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"Welcome to My Life" by Azaria Hawkins                                                                                                        Published January 15, 2020

Oh, hey, my name is Dazlyn Harris. I have tons of nicknames so you can call me whatever you like. On some real stuff, you've missed a lot, we have to catch up. Some things don't change though, mom and dad are doing the on and off arguing routine, but me and my little brother Traveion, are getting used to it. Traveion is still funny and cool to be around, but he has his moments just like I do (I hate to admit that). He is really good at sports though, he plays basketball and baseball, he quit football, got a concussion.
I quit cheerleading and picked up softball. Turns out I'm pretty good, I play catcher. My uncle is a famous celebrity now, he's a rapper. That's real fye, and it has its perks, of course. Now that we're all caught up let's start.
    The first month back at school has been crazy. Everyone is trying to catch up with their friends and make new ones. I even started talking to more boys this year. Last year, in 6th grade, I was the new girl, so I had to get to know people. During this month, a boy named Mason became a really close friend to me. We told each other everything, and when I say everything, I mean everything. I told him who I had a crush on, and he told me his. We helped each other through hard situations, both at school and at home. His mom would sometimes blame him for his father, leaving them. I try to help as much as possible with that, but I only know certain parts of the story, his side basically. We'd share our dreams and nightmares with each other, and laugh about them. Sometimes, we even took 45-second quizzes to see who knows the most about the other person. I usually won because he types really slow. We grew so close he'd become more than just a regular friend, he'd become one of my best friends.
Until one day, after Halloween, November 1st, to be exact, he was mad at his mom for something and took it out on me. I could tell he was upset with her because before he went off, he'd just gotten off the phone with her. Being the way I am, I didn't think about trying to help him, I got upset and added more flames to the fire. So, I called him a few names, the worse ones, the ones I know would hurt him. I have regretted it since then. We stopped talking for an entire month. It felt like I'd lost my best friend. Actually, I sort of did. I should have just told him to calm down and talk to me instead of making it worse. I wanted my friend back, but I needed an apology first. Mason has a hard time expressing himself already so, it took for me to imposter one of my friends, and ask him to say sorry. When he did, I apologized too. Mason said he deserved it for the way he treated me. He didn't, so I forgave him, and he forgave me. We caught up on everything we missed in each other's lives. I felt whole again, my friend was back in my life.

Then I discovered through my R.O.D. (Ride or Die), Daisha that someone told her, he, as in my friend, Mason Butler, had a crush on me! This entire time, he had a crush on me! I couldn't believe it. So, I asked him, without asking him if that makes any sense. I basically asked him who he liked. He couldn't lie because we came up with this rule that if either of us asked a serious question to the other person, we would not lie. Reminding him of the promise we made to each other, he took a breath, and said the initials, D.H. There are two people in our grade whose initials are D.H. So, I asked Damisha Hill? He gave me a particular look as if I'd just tried him. Then I pointed at myself, and he nodded - meaning he has a crush on me. I walked away, not knowing what to say; he followed and asked, am I okay? I asked him how long has he had a crush on me? He told me since before we stopped talking, he claims he tried to let me know, but I don't remember any of that. Being confused, I took a deep breath, and explained to him I'd see him tomorrow. I never even looked at him like that until then. Soon after I got home, I started thinking about what just happened. When I got back to school, I noticed his features, his abs, his hair, etc. It was like a flood, it all hit me at once. At that moment, I realized I liked him too. Being stupid, I asked him when he got those abs, he turned and smiled at me. AWKWARD!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Later I overheard a conversation (I don't think I was supposed to hear) between him and his friends, which some are my friends, but that's not the point. I heard them talking about me, how Mason planned to ask me out! So all day I've been trying to avoid him, but I liked him too so I don't know why I wanted to avoid him. He ended up figuring out, I heard them talking. He told me he wouldn't do it if I didn't want him to. Which is a slick way of asking if I liked him? I was speechless, so I grabbed his hand, hoping that I would say the words I couldn't. He grabbed his phone out of his pocket and texted me, "Be Mine?" so corny, Valentine's Day isn't until February. Anyways, I said, "I'd think about it." Honestly, I really did need to think about it.  He was oddly okay with waiting, I guess he'd been waiting for a long enough time what's a few more days. Then texted him later telling him yes with a heart eyes emoji. I mean, you never know, so why not take the risk. He texted back within a minute, saying, "yay" with a heart.

Dating him was easy, he said all the right things mostly. Once, he went to the movies to see the new Boxing Rats, and I was at home watching tv, slowly falling asleep, but his text woke me up. He texted," Hey, Bae, u still up??". I responded, saying,"...for now". He said," Okay, stay up, lly." At that moment, I didn't know what to say, so I said," thx" with a heart-eyed emoji. He responded, saying,"  What's wrong?". I told him he'd never said that before. He said," Sometimes you have to step out of your comfort zone." Then, I sent an "I love you too," gif. He told me he'd call me when he got back from the movies. Luckily, I was still up when he called. Hours passing, I tried to stay up as long as I could on the phone with him, but I fell asleep, but I still heard him say," Goodnight" to me. I was supposed to be sleep, so I didn't respond.

When I woke up, he was still on the phone, but he was asleep too. So I let him rest, even though I should've woke him up. Oddly, he woke up by himself, and I told him," Good morning, Lifeline." Lifeline is the title I chose for him because he's the beat of my heart. He picked LOML for me. Which means Love Of My Life in text language. Just when I thought I'd found my soulmate, my senses told me it was over. I was tired of being tied for first place with the stupid game. Every time (well mostly I'm a bit dramatic) we were on the phone, Mason would be on that game, playing whatever shooting game that is. I get it I love GSA 8 (Grand Steal Auto), I'll play it all day, but I rarely play it while I'm on the phone with him. So when I told him that, we decided to break up, well, "take a break in his words. We still liked each other, but we weren't together anymore. That was really hard because I really like him, but it was needed.

Later on, he was pissed at me for something I did. He wouldn't answer any texts or calls. I don't even know what I did, but we stopped talking for another month. Which is really stupid, in my opinion, at least tell me what I did. Understanding why I got sick of being boy best-friendless. So I asked him how long he planned on being mad at me, and he said 3 more seconds. Then he pulled me into a tight hug, my body against his body, made all those feelings I had for him come rushing back. I wasn't sure what to do, so I carefully hid them from everyone except my bestie, Myra. She knows everything about my life, and I know everything about hers, I think.

As another week passed, Mason revealed he still had feelings for me. I'd expressed to him I still had them for him too. Not realizing we were in the hall by ourselves nobody around, he pulled me close to him, so close I could kiss him, but before I could, he kissed me. His lips were so soft, his body touching mine was almost magical. I kissed him back, feeling as if I was floating. Being clueless at the time, I asked him what was that for, he said he had to do something he should've done a long time ago. I stared into his eyes, he grabbed my hand, knowing him as well as I do, it was really touching, you know? I could tell he was a bit nervous, he usually doesn't express himself, but he'd changed, I could tell. We walked outside to recess with the rest of the grade. As we walked, I wondered what this meant. Are we dating? Are we not? I want to know, but for now, I wanna focus on whatever this is, no labels, yet.                         

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