|Honorable Mention: Best Personal Story
"Lunch Can Change Your Life"
By Lindsay Witte - IN
2012 KarMel Scholarship Submission
Description of Submission:
"The piece describes the day I met the love of my life. The piece happens over the course of a year and describes
the back and forth pull between the two of us during our relationship from my perspective. Multiple events occur
throughout the work." - Lindsay
Why Karen and Melody Liked It:
It nice to get a feeling of that moment you meet the love of your life.
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I remember seeing her for the first time and instantly feeling attraction.
The exchange of glances.
The exchange of phone numbers.
This was the beginning of something that would change my life.
Junior year of high school, a fresh slate, a new beginning.
Erasing all the past mistakes and judgments. I know I’ll make this year different and be more confident.
Walking towards school my thoughts are all my own. Thinking of seeing friends makes me smile. Best
friends, memories of summer come flooding back. Busy sidewalks filled with students coming and going,
crowded stairways bursting at the seams with eagerness and hope filled the building. The feelings of new
beginnings are in the air as teachers shuffle past prepared to meet new students. I meet my friend on the
street before lunch and she says she wants to eat with one of her friends from the past school year. I
comply not knowing where this encounter would lead me but ready for anything that could happen.
The brick streets are punctuated with worn down buildings barely standing on their feet. My favorite part of
home because it’s so calm and quiet. It’s clear and thought provoking. A place to sit and just be with ones
self. The sun is bright and the sky a vivid blue without a cloud in the sky. It’s a perfect day. We’re walking to
lunch and she’s there standing, waiting. Glances pass, casual smiles, hellos. Walking along the crowded
street I’m right beside her. Casual discussion but nothing was casual in the least. We get to lunch, trays
clanking while forks and knives are shuffling with pings to the ears. The line is long, person-to-person, not
even an inch of personal space was to be found. I bump her accidentally. We look at each other
apologetically, but not regretful of the incident. Talking, talking, talking, there was so much talking. There
was a hum throughout the entire restaurant of talk. Various passersby and business people to students
filled the room to the brim. Six friends just having lunch, but it was a lunch that changed my life.
We had a bond instantaneously. We talked everyday from the moment we met. There was instant
chemistry and we both knew it. Between bits of homework and adventures with friends I always was with
her – physically as well as figuratively. Cardigans, the flute, Mike & Ikes, unsweetened tea, what made her
laugh, fears, and dreams - I came to know everything about her.
It was the only thing that described how I felt. From mountains of homework to long drives around curvy
roads, she was all I thought about. Day in and day out the same thoughts and the same hopes of
admission and confirmation of what I felt.
Fear came rushing soon after. What was this? Who am I? Is this really happening?
My thoughts were running wild with ‘what ifs’ and ‘where do I even begin?” How would I explain this to my
friends? What would they think? How would I tell my parents?
It was all-overwhelming.
You never realize the hold a person can have on you until you’re completely surrounded by their presence.
Wrapping my head around the thought of everything terrified me and made me question myself. Scared.
Unsure. My hands were always sweaty, my hunger always gone, my gaze always on her.
A rush to get ready and everyone’s fluttering about like lost birds. We’re all ready and she calls. She’s
almost there but she needs help getting dressed. I drop what I’m doing and run to help her as photos are
taken and couples wait their turn. We both run upstairs, like lovers their first time. Pulling clothes off. Unzip.
Pull. Zip. Uniting the lost strands of hair with their counterparts with hairspray. Smiles of satisfaction.
Affirmation of adoration. We both walk downstairs together grinning as if a major task had been
completed. The night passes along, casual talking, tons of laughing, sharing the moment. A slow song
starts as we’re standing next to one another, our male counterparts are nowhere to be found. A spark. An
Idea. She grabs my hand and we start to dance closely and slowly. The song ends and she’s still holding
my hand. Quickly dropped as people start coming back to life as if we’d all gone into a trance.
Then I knew she felt it as well.
Time flies by when you’re consumed by someone else’s presence. Coming home from a long day of
school, a long year of hiding, a long year of crying. I was drained emotionally and mentally. Windy roads
make my thoughts swirl. Mom is rambling about her day and I catch nothing but bits and pieces. Heart
racing. hands clenched. The thoughts spill out of my mouth before my head realizes and I confess I’ve
been dating my best friend. Stillness for a response, hope for acceptance, tears streaming down my face.
Backpack heavy like my heart but the weight was lifted once I decided to speak.
A whole new side of me has been exposed that I cant bare to hide any longer.
I realize this is the beginning of everything. A whole new chapter of a book has been opened that will never
be shut again.
The possibilities are endless.
The emotions run wild.
At the end of this tumultuous year I have more questions than answers, but I know who I am. I know that I
fell for my best friend harder than anyone before and had yet to full understand where these feelings would
lead me. I don’t regret anything.