Just another week. Started off the same as every other week. A sharp monotone beep at 8:25 scattered the reluctant cliques, and the students slump away to their first periods. Once a squad of talkative girls cleared out from in front of her locker, she flung the door open, replaced the headphones in her pocket with a handful of honey candies, heaved a mountain of books for the morning classes into her arms, and kicked the door shut again. As most days, this gave her about two minutes to get halfway across school to get to her first class. She bustled through the halls, keeping her head down and weaving through the crowds of fellow stragglers.
She emerged through the doorway just as the second bell of the day finished ringing. As she took her usual seat in the back left corner of the room, her teacher, Mrs. Lewiston-Bell, arose from her desk and walked to the front of the class. These first five minutes or so of class were the morning announcements, never really important, so it gave her a chance to dig around for the right notebook and get out her needlessly-massive geography textbook. She also liked to use this time to sing out the song that’s been stuck in her head all morning. One of the few perks about being mute: she could always sing as loud as she wanted. Today was Sk8er Boi.
Mrs. Lewiston-Bell was a likeable teacher. She had this quirky energy about her that somehow made geography fun. Plus, she had pretty hair: dirty blonde and as long as her last name. She felt little guilty not paying attention to her announcements, but she was nearing the bridge now. She couldn’t stop her performance now. She could hear parts of what Mrs. Lewiston-Bell was saying anyway: kids’ birthdays for the week, grilled cheese for lunch, someone set the boys’ bathroom on fire. It’s the same headlines every week.
“…and I want everyone to try to make him feel welcome. So just to take a minute sometime today to say hel… Arianna, could you stop singing, please?” Suddenly, everyone had turned around in their desk and was staring at her. Arianna sank into her desk, reluctantly rotating a fist over her chest as she looked up at her disgruntled teacher.
It was then that she noticed the boy next to Mrs. Lewiston-Bell, making his way to an empty desk in the front row. He had short, brown hair that was slicked over to the left. Tall. And he was wearing sunglasses. How come he got to wear sunglasses inside? Also, he was carrying some kind of stick. Was he a ninja? Some type of superhero? A deranged UPS man? Either way, Arianna knew she had to meet this boy in sunglasses.
The rest of the morning continued without a sign of the boy in sunglasses. Lunch was indeed grilled cheese. Arianna always got her lunch from the cafeteria in a to-go box so she could eat on a bench outside. Most days she just brought her own lunch, mainly to avoid the prison-like setting that is the cafeteria, but she couldn’t say no to a grilled cheese.
After lunch was study hall with Mr. S. Nobody really knew what the ‘S’ stood for. Most of the boys in school just called him “Coach”. Study hall with Mr. S was great. She could listen to her music the whole hour, giving her a chance to focus and get done all of the homework that she “forgot” to do last night. Even if he didn’t like people listening to music in his classroom, Mr. S would never notice. He usually spent the entire hour staring at his computer, watching recordings of last Friday’s varsity football game.
Today, she was particularly focused with the help of the hits on her playlists. She began to inadvertently tap her pencil against the desk to the beat of each song as she worked. Becoming so absorbed, a sudden voice from behind her nearly made her jump out of her seat. “Is that Toto?” She tried to swing herself around in the least awkward way that she could manage. It was the boy in sunglasses.
“I’d recognize that beat anywhere,” he continued. A smirk appeared on his face as he started to bang his hands on the desk, mimicking the beat of the song. He was much cuter up close. Unfortunately, his smile didn’t stay too long. He ceased banging the desk, as his face started growing pink. He cleared his throat and dropped his head. Must have thought she didn’t hear him. She removed her headphones and tapped her desk again until he risked another look. When he raised his head, Arianna waved enthusiastically, but he only looked around a moment and dropped his head again. Was he just ignoring her now? What a butthole.
She took out a honey candy from her pocket, unwrapped it, popped the candy in her mouth, and rolled the wrapper into a ball. When she tapped the desk again, and he again looked up at her, she threw the wrapper at him to get his attention. Unfortunately, that didn’t give the response she was hoping for. The wrapper hit him square in the face, causing him to jump in his seat, jerk his head around the room, and stare back down at black dot covered pages covering his desk. What the heck? What was wrong with him? She was right in front of him. How could he not have seen that coming? Was he blind or some… Oh God.
