Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Guest Post Wed: A Lighthearted YA Romantic Piece by Scott R. Caseley

Originally, I was going to write something else, but the ideas I had were too dark and too bleak. Seeing as I've done a lot of that lately, I wanted to have a bit of a departure.

Though I love my characters in Isosceles dearly, I decided to leave them behind for this piece. I have other characters running about in my mind, so I wanted to give them a little bit of time in the spotlight. I hope you all enjoy reading it as much as I had fun writing it. – Scott R. Caseley

“Silent Cal”

            Though, I can’t tell you what I had for breakfast yesterday, I will never forget a certain guy in my freshman class from over twenty years ago. His quiet demeanor made him mysterious, which of course made him even cuter to my fourteen-year old mind.  I first noticed him when our Honors English class got holed up in the school library because they had to repaint our classroom.  Fumes and fate placed us at the same table with three others whose last name began with a “T”.  With his nose in the assigned prose of Jane Austen, I glanced over and saw those adorable dimples as he smiled at something in the reading.
Of course, his reserved nature was an obstacle, but not the only one I faced in getting to know him.  My own nerves needed to be settled somehow. Instead of simply talking to him, telling him how I felt, I overanalysed what I should say. I wanted our first conversation to be perfect. Consequently, when rehearsing it so much in my mind, sometimes even mouthing it, to an outsider, I probably looked quite odd. Thankfully the only person to approach me about it was my best friend Lacey.
“Okay, you’ve been acting kinda strange lately T, what’s up?” she asked while sitting in the bus on the way home from school.
“I’m fine.”
She gave me a skeptical raise of the left eyebrow, and smirked, “When I asked in Mrs. Andrews’ class if you read the chapter last night, you said, ‘Pizza’. You’re obviously not fine. Who’s the crush?”
I resented that she knew me so well sometimes, and I whispered nervously, “Calvin Tibbs.”
“Really? Calvin Tibbs?” she asked in a voice that may as well have come over the bus’ intercom. I turned into a tomato in seconds, scanning the bus looking for ears and heads to perk up at the mention of his name. When thankfully no one was paying any attention, she continued, a bit softer noting my concern, “Have you told him?”
“No, of course not.”
“Well, you oughta write him a note.”
“I can’t do that.”
“Why not?” Without waiting for a response, she opened up my book bag which was on my lap. She pulled out my Trapper Keeper and took a random piece of paper out of it and did a quick scan. “Now, your handwriting’s not that good,” she said, flippng the paper over. “Guys like that bubbly writing that most girls have. Observe.” She wrote simply Calvin with a comma after it, and in fact it did look more girlie than my chicken-scratch penmanship. “You should just be like, I like you, do you like me? And, then have two boxes where he can check ‘yes ‘or ‘no’, simple as that. Then when you’re done, you do this.” She proceeded to fold the paper into thirds and got it to end up looking like a perfect triangle. The bus came to a stop, she looked out the window, “Okay, gotta go. Remember what I told you, and don’t think too much.”
The next morning in homeroom with Calvin seated to my immediate right in a row of desks, I sat with my notebook open to write the note just as Lacey had instructed me. Nervously, the pencil slipped out of my hand and dropped on the floor. Before I could fully react, he gallantly retrieved my pencil with a small grin that I read as, “Don’t worry about it, I got it for you, because I love you.”. I still didn’t know what to say; instead I just snatched the pencil with the briefest of smirks.  Instantly, I felt ashamed for my rudeness.  My mind raced with thoughts skipping over one another as to how I could apologize, show my gratitude, and finally reveal my feelings towards him.  As fate would have it, at that very moment, I spotted a sign for the first dance of the school year hanging on the wall in the hallway. 
When I got home that evening, I decided that I would cajole my typically strict parents into letting me go to it. In a bit of irony, my parents were excited when I told them that the first dance was coming up.  Well, my mom anyway.  She, like me always was a romantic and saw this as my initial foray to meet boys.  My father on the other hand was more concerned with some random guy pawing at his daughter on the dance floor.
Walking into the gymnasium, I felt somewhat confident because I wore my best dress and had butterflies in my stomach with heart on my sleeve that night hoping that Silent Cal would notice me.  After listening to the hip-hop songs that dominated majority of the evening, I decided to see if the deejay took requests. I was quietly ecstatic when he revealed that he had the Michael Bolton CD that I had sought to hear. It was nothing short of destiny in action that he would be able to play my personal anthem for my feelings for Cal. Plus, it was all the determination I needed.
