Alyssa had promised herself she would tell him everyday for two weeks. But it seemed everyday there was a club meeting, or he was playing cards with his friends, and she hated walking all the way over to their table just to find out they didn’t have another person for their game. Online chat was always an option, but it was the worst place ever to talk.
Lyssa checked her watch. Twenty minutes until the end of lunch. She pretended to be interested in something over her shoulder so she could turn her head to glance at his table. He was still playing cards, and he hadn’t finished lunch. Well, there was nothing that could be done about that.
Ten minutes of mingling and furtive glances later, he finally finished lunch. She caught his eye. Perhaps it was something troubled about Lyssa’s usual placid expression, or perhaps his friends had an extra person, but he made his way over.
“Walk?” he asked, smiling.
Lyssa smiled shyly back and nodded.
The two started to walk slowly toward their usual spot, and Lyssa tried to figure out how to say what she had to say. They didn’t talk, just glance every few seconds at the other.
Their destination overlooked the fields. Lyssa and Jason watched as their schoolmates played, neither of them really wanting to break the silence.
“Lyss…did you want to talk about something?” he asked quietly.
Yes! About how you spend your lunches playing cards and how you never really want to walk and how I have no idea where we’re going and…
But then she thought of the way he asked the question, how he caught her eye and sensed something was wrong, and how he was now genuinely worried. How he was the only one who called her Lyss. For a long time she stared at the boys playing basketball, and then she looked at Jason, at this boy who spoke softly and never boasted, this boy who was different from all the rest. And just for a moment, the world contained two people.
“No… just wanted to spend time with you.”
What she wanted to say could wait.