The rest of that day did not end as abruptly as she would have liked. The last two hours of school seemed to go on for an eternity. All she could think about was shutting herself in her room, probably for at least the next twenty years. Maybe she could run away and join a cult. A cult with a healthcare plan. And dental. Anything to avoid being known at school as the girl who bullied the blind kid on his first day. There goes any chance of the boy in sunglasses ever wanting to talk to her.
The entire bus ride home, Arianna did as much research as she could on how people who are blind go about their daily lives. She was determined to find some way to connect with him and make things right. An image she found reminded her of the black dots covering the paper on his desk. They seemed to make some type of pattern. Of course, it was braille. That’s it. Thanks Wikipedia. All she had to do was learn braille. Then she could write him an apology note, all would be forgiven, and they would get married and grow old together on an alpaca farm in Massachusetts. It was the perfect plan.
Right after dinner, she shut herself in her room and went to work writing the note. Using a braille alphabet chart that she found online, she began to draw little black dots into blank sheets of paper, mimicking the letter patterns to create complete sentences along the page. Minutes turned to hours, as page after page began to fill with the dotted patterns. Realizing that it was nearly three in morning, Arianna decided that the 16-page life story she had created would have to be good enough. She satisfyingly passed out on her bedroom desk.
Tomorrow shot to life at the sound of Arianna’s mom pounding on her bedroom door, warning her that bus would be at the driveway any minute. Mornings like this made Arianna wish that she was old enough to like coffee, but today was far too important to be tired. She crammed her braille biography into her backpack, popped a honey candy, and hurried outside, ecstatic for the day ahead.
She figured she would give the note to the boy in sunglasses in study hall. There were far too many witnesses in geography class, which could make him feel nervous about reading it. The anticipation made morning classes drag on. The uneasy morning intensified in third period algebra as she realized that she forgot to do the homework last night. But, as they say, “C’s get degrees.” Plus, she had her future ahead of her; she couldn’t waste her time on trivial things like algebra.
Lunch soon came and went. Today was chicken nuggets. They were just okay.
Finally, it was study hall. She had her headphones in, but no music was playing. The stack of paper was shaking in her hands. She took chance glances behind her to make sure he was still there. Every time, she saw him reading the little black dots covering the pages of a book, moving his hand across the page.
With sudden impulse, she shot out of her desk, took a step towards him, and plopped the pages on his desk. He gasped, “Dah, Jesus! Uh… hey. What’s up?” He slid the stack towards himself, placing his hand on the top page. “Oh, uh…yea this is great…uh…thanks.” He slide her note to the corner of his desk.
She didn’t get it. Did he not want to read it? Did she do it wrong? The sentences she wrote looked just like what was in his book. The letters on the book just stuck out of the page a bit more… Crap.
Still looking embarrassed, the boy in sunglasses remarked, “You know, I don’t have like Spidey sense or anything. So I can’t tell if you’re still there or not. So…I’m just gonna assume you left. So…uh…kay cool.”
She understood now what she had to do. She darted back towards her desk, grabbed her books, and fled Mr. S’s room.
Shortly after leaving the room, she realized there was still 45 minutes of study hall left. Arianna returned to her desk, and sat quietly the rest of class. But once the rest of the school day was over, she knew what she had to do.
As soon as she got home that night, she snatched a bag of chocolate chips from the kitchen cupboard. They were pretty old chocolate chips so she figured they wouldn’t be missed. The bag was also almost empty, but she only needed five of them to get her message across.
Bringing the bag of chocolates into her room, and finding a bottle of glue hidden in her desk, she began work on the second draft of her note. She couldn’t help but recite the almost-jingle that elementary school had drilled into her head, “a little bit of glue does a lot,” as she glued the chocolate chips onto a blank piece of paper to make a new pattern.
It was perfect. Now the boy in sunglasses could feel the bumps on the page from the chocolate chips and be able to read her message. She passed out after two minutes of admiring her work.
Tomorrow came just as unwelcomed as the day before. The extra couple hours of sleep didn’t help at all. Doctors don’t know what they’re talking about. Arianna forced herself to her feet and tossed the note into her lunch bag. Her lunch bag was insulated so it would keep the chocolate chips from melting in her locker. Today’s lunch was hamburgers, so it was the perfect day to bring a lunch. Pretty sure the hamburgers were made of rubber. One time, a kid’s burger fell off of their tray, hit the floor, and nearly bounced back onto his tray. At least, that was the rumor. Tomorrow was mini corn dogs, which was a completely different story. Mini corn dogs were great.
