Not Lemon Enough
I don’t know if you’ve ever eaten a whole lemon, but I don’t recommend it.
Why did I eat it? Well, it seemed like a good idea at the time.
I saw the new kid for the first time in the cafeteria, last Friday. Marilyn told me he was a hottie - and that’s for sure. He’s tall and buff, with a great smile and amazing eyes. When he asked the lunch lady for lemon chicken and lemonade, I heard his voice – and I was a goner.
I figured if lemons were good enough for him, I’d have the same. I kept looking at him the whole time I ate lunch, so my friends teased me good-naturedly. Maggie laughed, and Fred rolled his eyes.
Fred’s this guy we’ve both known since kindergarten. He’s a nice guy, and both of us think of him like a big brother.
So, I kept looking at the hottie and then I noticed: in addition to his lemon lunch, he wore a yellow T-shirt. That must be it: his favorite color must be yellow!
So, I started my Yellow Campaign: I began wearing yellow tops and headbands, and passing by his lunch table; hoping he’d notice me. Margie and Fred thought I’d lost it, but I bet they’e done dumb stuff to get a crush to notice them. And, although he didn’t seem to notice me, he did keep wearing those yellow T-shirts. So, I just had to be right about his love for yellow –and I figured it was just a matter of time.
I kept wearing yellow, and began to eat and drink yellow things. So…I ate that lemon. Ugh… but he sure looked worth it!
Today, I was at my “lemonest”: yellow blouse, earrings, nail polish, headband and socks. I’d covered my books with yellow paper. I was as yellow as I was gonna be.
Margie couldn’t resist a comment. “What’s up with the Yellow Fever, Karen?” I blushed and tried to play it off, but she knew. “Well, I figure if I’m ‘lemon enough’, he’ll notice me,” I confessed.
”Lemon enough? C’mon, Karen,” teased Margie – while Fred just gave me a look.
“What?” I challenged Fred.
“Nothing,” he mumbled.
“What?” I insisted.
“Well,” said Fred. “I don’t know this guy, so I’ve got nothing against him. But I don’t think you should have to wear a certain color to get some guy to notice you.”
I couldn’t believe it. “What do YOU know?” I challenged him, but he just shrugged and went back to his sandwich. “I’ll show you,” I told Fred.
I took a deep breath, walked up to his table and smiled. “Hi, I’m Karen,” I said. “As you can see, my favorite color is yellow, too!”
He looked at me as though I were an alien. “What are you talking about?”
”Yellow,” I stammered. “I mean…you must like it; you always wear a yellow shirt … and … I like yellow, too.”
He gave me another look, but this time he also started laughing. “Well, yeah, you sure must like yellow! You look like an exploded schoolbus!”
”But…you wear yellow every day.” I pointed to his shirt.
He scowled. ”I have to wear these stupid yellow shirts, for my job.”
”But… you chose lemon chicken and lemonade for lunch, last Friday. You must like it.”
He rolled his eyes. “Well, I’ve got tacos, coke and ice cream today. What color does that mean I like?” He snorted and turned back to his friends – and I stumbled back to my table, with my face burning.
So… he doesn’t like lemons? Or yellow? And he isn’t even nice? And Fred …was giving me another look. Great: that’s all I needed: someone else making fun of me.
“What?” I demanded.
“I heard what he said,” Fred said, gently. “But, Karen, I just want you to know one thing.”
”What’s that?” I sniffled.
“Who cares if you’re lemon enough for that loser?” he asked. He smiled for a minute – but it wasn’t a teasing smile. As he continued speaking, I suddenly noticed just how warm Fred’s eyes are – and how nice his smile is. “I just want you to know you’ll always be Karen enough, for me.” And, with another nice smile, he got up and walked away.
So… Fred? A guy I just have to be myself, to impress? That seems really nice.
And I sure wouldn’t have to eat any more of those awful lemons.
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