Kanye West – “Stronger”

When: 22 October 2007
Where: San Gabriel Boulevard
Who: The Cross Country Team
Weather: Foggy
Book: Shakespeare: The World as Stage by Bill Bryson

In the end, my high school years were dominated by one thing: Girls on Buses. This is the story of the last, definitive girl on the bus.

Shelley was a year below me, a volleyball player at Gabrielino, but she had stopped taking the bus of late. I couldn’t get her out of my head, because I couldn’t stand her. She was a legend at Bosco, everybody knew who she was, despite how few of us had seen her. Towards the end, even those who had started to wonder if I’d imagined her all along. I was having one such argument later on the bus, when I pointed her out and said, “She’s right there, you bastards!”

Beautiful? Yes, even more so among people who take buses in the first place. Tasteful? Surprisingly so. But not intelligent or charismatic enough for me to get past those her failings. She always had a boyfriend, she was twee, manic, and after two years I needed to rid myself of this feeling.

I wrote her a love letter, which I’d planned to deliver the previous February but didn’t get around to. the previous summer I’d thought she’d shown an interest in me, but it was only a douchebag freshman posing as her online, which brought me to where I was at that moment. That Monday, there was no school, but I didn’t tell my mom that so she would drop me off at the bus stop. She wasn’t on the bus, so I gave it to someone who knew her. That night, she emailed me with a resounding “fuck you.”

But there I was, off the bus in San Gabriel. A great weight was lifted off my shoulders, and I was overcome with joy. I listened to this song as my own school’s cross-country team rounded the street corner miles from school. They were training, and they didn’t know what I was doing there; to them I was the hero of another story.

So why was she the definitive girl on the bus? Because of this:

It is worth noting that two weeks ago she and I ran into each other and are now on quite good terms.

Next: The changing face of cold

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