cute guy who arrived at the beginning of Year Twelve called Josh - Joshua Daemon Theo Mitchell! And you've probably guessed that I fancy him. In the biggest way possible. Josh is adorable, handsome, intelligent and well mannered. What more could you wish for in a guy? Nothing.
So, to continue with that Monday. I was sitting at the back of the classroom in History with Poppy and my other best friend Olivia. We were meant to be reading an article on the financial policy of the James I and taking notes on it but we decided to discuss boys instead. I was about to launch into a description of why Josh was so perfect when our teacher marched over and exclaimed in front of us:
"Poppy Arnold! Holly MacMillan! Olivia Patrick! What are you doing? I believe I specifically instructed the class to take notes in silence and you three are doing neither. Get on with your work now or you'll be back here at the end of the day."
She strode back to her desk and when I glanced up Josh was staring at me. I looked back at the table and my work again. Fortunately we got the work done so our teacher let us off the hook. We were safe from a lecture of why history was an important A-level and how it should be taken seriously.
Poppy had Geography then but Olivia and I both had English Literature. We were studying poetry and today’s lesson was focusing on Robert Browning. Last lesson we had written an essay on a poem called ‘My Last Duchess’. Our English teacher insisted on giving us a copy of someone else’s, someone who had done brilliantly, along with our own results. I had got sixteen out of twenty one whilst Olivia got fourteen. It didn't come as much of a surprise when the exemplar we received had been given twenty and belonged to Josh. He excelled at everything. That was one of the reasons I adored him so much.
Josh looked really embarrassed as our teacher pointed out the good points we should take note of from his essay, his cheeks were positively glowing rose red, as though I had used my blusher on him in an excessive amount. I spent the rest of the English lesson gazing at him and imagining myself making him turn that rusty pink.
At lunch I ate a chicken salad baguette whilst Olivia and I told Poppy all about the lesson with Josh. It sounds crazy but we really were three overly obsessed teenagers. Josh had that effect on people though. It was only me who really felt strongly towards Josh; Poppy fancied another boy in our year called Dylan Williams and Olivia was dating Zac Henderson in the year above.
Later in Biology we had to research DNA and chromosomes in pairs. Our teacher randomly chose the pairs, hence the reason I ended up with Josh!! I was shocked when she told us we would be working together but I was overjoyed at the same time. That was the best lesson ever. It was amazing to be close to Josh and talk to him without feeling awkward.
That evening I began to design a card to send to Josh on Valentine’s Day. In my opinion it was going to be magnificent. I planned to draw a History text book with a big heart in the centre which obscured some of the words. I wanted a border of hearts too and a happy Valentine’s Day phrase on the front, at the bottom.
I also went to Tesco’s and bought some heart shaped chocolates and a bottle of aftershave which smelt heavenly; I expected Josh would like it too seeing as I had followed him into Tesco’s once to see what type of aftershave he wore. Absolutely normal obviously! And no, I seriously am NOT a stalker!!
Anyway, skipping ahead to Friday the fourteenth of February. I sneaked the card and carefully wrapped presents into Josh’s form room before anyone else arrived. Someone who I went to athletics with called Rowan-Mae was in the same form as Josh and she said had promised to report if he opened them and what his reaction to his gifts were. When I got to my form room there was a bunch of flowers lying on the desk closest to the door and a card was precariously balanced on top of them. There was a small gift next to that too. One was addressed to ‘Darling Holly from History’ and the other to ‘Poppy Arnold: BLGE’. (Whatever that meant).
I decided to wait until Poppy and Olivia arrived at college to look at the flowers and the card which accompanied them. I was excited to know who had sent them, if it was Josh, oh, I thought my heart might break in two or melt into a puddle and leave me trying to mend it. The pieces of a love I had been longing to acknowledge for so long might finally be falling into place. Josh was perfect. Josh would be a dream come true.
“It is!! It is!!” I cried, my eyes brimming with tears of joy. “It says ‘With Love from Josh.’ Look!!!”
“Mine is from Dylan!! He actually sent it!!” Poppy hugged the small card and gift to her chest.
Olivia stood at the edge of the sixth form common room where she was enthusiastically kissing Zac. They were so cute together and he was clearly attached to her. However, I did want her to pay an interest in what was happening to me and Poppy; that was what friends were supposed to do, right?
At that moment Josh came through the door at the far end of the common room as Dylan split away from his friends. Both of the boys were heading towards where Poppy and I stood.
“Do you think …?” Poppy began as I said, “Are they coming to speak to us?”
There was no need to answer for they had arrived in front of us.
“Poppy,” Dylan offered. “Will you come here? I want to ask you something.”
“Sure. Let’s go!” Poppy glanced at me and smiled before going with Dylan.
I turned towards Josh who was now standing next to me.
“Holly, I got your card and the presents. They were gorgeous. And I just want to say that I think you are gorgeous too. I love your quirky nature and I … ummmm … Holly will you go out with me?” Josh stumbled over his words before spitting the question out.
“Josh, of course I will.”
Okay, okay. I know you’re supposed to be hesitant and not show your love too early in the relationship but I wanted this so badly that I couldn’t help myself. Once I’d said the words Josh enveloped me in a gentle hug. It felt like the warmth of a bath filled with bubbles, like laughter after drinking too much lemonade, a feeling of near perfection.
When I was on the phone to Poppy that evening I discovered Dylan had asked her out too. All three of us had a boyfriend now and the fourteenth of February was the perfect date for match making to happen! I could go to sleep happy, believing I was the luckiest girl alive.