" Oh, hi!" The girl glanced up from the bus bench and smiled up at her friend, pushing hair behind her ears and beating back the confusing mix of emotions that always popped up whenever he did. He stood easily, hands in his jeans pockets.
" How're you?" She shrugged. 'Anxious, excited? Happy to see you? Depressed? Somehow I don't think those are the right answers.'
" Not too bad, y'know. The usual. School, eurrgh," she teased instead, pulling a face along with the strange noise. 'Why do I *always* act so weird around him?? Honestly...' But he laughed so she smiled again, shaking her head.
" Yeah, I know how that is," he replied easily, shifting to let another of their friends into their small gathering while they waited for the bus. They started talking, letting the girl wallow in self-pity for a moment, heaving a quiet sigh.
" Oh, yeah, I need your thoughts on something." A poke drew her out of her thoughts, and she looked up at him once more, blinking.
" Well, my thoughts are yours once I know how to direct them." He chuckled, a faint grin flickering on his face. 'Don't blush, don't blush, you're so *obvious*,' she scolded herself as he dug around in his backpack, once more pushing hair behind her ears and fidgeting.
" I need you to tell me which of these poems is more romantic." Her forehead wrinkled in puzzlement.
What followed was far from 'fun'. He read several poems and she sat through them, mulling over each one. Why he was asking *her* was anybody's guess. It wasn't like he....'No, no, no,' she scolded herself. 'Don't even start.'
" Hmmn.....probably the last one, it's definitely the cutest," she replied, grinning up at him. He grinned in return and marked the page, shuffling for a moment as he stuffed the book back into his backpack.
" I'm planning something special for V-day," he explained. Her chest tightened. 'Here it comes,' she thought glumly, offering him a smile over it all.
" Well, best of luck." The bus pulled up.
" Yeah, I hope my girlfriend likes it." Part of her was warmed by his honest sincerity...he and his girlfriend *were* cute together.
It just wasn't her.
Heart bleeding, she offered another smile and reassurances as she followed him onto the bus as she put her headphones on and turned the volume to her mp3 player up. Then she offered a bitter inner smile to herself and settled into the padded bus seat.
The trouble with love.