Morning classes once again took their sweet time in her anticipation to see the boy in sunglasses. After lunch, she was able to scan over her note one last time before going into study hall. Today, she couldn’t even sit at her desk. She stood against the wall near where he usually sat, rapidly tapping her foot, clutching onto the note. When he entered the room, she just barely missed kicking his walking stick racing over to his desk.
She waited for him to get settled in and get his books out. She raced over and let the note fall onto his hands, making sure to be a little gentler this time. “What’s this?” he asked, sliding his hand across the page. “Is this…are these chocolate chips?” She giggled silently. “Why are they stuck…are they glued? What kind of foolishness… Wait…is this? Is this supposed to be braille?”
Arianna wore a proud grin as he began to piece it all together. “I mean,” he continued, “Surely they’re supposed to be closer together.”
“But, it has to be.” Moving his hand over the chocolate chips again, “H…hi? Oh…hi!” He smiled up at her.
She felt her face growing red, as she pushed back a lock of her hair behind her ear. Nailed it.
“Do you…do you know braille? Where did you learn braille? What’s your name?”
Uh oh. Arianna froze in place. She didn’t think she’d get this far. How was she going to answer him? How could she have possibly thought that she’d be able to have a conversation with him? It seemed the entire room was bearing down on her. Her smile faded as she turned around and sank into her desk.
His cautious voice came from behind her. “My name’s Caleb, by the way.” She bit her bottom lip, trying to keep a grin from covering her face. Today was a win.
That night, Arianna had a new plan. She asked her dad to take her to the grocery store to get more chocolate chips. After dinner, she locked herself in her room and went to work gluing more chocolate chips on a large piece of paper. She could create patterns with the chips and write underneath the pattern what letter it represented. After a few hours of gluing chocolate to paper (a little bit of glue does a lot), she had her own braille alphabet chart. This would be perfect. Now she could tell Caleb anything she wanted. Satisfied and ready for tomorrow, Arianna went to bed.
After a seemingly endless night, tomorrow arrived. She figured she may have gotten a solid two hours of sleep last night. But that didn’t matter. The excitement of the day made her feel more awake than she’d been all week. Carefully placing the chocolate chip alphabet into her backpack, she proceeded to get ready for school. Since it was mini corn dogs today, she didn’t need to pack a lunch, which greatly reduced her morning routine.
Geography was the same as usual, starting with a few morning announcements from Mrs. Lewiston-Bell. She couldn’t stop looking towards the front row where Caleb sat. She couldn’t wait to show him the alphabet chart she made. And at the sound of mini corn dogs, she couldn’t wait for lunch either. It was nice not to have to worry about making a lunch this morning. Her lunch bag did good work holding onto her note yesterday though. Without it, it was a sure thing that the chocolate chips would have melted in her sauna of a locker.
After an aching 50 minutes of geography class, she bolted out of the classroom. Two or three books may have slipped out of her arms on the race through the hallway, but she could get those later.
Arriving at her locker, she swung open the door and dove into her backpack. Her heart sank. Pulling the now ugly, brown-smeared piece of paper out of her locker, she held back tears. A silent, defeated scream overcame her.
She stuffed the note into her pocket, popped a couple honey candies, and gathered up the rest of her fallen things, as she paced down the hall. There was still one person she knew that could help.
Entering a classroom full of desktop computers, Arianna made her way to the back of the room, where a stocky, elderly woman sat. Students were still filing in, so their class hadn’t begun yet.
“Why hello, dear,” the woman exclaimed with a genuine smile on her weathered face. “And to what do I owe this pleasure?” Ms. Park was delightful. Arianna loved having her as a teacher last year, even if she believed that a whole class devoted to typing on a computer was a waste of time. Ms. Park’s figure most closely resembled the features of a pumpkin: perfectly round with a little gray top. Arianna guessed that she had to be at least 100 years old. Or maybe like 55.
Slamming her books onto Ms. Park’s desk, Arianna placed a closed right fist, thumb sticking up, over her left hand and moved her hands back and forth, towards Ms. Park and then towards herself.
“What is it, dear? What do you need help with?”
She pulled the ruined alphabet chart out of her pocket, thrusting it into Ms. Park’s hands. “And what do we have here?” Ms. Park pulled on her reading glasses from their resting place around her neck. “Please tell me you didn’t find this in the bathroom again, Arianna.” Ms. Park looked over her glasses at Arianna, with a slight smirk.