I looked over the sea of classmates who all appeared to be coupled up and enjoying their evening. If by some miracle he was there too somewhere in the crowd, I would be ready to ask him to dance and to share Michael’s yearnings for love along with me.  But then my doubts came over me like a tornado looming, and ready to cause considerable damage.  What if the first words he ever spoke to me were, “No thanks”? And, what if he said them with the same exact smile that had so entranced me back in the library on that cool September day?  Then his magical dimples would haunt me in a different but an even more profound way.
During the next half hour or so, I rehearsed to myself how I would approach him.  And, in truly poetic fashion, when I heard that mesmerizing piano solo that opened the song and the accompanying groans from my peers, I knew it was time to make my move.  Along the way, a few other boys asked me to dance.  I brushed them off without a second thought.  Finally, I arrived at the bleachers where a sea of the guys and gals stared at me dumbfounded. 
And there he was, reading on the top bleacher underneath the red tracking lights set up for the evening.  He appeared to be like an individual perched high above the trivial proceedings of melodrama of school dances. His attire consisted of an outdated Guns N Roses T-shirt and torn jeans. Neither screamed high fashion, he exuded confidence, which suggested he knew exactly who he was.
I made my move, without a word, I pulled him off the bleacher and onto his feet.  He looked at me startled when I dragged him by the hand down the bleachers and onto the parquet floor in silence.  At the time, it seemed like it was forever between the time that I approached him and got him out into the middle of the floor.
He didn’t say a thing the whole time we danced, the only thing I got from him was a drip of sweat or drool that went into my hair.  After overthinking for a minute or so about how he would react, I put my head on his chest.  As soon as the song was over, I looked at him for some kind of clue of what to do next if anything.  His face was filled with nothing more than stone cold fear and his eyes frantically scanned elsewhere.  Without thinking about it first, I just uttered, “You are a stud muffin, Calvin Tibbs.” His sole response was a blank stare. 
I broke the embrace of our dance.  Without turning back I hurried outside to go find my dignity along with my parents’ minivan, both of which I assumed would be in the parking lot.  As the Dodge engine and my mother’s questioning began, I saw out the back window a frightened looking Calvin had made his way outside behind.  I chose to watch him where I hoped he didn’t see me. When we left the parking lot, and the evening behind, I gave my mom the minimal answers to her inquiries about the dance. 
The following Monday a brief period of cursory looks from him and our peers in the hallway started.  Eventually though, he and I reverted back to the roles we were seemingly destined to have, just two strangers who shared the same hallways and classrooms.  At the first dance of sophomore year, I met and fell in love with Glen Turner, who would be my high school sweetheart.  Silent Cal never really was far out of my mind though, always wondering “what if?”  Then, three years later, in the same high school gym where we had our fateful dance, he was named Prom King.  During his acceptance speech, he promptly said just two words, “I’m gay.”

About the Author: 
While this is his first novel, he wrote and directed a dramatic feature, co-wrote and directed a documentary and wrote for an online magazine. He’s also a trained voice, stage, and screen actor. In addition to his creative pursuits, he is passionate about healthy living. He follows a mostly self-directed fitness quest consisting of weight training, walking, swimming, yoga, and hula hooping. When not working out, he also enjoys cooking healthy gourmet meals as well as playing board games with family and friends with plenty of coffee brewing to keep the fun going until the wee hours of the morning.

You can find out more about Scott R. Caseley, his novel and World of Ink Author/Book Tour at

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1 comment:

  1. Thank you for asking me to submit a piece for your blog, Virginia. This story had been one that I had started and I thought finished a while back. I pulled it out a week ago and I felt that it was just something that would be fun to revisit and revise. It is definitely a departure from some of the darker themes of Isosceles, but still strives to have the same heart of its lighter moments.