It was the first day back to school after the Holiday break and Max was fighting the cold wind and drifting snow that was desperately trying to keep him from getting to the bus stop on time. Luckily the bus was late and it gave Max the chance gather the courage to talk to his crush, Evie.
Over the summer, Evie had started to change in a way Max couldn’t understand. She was no longer interested in hanging out with him. She spent most of her time playing with girls in the neighborhood, watching the latest heartthrob on TV or reading about them in all the teen magazines.
As he moved closer to her, the big yellow school bus came barreling around the corner splashing the slushy snow at the slow pedestrians on the cross walk. Startled by the production, Max slipped on a patch of ice and fell into Evie’s hair. The impact shook Max to the bone; not the impact of crashing heads but the impact on Max’s olfactory glands being hit by the scent of something surely only experienced upon entering heaven. A blend of vanilla and flowers sent Max to a place so comforting and familiar he never wanted to leave. As Max lingered just a bit too long Evie turned on her heel and pushed Max away with such force Max fell into a pile of snow while Evie yelled, ” Get off me, weirdo”! Max lay on the sidewalk dazed by the bittersweet encounter. He slowly got up and wiped the snow off his rust-colored corduroys.
As he walked down the aisle of the bus, he ignored the muffled snickers and under the breath, “dork” comments and retreated to a seat at the very back of the bus. Feeling defeated, Max stared out the window to avoid any glaring looks when he noticed in the reflection of the window, Evie looking in his direction. He turned to look at her but she quickly looked away and buried her head into her notebook. Max noticed a very faint smile come across Evie’s face. That was all the encouragement Max needed. Max began to plan his strategy for the next day’s attempt at the bus stop.