Arianna returned the look with an unflinching stare.
“Okay. Okay. Only teasing, dear.”
Ms. Park studied the chart for a few more seconds. Then she lowered the piece of paper, took off her glasses, and beamed at Arianna. “Oh deary, don’t you worry about a thing. I’ll go see Julie right after class, and we’ll see if she can’t help us out.”
Arianna didn’t know who Julie was, but Ms. Park’s comforting look gave her a feeling of relief. She smiled back at Ms. Park as the bell rang. “Now, if you don’t mind, deary. I do have a class to teach. And, if I’m not mistaken, you may have one that you need to be getting off to yourself, hmm?”
Morning classes continued more smoothly, though many of her teachers were beginning to get upset by her lack of finished homework lately. Once lunch time came, the nerves really sank in. What if Ms. Park wasn’t able to get help before study hall? How would she be able to talk to Caleb then? She could barely stomach one of her mini corn dogs. The majority of her lunch break was spent staring at them, rolling them back and forth inside of her to-go box. She never disliked mini corn dogs as much as she did in that moment. Stupid, delicious bastards.
Calling lunch early, she slumped her way over to study hall. She made sure to grab her headphones so that she could get some homework done. She decided to get into Mr. S’s room early so that Caleb wouldn’t hear her walk in, and she could pretend to be invisible for the rest of the day. As she approached the open door of the classroom, a delighted voice came from behind her, “Oh, Arianna, deary. I’m glad I caught you.”
Arianna jerked around, nearly spilling the heap of books in her hands. Her mouth flung open in delight to see the little pumpkin-shaped woman waddling toward her. “I spoke to Julie,” Ms. Park continued. “And she was kind enough to lend us one of her own keys for us to use. I hope this is what you’re looking for.” Ms. Park handed Arianna a thick sheet of paper that looked exactly the same as the alphabet chart that she made. Though, instead of chocolate ships, the patterns above the letters were just little bumps in the page. It was so professional looking.
She couldn’t believe it. Ms. Park did it. Ms. Park saved her. Arianna couldn’t stop herself from throwing her arms around Ms. Park’s neck.
“Heh heh heh. Oh no worries, now deary. Glad I could help,” she gasped.
Arianna released Ms. Park, and the old woman smiled, gave her a wink, and waddled herself back down the hallway. Some heroes don’t where capes. Some heroes waddle…and are shaped like pumpkins.
Beaming at the new, smear-free alphabet chart, Arianna found a reborn purpose and excitement. Also, now she was hungry. She wished she hung onto a few of those mini corn dogs. She popped a few more honey candies, just to have something to eat.
The next couple minutes brought the rest of the students to file into the classroom, including Caleb. As soon as he sat down, she shot out from her desk and slammed the alphabet in front of him. “Sweet Jesus!” he spat. “Give me a heart attack, why don’t cha?” Taking notice of the large sheet of paper in front of him, “So what’s all this then? Oh, moved on from chocolate chips then have we?”
Arianna was taken aback. He continued, “probably wondering how I knew it was you. You see, with my condition, I have certain heightened abilities. For example, I can smell fear.” A drawn-out, awkward silence filled the room. He quickly added, “I’m kidding. That…that was a joke. Uh…I did, though, catch your perfume. Little stronger today. I mean, I’m not saying that’s a bad thing. It’s really nice, actually.”
She blushed as another lock of hair found its way behind her ear.
“But uh…so that’s enough out of me, heh. Uh…why don’t you tell me something about you. I never got your name. Unless you want me to just call you Totot.” Before she could think of any reaction, he went on, “Yea, I know it’s been you this whole time. You may not be as discrete as you think you.”
Arianna was not expecting this level of sass. Was he just being cautious before, because he wasn’t sure if he was talking to anyone? Maybe he was starting to get comfortable with her. Whatever it was, she couldn’t back down now. She had to make her move.
“So, uh…what’s up, Toto? How’s the uh…how’s the weath…oh cold hands!” She reached out and grabbed his right hand. It felt very warm. She guided his hand to the top of the alphabet chart. “A? A what?” She continued moving his hand along the page, stopping and touching the remaining letters: ‘r-i-a-n-n(picking his hand up over the ‘n’ and setting it back down on the same spot)-a’. “Arianna? Is that your name?” She started shaking his hand joyously. There was an odd, warm feeling in hearing him say it.
