Alright, so you know how when you roll down a hill, if you've ever rolled down a hill, that you don't really feel much as you make your way down? But when you finally are down, and the adrenaline has past, you feel sore or itchy? It's like, holy shit! I could got fuckin' stabbed by them there rocks on that there hill! Why didn't I feel them until now? I mean, maybe that's just me but I'm just trying to find a comparison. But I guess I'll have to go with drinking out of your gross friend's cup and only realizing after you've ingested their backwash.
Well, that kind of happened to me. Of course, it had nothing to do with hills or backwash or anything stupid like that. But it was similar in two distinctive ways. One: I never really paid close attention or noticed until it was too late. Two: When I did noticed, my whole world basically crumpled down.
Johanna Egbert is her name. Or shall I dare say it? Was her name. Uh, was his name.
It was our first year of highschool. We were breaking in the maturity pants. You know the feeling. The brand new and uncomfortable pair of jeans you bought that you could have sworn was at least two sizes bigger when you bought them. The more you wear them, the more you get use to them. And considering that we had to wear these jeans every week day, you shouldn't be surprised that we got use to them. But like jeans that are typically worn almost every day, they become drentched in a horrible stink and earn holes here and there. Do you see where I'm going with this highschool-jeans thing?
Highschool is usually the time where most teenagers are looking to find themselves. You know, to search for who they really are in this big monster's pit of life. So when Johanna Egbert cut her shoulder length long hair into an incredibly messy mop, I thought nothing of it (aside from how spunky she looked). When she wore less blouses and skirts and replaced her with cargo pants and weird shirts she bought off the internet, I shrugged it off (noting how cute of a total dork she is). Even when the lumps on her chest seemed to vanish, I just guessed that she used some new type of bra so her boobs wouldn't sag (I wasn't that off). I mean, so what? She got a new haircut, fixed up her closet, and changed her underwear. Big deal, right?
Usually Mr. Egbert, Johanna's dad, doesn't let too many guys over her house. Even if they're friends. He only allows them over when there are other girls over, or when he's able to hover over and watch out for any hands inching dangerously close to his daughter. So yeah, you would imagine me feeling like something was out of place when Johanna called me, only me, over to watch a movie without dad constantly barging in. In fact, I was totally expecting it to happen.
Instead, he gave us our space and we watched a movie that I've watched five times, and Johanna ten. She knew as well as I did that in situations like these, where we already know what's going to happen, we didn't really pay attention to the movie. Instead, we usually had a chat about something important that couldn't be said over pesterchum.
It took her until the roof scene of Ghost Rider for her to actually pull us into the topic of why she brought me over in the first place. "Hey, Dave?"
I look down at her through my shades. I've always worn shades, but not at night. But these were different. Johanna gave me these shades, so these were practically touched by the holy goddess. Knowing she had my attention (which she always did), she continued. "You know you're my best friend, right?" She didn't even have to wait for an answer; she knew. "Can I ask you a question?"
If a girl invited you over to watch a movie and asked you that, your heart would have been beating as fast as mine. I knew where this was going. Or at least I thought I knew? "Yeah. Shoot."
She gave a smile. At the same time, she was pursing her lips. She did that a lot and it only looked pretty stupid. Stupid as in silly. Silly as in dweeby. Dweeby as in cute. "Okay, well I've been wondering for something for awhile but I honestly have no idea." She looked down and gave a smile that could viciously hunt down a man and rip his heart out. I braced myself and tried to keep from giving my own goofy grin.
"If I were a guy, what kinda name would you think suit me the most?" Johanna looked at me with her blue eyes.
My mouth was open, just a little. I wasn't expecting that, but being the slick guy I was, I could easily turn that confused and surprised expression into one of thought. And I did think. I thought hard. I'm not the most creative guy in the world when it comes to names. Something that started with J? Or was that too cliche? Damn, I had no idea. The first name I could come up with was one of the most common English names there was to offer. "John?"
I watched her through my dark lenses as she scrunched up her eyebrows and mouthed the name to herself. John, John. Johanna? John? John.
The anticipation and curiosity was practically tearing me away as I waited for her to say something. Soon enough, she looked up and nodded. "Okay, then! John!" She smiled. "I like that. Can you call me John from now on?"
Suddenly being slick wasn't enough. Nothing could hide my dropping jaw as I stared at her in puzzlement. "Uh- What? Why?"
She gave a shrug and pursed her lips, this time with less smile. "I guess it's because I'm gonna stop considering being a girl now."
I don't do too many puzzles. In fact, I never do them. But you don't need expierence with puzzles when the one you're doing barely has any pieces. This was finally when it all dawned on me. When the final piece of a four piece puzzle came to place.
When Johanna Egbert was searching for herself, she found a boy named John Egbert.
And I was the last one to realize this.