The tale of the Jello Shots

“How old are you?”

“28.”

“Really, you look like you’re 8.”

She rolled her eyes as she thought, when would this bullying stop? She was tired of being reminded that she was short—and when these remarks came from her long standing crush, it hurt even more. She lived with it every passing second. When her friends purposely chose high chairs to sit on, when she drove, when she clicked pictures and even when she had to greet somebody with a hug. She was always shorter than the shortest person around. Besides the heartbreaking comments and snide remarks, it was these simple life struggles that really eroded her confidence. But she got along, blocking her mind from thinking about it too much.

Today, she was going to make an extra effort in keeping these thoughts at bay. It was her best friend’s wedding after all. There he was, standing tall, wearing aviators and his dimpled smile that she loved so much. Her heart melted as he looked in her direction. She didn’t want him to spoil the moment by passing another comment so she turned 180 degrees and walked briskly in the other direction. She was always nervous around him, this was nothing new. And somehow, she felt he had noticed this as well. Hyperventilating wasn’t the best thing to do when you have a drink in hand. Before she knew it, she had downed three glasses of whatever was in her glass. Dancing with her girlfriends, she pushed the thought of him at the back of her head. But somewhere there was courage building up. And then, a switch flipped somewhere in her brain. It was almost like her mind had taken a break from overthinking. Her feet took her to the bar, where he stood and she said, “How about a shot?”

He smiled, buzzed himself, he bent over to whisper in her ear, “And why not? The best things come in small packages.”

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