Amaris Diaz’ short, nonfiction story came in first place for the “How I Found You” Valentines’s Day contest sponsored by The Rivard Report and Gemini Ink. Benavides has won a $50 gift card towards a Gemini Ink writing course. Click here to read more.

The summer before my freshman year was one of the best of my life. It was filled with blood, sweat, and tears, but mostly sweat. Marching season was in full swing and the tension between peer was already building up. I saw him each morning as I walked into camp and every time I went on break. He was on the drumline; a collection some of the most good looking and talented percussionist our school had to offer. With over 250 people in band we had a large amount of diversity among us but there was one thing everyone had in common; everyone wanted to know the drumline and everyone wanted to be on drumline.

Admittedly, I could easily be categorized under “everyone” because I too wanted to be accepted by the drumline, but would never completely say it out loud.

I saw him every morning on my way to practice, I saw him walk off to lunch everyday with the other two girls on cymbal line, and by the end of the first week of practice, I had completely memorized what kind of car his mother drove. Not only did I memorize his car, I memorized him. I knew by heart the exact placement of his scar; on him upper left cheek. I knew that music wasn’t just his hobby or something he did in his free time. No, music was his life. I also knew that he was right handed but walked with left foot as the dominant one. But even with all this knowledge, I couldn’t conjure up the courage to befriend him, or even talk to him for that matter. But that didn’t stop me from dreaming.

I always fantasized what our first conversation would be like; A) It would be an intellectual discussion about a novel we were both obsessed over. B) It would it be a silly conversation where we both just made fun of each other with a secret mutual liking. C) It would be the kind of conversation where we have absolutely nothing to say to each other but neither of us wanted it to end.

Or, D) none of the above.

Our first words to each other were, and I quote, “Hey look cymbals!”

“Yea. Cymbals.” Included with the are-you-stupid-or-something glare.

So we didn’t have a breathtaking, intellectual, comforting first conversation, but after that moment, I knew he was something special. Because on the first day of school, there he was in my 7th period algebra class, and there he was, sitting directly in front of me with that same smile I had become infatuated with for the majority of the summer. And, surprise, surprise, we ended up having all those conversations as best friends. Then again, as boyfriend and girlfriend, and again as the people we have become together. And next week will be a year, and I wouldn’t wish for a different meeting because that was us, and I love us.

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*Featured/top photo:  Helga Weber


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Amaris Diaz

Amaris Diaz was born in San Antonio, Texas but currently lives in Helotes and attends Sandra Day O’Connor High School. She is a 15 year old sophomore who plans on becoming a clinical psychologist as...