At first, my heart leaps up my throat in shock, and then when the dread kicks in…it sinks to the
bottom of my stomach. With a thud, it sticks there like wet cement.
“Voting Hallie will make you saddie…”
The words leave my lips in a soft quiet murmur as I take in the complete and utter stupidity that
is Becks Callum.
Pinned up on the school's tackboard was a poster bashing my campaign for Class President.
Not only was it not even proper English, but it was just icky, dirty, cheating behavior.
Ripping the poster down I try not to look at my massive face, which has been blown up
and morphed into a sad one.
My heart rate increases and beats rapidly, trying to find a comfortable place to panic. I’ve got
the poster crumpled into a ball, and just as I take a step forward to head to my locker my
face…another one…softly falls to the floor and slides across the tile, landing just at my feet.
There it is again, in the same bold lettering…’Voting Hallie will make you Saddie.’
Slowly, my mind comprehends what's happening, and my gaze lifts to see posters of my face all over the walls. As far as I can see, even towards the end of the hallway..is my face. Big- and
sad. Very, very sad.
Anger swells in my chest as tears begin to trickle down my face.
For the past three months, I’ve worked tirelessly on my campaign against TunderWood
High’s reigning Class President, just to have him stoop this low.
People have been voting Becks back in every year since we were freshmen…against the school
board’s rules. But It made sense, because if I’m being honest he’s the most outgoing person
I’ve ever met. His smile is pretty, which helps him with female votes. Plus, he’s got this charm
that casts a spell on the teachers. He practically brainwashes them into checking the box next to
his name on the ballot.
I curse under my breath, ripping down posters one by one. Not soon after I begin, my count of
posters gets lost in the sound of tape ripping paint off the walls.
Through blurry eyes I rub at the now ruined spot. It’s only when I inhale that I realize how
upset I am.
I was just glad that no one had seen these yet. Or seen me…
I was a TA for my math class, which meant I came in earlier than the rest of school.
Thankfully, busses didn’t show for another hour, which meant I had time to rip this nightmare
down from the walls.
“These are a means of propaganda!” I say, slapping the posters down on Mr. Todd’s desk.
He looks up at me over his glasses, then back down at the posters.
It’s not even the whole stack, and I can tell that the ones tucked under my arms worry him as
“Who did this?” He asks.
I roll my eyes, “Who do you think? There’s only one other person running against me and he’s
Slumping down into a nearby desk I release the breath I’d been holding.
Mr.T sighs and collects the posters. He flips them around to look, “Alright, I’ll talk to him.”
I nod and whisper a thank you.
“You should know though,” he clasps his fingers together and rests his elbows on the desk, “he
only does this because he likes you.”
If I thought I couldn’t be more shocked than I was ten minutes ago when I’d found the posters, I
sure was being proved wrong.
My mouth gapes open as I stare at him.
He chuckles and leans back in his chair, “It’s true.”
A scoff escapes me, “No, it is not! Are you kidding me? Becks is the LAST person who would
have a crush on me.”
“I didn’t say he had a crush, I said he likes you.”
I arch a brow, “Mr.T, what is even the difference of the two? They’re both the same-”
“Uh-uh” he waves a finger, “You can control a crush, move it around, have several…you
can’t exactly fall for someone and take that back as easy.”
Confusion takes over my face and I don’t even try to hide it.
He laughs, “Hallie you really should take a look at how close you two have become. The
campaign doesn’t help.”
I click my tongue, “Actually…technically it divides us.”
He laughs…again, obviously finding humor in a totally not funny situation.
Shaking his head he pulls out a pad of sticky notes, “I’m sure between you sharing notes
on academic issues within our school, and all those colorful pens he likes to snag from
you…that definitely insights division.”
My nostrils flare and I clench my jaw.
“Look,” he says kindly, “all I’m saying is if you ignore something that brings you happiness it
gets harder and harder to ignore. It’ll resurface quickly.”
I bite the inside of my cheek.
