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“I like you,” she says to him.
He stares at her. “Oh…”
She looks down and then sighs and looks back up at him. “Yeah, I know. This is weird…and…” She shakes her head. “So stupid of me…” Backs away. “Sorry.”
Turns but he calls after her. She stops and can’t look at him again. “I…I mean…You’re a really good friend. I don’t want to lose that.”
Tears fall from her eyes as she feels hurt and embarrassed. She runs a hand through her hair and turns to him. “Yeah…thanks.” She sniffs.
She shakes her head and turns and rushes to the girls bathroom. She stands there and looks at herself in the mirror and shakes her head. She then kicks at the air and then presses her hands against the wall. She puts her head down and whispers to herself, “Idiot! Idiot! Idiot!”
He gets out his car and she walks up to his car. “Happy Easter.” He hugs her and she hugs him back. He kisses her cheek.
She smiles. “Happy Easter.”
“How are you this morning?”
“Tired…but i’m good.” She can’t help but smile at him. She runs a hand through her messy hair.
“Ok, so I know you don’t like chocolate…which is still unbelievable might I add,” he says to her. “And I know you’re a pet lover and you want a bunny but you can’t have one because of your Mom…”
She nods. “Yeah, this is how Easter goes for me. My last boyfriend, he got me flowers and a hideous stuffed animal rabbit. Literally I don’t know where he found that at, but it’s the thought that counts!”
He chuckles. “Well, I’m not like your old boyfriend.”
She smiles. “I know. I’m glad you’re not. I like you.”
He smiles. “I like you too. In fact, I like you so much, I want to see you more. And I thought the only way to see you more was to…” He turns and goes in his car and then out of a box he grabs a bunny. He cradles it in his arms and turns to her. Her eyes widen and she stares at the adorable bunny in shock. “I had to get you a bunny. So, I got a bunny.” He smiles down at the bunny. “He’s for you…but he’ll be staying with me, and since he’s technically yours, you have to visit him a lot, therefore, I’ll get to see you a lot.” He looks at her. “Happy Easter.”
She can’t believe he got her a bunny, she’s shaking her head and biting her lip. She slowly nods and a smile forms. “Oh my gosh…Wow, thanks.” She gets closer to him runs her hand over the bunny. “Hi.” She smiles at him. “You’re the best.”
He smiles at her. “For you, I try to be.”
She leans into him and kisses him. He kisses her back.
“I’ve got to go, but i’ll text you tonight,” Chris says to her.
She smiles and nods. “Ok, see ya.” He waved and she waved back and then he left. She sighs and stays there, wishing he could have stayed. She wished they could have hugged, she wish they could have went to her house or his house and just hung out the rest day watching movies.
She whispers to herself, “I wish…I could just tell you I like you. I like the way we can joke around and how you don’t get bored of me. I like how you listen to me. I like how I look at you and I know you care. I wish I knew if you liked me as much as I like you because I don’t know if I can hold it together…or hide this from you anymore. I know you’re not here long and we live in different areas, but whenever we’re talking or we’re together i like ever second. Everything’s right.”
She sighs and rests her arms on the table. “I like you. I try to stop, but I keep thinking about you. I long for a message or call from you. I leap when I know we can meet up and see each other. I like you.”
She looks at the door he left through. “I like you…”
They haven’t seen each other in 2 weeks and they’ve texted each other and talked on the phone occasionally, but it wasn’t like they use to. She walked into the small diner, and a grin crossed her face as she saw Ben sitting there and then waving so she could spot him.
She walked over and he stood up and they hugged each other tightly and then she sat across from him. “I’ve missed you,” she blurts out.
He chuckles. “I’ve missed you too, Carly. You look nice.”
“Thanks. You shaved, I see.”
He nods and takes a sip of his water. “Yeah, Naomi kept teasing me about it.”
Carly looks at him shocked. “Naomi?” Naomi was Ben’s ex and they had broken up for 5 months. Carly felt Ben and her had gotten closer ever since and that maybe he’d want to start a relationship with her. Now, she felt suddenly lost.
“Um, yeah. Did I forget to tell you?” Carly nods slowly. “Sorry, yeah, Naomi and I decided to give it another try. I missed her and she…she had to figure herself out and things out…but we talked on the phone, met up…we’re just trying again.” He smiled to himself.
Carly knew right there that Ben would never feel the way she felt for him. He might have loved her as his friend, but he was searching for a true love and it would never be her…
“What’s wrong now?” He asks as he sits next to her.
She shakes her head. “Nothing. I don’t want to annoy you with my stupid problems.”
“They’re not stupid.”
“I’ll just annoy you. I’m…pathetic.”
“You are not.” He looks at her seriously. “I told you i’m always here for you, so i’m not going anywhere. If you need to talk, vent, rant, scream, cry…i’m here! I’ll be your shoulder, punching bag, or whatever! I don’t like seeing you hard on yourself.”
She shakes her head and looks down. “I’m just a mess. I push people away or i’m not good enough for them…”
“No….they’re not good enough for you. Look at me!” She meets his eyes. “People will say things or do things sometimes__”
She cuts him off. “You don’t have to do this. I’m hard to talk to or…It is my fault.”
“Real friends stick around and they care if you’re not ok. If people walk away from you, then they never truly cared. But if they ask and they do things for you that can make you smile unexpectedly or…just anything special or nice…then they’re trying to keep up with you. So what if you’re complicated, we all are!”
She shakes her head. “I just wish I was better…”
“Hi,” she says as he makes eye contact with her and smiles. She walks up to him.
“Hi,” he says.
“Have any plans for Spring Break?”