“But, heh, why couldn’t you just tell me that?”
She moved his hand to spell out more letters: ‘i-c-a-n-t-s-p-e-a-k’.
“Oh. I’m…I’m so sorry.” There was another silence between them. “But, then…how do you, like, talk to people?”
Moving his hand again, she spelled: ‘s-i-g-n’.
“Sign? Oh, you mean like sign language? Yea, I’ve heard teachers talk about it at my old school. Heh, guess I never really paid much attention to it, seeing how little good it would do me.”
There it was: the inescapable obstacle that stood between them. How could something that’s been such a huge part of her life not even exist to him. Sure, she could learn braille as well as she could, but not being able to even imagine sign. How could she ever feel that she could truly connect with him? How could she have been so…
“Could you teach me?”
Well, this wasn’t how Arianna planned her day to go, but she couldn’t have hoped for better. She lifted her desk and swung it around, causing all of her books to crash to the floor in the process. She could pick those up later. Once they sat facing each other, all she could do was beam at his eager face.
After a couple seconds of that, Caleb said, “Well it sounds like you’re still here, so I’m hoping that means a yes.”
Oh right. She probably should answer him somehow. Nabbing his right hand across the desks, she closed it into a fist and shifted it up and down in a nod.
“Is that a yes?”
She did again, more enthusiastically.
“God, I hope that means yes. Otherwise, I don’t think we’re gonna get very far.”
Arianna took his other hand and guided it along the page again to spell out ‘y-e-s’ while continuing to nod his other fist.
“Awesome! So if that’s ‘yes’, then what’s ‘no’?”
Hmm… ‘no’ was going to be a little more complicated to make his hand do without being awkward and a little confusing. Arianna decided that instead of doing the correct sign for ‘no’, she could just do what her mom did when she told her ‘no’ as a kid.
“Ow!” The sudden smack nearly made Caleb jump out of his chair. Rubbing the back of his hand, he snarked, “I have a feeling that’s not actually what ‘no’ is.”
She giggled again. This was gonna be fun.
“Well alrighty then. This uh…this should be fun.” Arianna was relieved they were on the same page and that he wasn’t upset about the hand slap. “Thank you.”
Grabbing his hand, she uncurled his fingers, touched the tips of them to his lips, and then slowly moved his hand away from his face.
“Oh, awesome! Well thank you.” He did the motion again, but this time, touched his chin instead of his lips. “Ow!”
Maybe full words and phrases are a little much to start with. She decided that, for today, they would just go through the alphabet. Closing his fist again, moving his thumb off to the side of his hand, she placed his other hand on the ‘a’ on the paper. Arianna repeated the motion a few more times until Caleb was able to make the ‘a’ on his own. Then they moved on to ‘b’.
They continued this through the alphabet, stopping to occasionally give Caleb’s hand a good smacking when he did the wrong the letter, or when he complained that ‘a’, ‘m’, ‘n’, ‘s’, and ‘t’ were all basically the same thing.
When they finished the last letter, Caleb remarked, “I feel like they just ran out of hand-shapes. Just kinda started waving fingers around at the end. I mean, that’s just lazy writing.”
She giggled to herself.
“Really hoping you’re laughing at some of these. Cuz I’d like to think I’m funny, but this is honestly the best I got.”
She shook his fist again, encouragingly
“Heh heh. Well thank you.” He touched his fingers to his lips this time.
Arianna grabbed his hands again, and had him spell out her name.
“Oh there’s no way I’m gonna be able to remember this. I mean, doing the ‘n’ twice just seems wasteful. Can’t you just have one? Ow!”
After multiple unsuccessful attempts at her name, Caleb took a stab at spelling his own name: ‘C-s-l-t-f’. Not bad for a first try. She was pretty sure two of those letters were right, at least.
Several tries later, ‘C-a-l-a-d’ being the closest attempt, the crushing ring of the bell marked the end of their study session. Arianna moved her desk back and began picking up her books.
Caleb smirked towards her. “This was fun. I’ll uh…see ya later…er umm talk to ya later…I mean…uh…bye.” He did a quick wave before turning back and hurried out of the room. Getting back upright, she pushed a lock of hair behind her ear.
She mouthed the word ‘bye’.
That night, she laid in her bed restlessly. Her mind was filled with thoughts of Caleb, and just how perfectly today went. Caleb was perfect. He was cute. Hilarious. She couldn’t believe that a guy like him would be interested in her. So much that he would learn sign for her.