I came here to get my justice, not be told that Mr.Perfect has an undying love for me.
“Take this,” Mr.T holds out a sticky.
I stand and step forward, taking it from him,
“Tell Ms.Wilson at the front desk that you need the locker room keys. Hurry before kids start
arriving, I don’t doubt Mr.Callum decorated the walls in there too.”
Swallowing I nod and spin around.
“Oh and Hallie,” with one foot out the door I look over my shoulder.
He smiles, “I’m voting for you…and despite the poster, I am ‘fairly happy’.”
A smile finds my lips and I laugh lightly before finding myself in an empty hallway.
Only fifteen minutes before busses start to arrive. Time to go full speed demon.
The minute warning bell for first period rings just as I’m stashing the last of the crumpled
posters into the trash.
My heart skips a beat. My first period was all the way on the other side of school.
Before I can even think my legs start moving beneath me.
I’m sprinting up the stairs, nearly panting when I see Becks running too. He catches my gaze
with his and a smirk forms on his face.
He seems to tighten his form and speed up. I can’t help the smile that takes over me too as I
match his step.
We’re racing to class. Two of the school's best students…racing through the halls.
A laugh escapes me at the thought, and for some reason Becks laughs too.
Eventually we get to the door.
Becks grabs the handle and just when I think he’ll throw himself in front of me to be first,
he holds it open.
What Mr.T had said…about his crush, or whatever it was, resurfaces and I blush, ducking into
“Well well, Mr and Ms Popular, what’s our reason for being late?”
I swallow hard.
I hear Beck's voice over my shoulder as he says, “My fault. She was um…”
He pauses, then, “She was re-decorating.”
My eyes widen and Mrs.Lane clears her throat, “Take your seats then.”
I bite my tongue and force a nod, heading to the back of the class.
Kids stare at us, but not for long before returning to whatever entry assignment they’d
been instructed to do.
“So, how long did it take you?” He asks.
I roll my eyes, sitting down in my seat.
Becks sits next to me.
“Thirty minutes? Forty-five?” I can hear the joy in his words.
“Why’d you even put them up in the first place,” I bite, “That’s cheating.”
He smiles, “Isn’t cheating if you don’t get caught…besides, it was a joke…I knew you’d get here
in time to take them down.”
I sigh, opening my notebook, “It wasn’t funny.”
“No talking please.” Scolds Mrs. Lane.
Becks and I both look up at her, then at each other.
“Sorry,” he whispers, responding to my previous statement.
I return to fishing a pencil out of my backpack and whisper back, “Apology so not accepted. That
was so embarrassing.”
I watch him bite back a laugh.
Growing frustrated I feel around the bottom of my backpack for something to write with.
Looking up I find Becks offering me a pencil.
Reluctantly, I take it from him.
“Aren’t you going to say thank you?” He teases.
I scoff, “So I can be indebted to the king?”
Within his silence I answer for him…
His smile grows, a laugh under his breath as he bobs his knee quickly up and down.
Quietly, we both read the handout for class.
He's got his pencil behind his ear, and his blonde mop of hair is swooped over to the right.
I swallow, watching him out of the corner of my eye.
There was this air about Becks, an aura that I’d been unfortunately attracted to since we were
However I’d done an incredible job at resisting it.
By it…I mean my crush.
There was a reason Mr.T’s statement had stuck in my head, and that’s because it didn’t seem
all so ridiculous.
Becks and I had been friends since second grade, and I fell for his green eyes long
before second grade, when I’d told him he shouldn’t eat crayons.
He’d had a green one in his hand and proceeded to explain how when his dog ate them he
pooped in color. For some god awful reason, Becks wanted to experience that.
That afternoon I went over to his house, which was within walking distance of mine, and
I met Sammie, his black lab.
This was just one of the many memories that I had with him, and I tended to chalk them up to
“Reasons I did love Becks.”
But…we didn’t fit, and I’d seen that when we entered highschool. When he joined
baseball…every pretty girl took his attention away from me.
