anna claire white

I definitely considered taking a shower. I finished my run and I peered in the mirror and I thought, "Hmm, looking a little greasy, maybe we brush the hair and do the makeup and change the sweaty shorts."

Then I thought "Nah." I was on my way to play poker with my coworkers, who were all married, or Republicans, and I was not about to waste a hair wash day on a bunch of dudes who leave the seat up.

So I went as-is, hair slick with sweat, legs prickly and pale, deodorant long gone and dead to the summer heat. I put on my Crocs and drove over.

We were on our fifth hand when I got the text.

"Let's hang out tonight."

To add some context, this wasn't just any boy. This was a boy I had a crush on. A boy I had texted to ask out a few weeks prior and received no response.

I cashed out and called my mom.

"You gotta go," my mom said.

It was out of my hands. I was no longer a girl looking for smooches, I was a Croc-footed vigilante out for justice and answers.

I sped home and hurriedly applied lipstick and deodorant. My roommate stood in the doorway, offering advice and encouragement: "Put your hair in a bun so he can't tell how dirty it is."

I picked him up and we headed for Gas Works Park, where at midnight on a Thursday, we were likely to be the only inhabitants.

We laid out a blanket and stared at the city and the water, and it was lovely and glittery and just how it was supposed to be. He held my hand and tried to run his fingers through my greasy, sweaty, bunned-up hair, and then gave up and kissed me instead. And it was awesome.

Then I heard footsteps. We were nestled in a blanket-fort situation to keep warm, and I couldn't see anything except the fuzzy cheetah print.

I poked my head out, looked to the left, and saw the grim reaper. Or rather, a guy dressed as the grim reaper (I hope), lurking uncomfortably near, fully outfitted in a hooded cape and a mask.

He slunk over to a lamppost and peeked out from behind it, which was creepier than you can imagine. Peekaboo is cute with babies; it is much less so when played with a grown-ass man dressed like the angel of death.

"Hmm, nope," the crush said and I agreed, standing up to leave.

I was meters away before the crush had put on his shoes. The reaper took this as an opportunity for high jinks and crept up closer to my crush. I watched from a distance as the reaper pulled a flashlight deep from his pocket, lifted it to his face, and said in a gravely, sorrowful tone: "You gotta answer your texts, man. It's real rude and you can do better."

I'm just kidding. I don't know what he said, but I do know that my crush sprinted past me and desperately pulled on the door of my car, waiting for me to unlock it.

"We gotta go!" he pleaded.

We drove into the night, narrowly escaping death, or at the very least an invitation to a very twisted three-way. I don't know what they're telling the kids these days to keep 'em from fooling around in public parks, but I highly recommend this: "Don't kiss boys at night by the water or the grim reaper will show up and make you play peekaboo and the whole vibe will be ruined."