He nods. “Yeah, i’m going to visit my Dad for a few days and then hang with my friends and just chill. Nothing too special.”
She nods. “Sounds fun.” She reveals a smile.
“Uh, just hanging around. Spending time with friends, catching up on sleep, going out.”
He nods. “Sounds relaxing.”
“I hope so,” she says. She sighs, wanting to ask him if he wanted to hangout, but she’s nervous.
“So,” they say at the same time.
“Oh, you go,” he says with a small smile.
“No, sorry, you go.”
“No, go,” he encourages.
She shakes her head. “No, you.”
“Um…so, one day over Spring Break…we should hang if you want?”
She forms a smile and nods. “Yeah. Yeah, ok.”
“Ok,” he says with a smile.
“I know something’s bugging you, tell me,” Kyle says to her.
Eliza sighs and sits down on the bench next to him. “He’s messing with me. Like there’s times when we texts for hours or we’ll talk on the phone, and then he just completely stops…It’s like…I have to spark the conversation but he acts as if he missed talking to me and that he likes talking to me and that he wants to hangout all the time…” She sighs. “When we’re together, it’s fun, it’s not awkward, but because…we can’t see each other every day…it’s like…I don’t know if he likes me!”
“So you’re not sure if you’re in a relationship?”
“Why don’t you just straight up ask him?” Kyle looks at her.
“I try to…I mean, we…like joke about it and…he says things sometimes..but…” She groans. “I’m tired of this. I like talking to him. I don’t want to stop, but I don’t like this game either. Whatever he’s doing…it just hurts! I want to know if he likes me more than a friend…because if he doesn’t…I want to be able to let go a little, but he keeps going back and forth! He’s so hard to read! Sooo complicated!”
“I think if you guys actually do hangout this weekend, you should just tell him this. I don’t like seeing you this hurt and annoyed over him. You guys should know where you stand. Tell him or let him go! If he says he likes you and wants to date you, then tell him he has to put more effort into it or he could lose you. And if he says he just wants to be friends…then breathe and understand it’s for the best. But you shouldn’t be this torn Liz.”
Eliza nods. “I know…it’s just…” She sighs. “You’re right. I just don’t want things to become awkward between us.”
“If he likes talking to you like you say he does, then he shouldn’t push you away completely.” Kyle tries to give her a comforting smile.
She sniffs and shakes her head. “I was so wrong!” Tears slide down her cheeks. “I was wrong to ignore you! To act like you meant nothing…because you mean so much to you!” She looks down. “You mean more to me than I can put into words…” She looks at him. “I was scared…I didn’t…know how to…” She shakes her head.
He bites his lip and looks down. “But…you…”
“I love you…that’s why I left. Because…the last person I loved…broke my heart…I didn’t want to have my heart so wrapped into you…and then you…”
He swallows and looks at her. “I’d never hurt you.” He steps closer to her. “I love you. I wouldn’t go anywhere…I’d be right here…”
She bites her lip and the tears keep rolling. She slowly says, “I’m so sorry. I don’t want to feel that pain again…I just…I can’t take it another time around.”
He wraps his arms around her. “I love you.” He hugs her tightly. “I’m right here!”
She walks into the library and sits next to him, wearing a pink shirt and white jeans. She wears black shoes with pink socks and she’s wearing a headband with floating hearts.
He chuckles. “Wow. You’re such a dork!”
She elbows him. “Excuse you! You’re just not in the Valentine’s Day Spirit.”
He shrugs. “I don’t want to be.” She takes out her textbook and notebook. “Who’s your Valentine?”
“I don’t have one. I’ve gotten candy though, a cupcake, and bubbles.”
“Oh gosh, bubbles! Love is just in the air this year,” he teases.
“You’re so mean! You didn’t get a single thing!”
“I got a lollipop actually!”
She rolls her eyes. “I like Valentine’s Day. It’s cute, whether you’re with someone or not. It’s about the heart and just being around people you love.”
“So, you love me?”
She looks at him. “Debatable.”
He smiles. “Well here, i’ll do you a favor. I’m sorry for joking around. I’ll be your Valentine.”
She looks at him questionably. “Why would you want to be? And you don’t even have anything for me! You don’t like this holiday!”
“You’ve been my friend since freshmen year! I may never thought anything of this day, but you always have. You’ve only had one boyfriend since I’ve known you. This year…I think you at least deserve something in return.” He digs in his bag and pulls out a small brown bear and a rose. “For you.”
She forms a big smile. “Oh my…gosh.” She takes it and bites her lip. She then hugs him tight. “You’re the best!”
“Why didn’t you call me? Or text me back at least?” She asks him.
He shoves his hands in his pocket. “I did text you back! I didn’t call you because I was busy. I had meant to…It’s just I never found the time.”
“I didn’t get any text from you!”
“Then maybe my phone didn’t send it or your phone messed up. I mean it, I sent it! I saw you said: How’s the college visit going? I responded: This school is boring, I’d rather be watching a movie with you.
She folds her arms. “Ok, maybe my phone just messed up.”
He gets closer to her. “I did miss you. i wanted to be here chilling with you. You know I don’t like thinking of the future. I like living in the now.”
She wraps her arms around his neck. “I know. It’s so crazy…to think we’ll soon be going to college. How…How did it happen?”
He shakes his head. He places his arms around her waist. “I don’t know. But you’re not getting away from me that easily.” He presses his forehead against hers. “We’ve got time.”
She smiles. “Time.”
He nods. “That’s right. You’ll still have to put up with me!” He smiles.
“Oh goodness!” She smiles wide.
He leans in and kisses her.