It all started in Disneyworld. The “happiest place on earth?” Debatable.
My friend Tara and I were hanging out in the room after a long day’s work of riding rides and pretending to be older than 18. It was late in the evening (we were in 7th grade so it was more accurately 8 or 9 p.m.) and my little brother Jake was watching Hannah Montana with us. *We told ourselves this wasn’t by choice – Disneyworld hotel rooms only play the Disney Channel: it doesn’t matter what you actually want to watch. However, we would have been lying to ourselves if we had claimed to have preferred it any other way. The three of us did want to watch Hannah Montana. And Wizards of Waverly Place was a close second.*
As watching the Disney Channel typically prompts, the three of us acted as a single unit and all became thirsty at the same time. Being the eldest and I guess the closest to a matronly age, I volunteered to fetch us some ice from down the hall. Tara and Jake presented no arguments and decided to wait for me in the room.
So I ventured down the hallway, ice bucket in hand, not at all realizing the significance of the imminent scenario.
I entered the ice room and was immediately taken aback by the most beautiful man (probably a solid 16 years old) I had ever seen in my entire life. He had Eric’s eyes, Aladdin’s flowing locks, Jack Sparrow’s swagger, post-training-montage Hercules’s biceps, and Flynn Rider’s brooding smolder (how convenient that I was in in fact in Disneyworld and could almost instantaneously draw these comparisons).
He glanced in my direction and I completely lost track of everything I was doing. What was I here for again? Why was I holding this bucket…? Oh right, I needed ice. But I abruptly decided, from this moment on, I actually needed him.
I sauntered over to the ice machine and put my bucket in place. He bashfully smiled and asked “How’s it going?” I looked deeply into his eyes and….. neglected to answer. After the longest, most self-loathing few seconds of my existence, I accepted that I would (for reasons still unclear to me) not be answering his question. Ashamed, I turned back to the ice bucket. He seemed appropriately confused.
I pressed the ice button and nothing happened. After a second try, I looked at him and he asked if he could be of assistance. I again blatantly ignored his question and consequently wished for death. Defeated, he silently withdrew his offer and once again turned away.
All of sudden, ice began shooting from the machine and my bucket quickly became overflowed. Ice was all over the ground and my bare feet (why no shoes, 7th grade Katie?) began to wobble. Valiantly, he raced over to me and offered, once again, his aid. Naturally, I instead I grabbed on to the ice machine and managed to break off the lever, resulting in me falling to the freezing ground.
Why this boy remained in the ice room for the entirety of this story still baffles me.
As I peered up at him from the ground, ice still cascading out of the machine, I decided to say something witty. Any potential for a relationship was doomed already, so why not say something cute like “I can work an ice machine,” and then wink at him? (7th grade Katie had always been ignorantly unaware of her awkwardness, this was her moment!)
I regrettably opened my mouth. Out of it came the most puzzling, irrelevant phrase I could have uttered at this point.
“I can read.”
He didn’t smile. He didn’t laugh. He barely reacted at all before slowly backing away from me (obviously not wanting to make any sudden movements, wise) and exiting both the ice room and my life forever.
I ventured back to the room. Tara and Jake had wondered what had taken so long and why I was soaking wet. I shared my story and prepared myself for the pity and hugs coming my way. But alas, neither of them could contain their laughter and I bitterly watched Hannah Montana until I drifted off to sleep.