No “I think you’re kinda hot too”.
No “Get lost, I’m trying to angst”.
He lapses into silence, and stares at the sand for an hour. I leave, and get the briefest of waves and a slow “Bye”. Cripes, I wanted to grab him by the shoulders and shake some kind of answer out of him. But I didn’t, I just left.
Now I’m sitting at home angsting about making an idiot out of myself – again. Geez, will I ever learn? Not only am I not appealing, he’s clearly not – really, really not – interested. Sheesh. He’s probably trying to work out what to do with the lovestruck piece of patheticness that’s me.
Meh. I have got to get out of the house and do something vaguely useful.
“MAISY! Dude! Where ya been?”
“Gav! School, exams, you know how it is, yeah?”
The vacant block next to the servo is filled with cars and people. But these aren’t just cars – these are beasts. Part performance machine, part artwork, they’re things of beauty, and I love them.
“Mazza!” a guy with dreads and tattooed arms waves from the centre of a clump of people. “Check out the new engine!”
I make my way over, stepping carefully in the stirred-up mud. Lochie is leaning on his Falcon 500. The hood is up, and the engine is huge and gleaming.
“That’s a Barra Turbo!” I say, “You been robbing banks again, mate?”
“Ain’t she gorgeous?” he says, grinning.
I stroke a hand over the heart of the beast, smiling. It’s gorgeous, alright. Damn, I can’t wait til I’m old enough to get a license and a job.
I’m at school and I’m hurrying to maths class. Mr Fitz gets ridiculously upset if anyone’s late. Detention and yelling and other unpleasant stuff. But there’s a hand on my shoulder.
“I’m late already, later?”
“Hey,” I say, and turn around and give Mark a quick hug, “I’ve gotta go. But we’ll talk later, k?”
I’m just late enough that Mr Fitz is about to close the door as I slide into the classroom and sit down at a desk. He glowers at me but doesn’t say a word. Phew – caught him on a good day, I guess.
An hour and a half of dead-boring algebra later, it’s lunchtime and I’m detention-free. I head straight for the caf, buy a salad sandwich and a coke, and head for Mark’s and my lunch spot.
“Hey, you!” I say.
Mark’s looking depressed, which is kinda his default look at the moment.
“Hey,” he says. His shoulders are slumped and he doesn’t look up.
“So, what’s up?” I ask, wondering if he’s finally going to get around to talking about ‘the confession’. Or whether he’s going to pretend it never happened.
“I – ummm…”
I sigh and bite my tongue.
“I think you’re a bit of alright too,” he says in a rush.
That was what was so difficult to say?
“Thanks,” I say, slightly confused at the continued depressed look.
“So…” I say.
“So does that mean anything for us two, or do we just go on ignoring it?”
He shrugs, and looks back at the ground. Oh, fer crying out loud. This is getting pathetic.
“Anyone’d think I’d turned into Lisa or something,” I say, letting some of the irritation I’m feeling creep into my voice.
He looks up and smiles.
“I just – don’t know what to do now,” he says, spreading his hands and looking helpless.
“You could try kissing me sometime,” I say.
“What, here?” he says, looking scandalised.
I laugh. Geez, boys – they’re worse than girls.
“I’m sure you can think of something,” I say.
Then I grab my lunch, lie down on the grass and start eating. Relationship angst can wait till another day, when I’m not starving. By the end of lunch, he’s still moody and quiet, but I can’t be bothered. I blow him a kiss and head to history.
“You’re mad at me,” his text message says.
“Not mad, irritated,” I type back.
“Oh, that’s OK then.”