Suddenly, a terrifying feeling overcame Arianna. He’s too perfect. Once people start to get to know him, all the girls at school will fall in love with him. He’s not going to stay single for long. And that’s even if he still is single. He could be married. Have three kids and a small alpaca farm of his own in Massachusetts.
Okay, maybe she was getting a bit ahead of herself. But she needed to act fast. It was now or never while they were on good terms.
Springing out of bed, she pulled the braille alphabet out of her bag. Caleb must have wanted her to keep it since he left it on his desk when he left study hall. She began cutting out letters, and gluing them to a sheet of paper (a little bit of glue does a lot). Realizing her note needed to repeat letters, she bolted to the kitchen to get chocolate chips.
Getting to the cupboard with the chocolate chips, her heart sank even further. Five chocolate chips. There was only five left. How many chocolate chips does her family go through? And who leaves just five chocolate chips in the bag? The chocolate chip economy sucks these days.
She decided that, hopefully, two of them would be enough to get her message across. She ate the other three. Through a little more letter arranging and gluing, her note was complete. Arianna spent the rest of the night staring at the note.
The night blended into tomorrow, as her alarm needlessly went off. She was already packing the note into her lunch bag. She had no idea what was for lunch today. She wasn’t feeling hungry anyway. A honey candy would be sufficient sustenance.
Geography class came way too soon. She walked along the front of the classroom. Caleb was already in his desk. The note was out in front her, shaking uncontrollably in her hand. When she passed over his desk, her grip locked, unable to drop the note. She collapsed into her desk at the back of the class, panting. It felt like the note weighed a ton; why couldn’t she let go of it?
Mrs. Lewiston-Bell went on with her lecture as always, though it felt like 50 minutes of just morning announcements, as Arianna could hardly take in a word of it. The topics she picked up on blurred from a midterm exam on Monday, to Kermit the Frog getting a colonoscopy. God, she was so tired. Hopefully, her teacher didn’t notice her, eyes half-closed, staring at the back of Caleb’s head the entire class period.
The sudden ring of the bell shot a boost of adrenaline into Arianna. Note in hand, she bustled to the front of the class, slipped it into Caleb’s hand as he was putting a book away, and darted out of the room.
Realizing she forgot all of her stuff, she jogged back in a few seconds later. Caleb was still in his desk, looking around the room nervously, tucking the note into his pocket. By the time the classroom had cleared enough so that she could get her stuff, Caleb was long gone.
The rest of her morning classes painfully chugged along. Most of them included a personal lecture from her teacher on why she hadn’t finished any of her homework this week. She grudgingly apologized, just wanting to get this day over with. At least with this whole Caleb mess over with, she’d be able to get back to getting homework done.
Lunch was Italian dunkers. Whoever decided to put cheese on old sub sandwich bread and call it a meal was obviously not a dietitian. She only brought the note in her lunch bag, so she figured she’d at least try to eat some of the school lunch. Unfortunately, Italian dunkers were still one of the best food that the cafeteria served. Arianna would usually eat them, but today she could only stare at them, playing with the questionably edible cheese. Even the thought of just having a honey candy made her want to throw up.
She walked into study hall nearly five minutes late. Mr. S, of course, didn’t notice. She sat in her desk in front of Caleb; he didn’t say anything. Did he even bother to read the note? Of course he did. That’s why he looked so embarrassed and tried to hide it. Didn’t want anybody to see that some loser had a crush on him.
But…no one else could read it, could they? Maybe he just didn’t know who it was from. She didn’t have enough chocolate chips to put her name on it. But…who else could it have been from? Surely, there would be hundreds of girls willing to learn braille for him.
Did the hour they spent together mean nothing to him? He probably doesn’t remember a single sign that she taught him. Of course he didn’t. It’s not like he liked her or anything. Why would he? How could she have been so stupid? She buried her head into her hands. Even if he couldn’t see it, she refused to let him hear her cry.
Suddenly, a subtle tapping noise coming from behind her. It had a familiar rhythm to it. It couldn’t be…
She spun around in her seat. He was looking up at her. He didn’t say anything. He raised his right hand in a fist, thumb to the side. He continued to spell out the rest of her name perfectly, even remembering to do the ‘n’ twice.
The two beamed at each other. He raised his fist again, extending his pinky. He continued to spell out: ‘i-l-i-k-e-y-o-u-t-o-o’.
Not a bad week.