At least I thought it had, but as I sit here I wonder if I’d been the one who pushed him away.
After class I try my best to lose Becks in the crowd,
I hear his friends calling his name…or at least the name he went by.
I was the only one who called him Becks…I had been since middle school, when he tried
changing it to his last name, Callum. He thought it was cooler but I ignored it. He’d been going
through a phase. Fortunately, for him, that phase stuck.
“Callum! Cal get over here!”
“Man, where are you going?”
My heart skips a beat as heavy footsteps run up behind me.
I stop then, and sigh as I spin to face him, “What do you want Becks?”
His body language screams discomfort, which completely throws me off.
His shifty eyes trigger my anxiety and I take a deep breath. “Do you need something or-”
“Do you wanna go out with me?”
His voice isn’t hushed when he says this. In fact, it is a normal volume, which makes a
few girls send me their looks of disapproval.
Lifting my jaw from where it’s dropped I look back to him. He’s got a nervous smile plastered on
With the MOST confusion, I mumble a, “Huh?”, and half expect him to bust out laughing.
“Come on don’t act so surprised.” He says, taking a step forward, “Frozen Yogurt or something?
Say yes, please.”
His scent floats around me and my words get stuck in my throat.
Becks was asking me out. Was there an ulterior motive?
I take a step back, tipping my head to the side, “What’s the catch? This is a dare, right? You
want me to drop out of the race or something?”
He laughs, and steps closer, “No, actually…I’m dropping out.”
There goes my jaw again, straight to the floor.
“What?!” I shout.
Becks looks around us, bringing my attention to the still staring students.
He smiles then, “Honestly…it seems like you really want this and I’ve had it for three years so-”
“No no no!” I start, poking a finger at his chest, “I only want this because YOU want it.”
“You don’t even want the job?” He asks, grabbing my hand between us.
I suck in a sharp breath, and press my lips together.
Being class president would be really cool, but I had no idea how to do any part of it.
“You know if it’s about navigating the ins and outs…I got you. It’s the least I could do as your
frozen yogurt date.”
I look off in thought.
Maybe he could help me. He’d been doing it for three years…flawlessly.
Biting my lip I consider what he’d said, then the end of his sentence finally finds me.
Frozen yogurt date.
Tingly heat races up the arm he’s holding, and butterflies flutter in my stomach, “Um, I don’t
My voice has turned small and I take a step back, my hand falling to my side.
He clears his throat, “Don’t know about frozen yogurt, or me helping you?”
I watch him make note of the distance I’ve put between us.
All the feelings I’d had for him had resurfaced within the last hour…how was that even
Mr.T’s words tap me on the shoulder, if you ignore something that brings you happiness it gets
harder and harder to ignore. It’ll resurface quickly.
Exhaling a breath I hadn’t known I’d been holding, I look up from where my gaze had drifted.
“Why would you want to eat frozen yogurt with me when I’ve been so mean?”
He smiles, “Well, I did blow up your face on a poster and put it around the school, so I’d
say I’ve kept the score pretty even.”
Maybe Mr.T was right.
Deep down I knew Becks like no one else. He’d always been there, even when it
seemed like we were in a war of hate…maybe for him it was just fun.
That’s what he thought the posters were…fun.
I sigh, then take a hesitant step forward.
“I’m terrified of you.”
A Laugh busts out of him, “You’re what?!”
Almost as if out of habit, I flick him.
“Ow!” he stands up straight rubbing his forehead.
When his eyes find mine he smiles, “I’m gonna take that abuse as a yes to frozen
I fight to hold back a smile, but fail miserably as I watch his eyes light up.
“Alright weirdo, but you’re buying.”
I spin around, heading to second period, though I couldn’t even find my way if I tried. I'm so
distracted by the arm that becks has flung over my shoulder.
“Of course I’m buying…it’s a date, silly.”
Written By: Katheryn Frederick
Photo Credit: Hust Wilson (UNSPLASH)