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We empty out of the bus, she doesn't look back, Adam, is glued to her side. The fact that he is where I should be makes my blood boil but I rein it in. A public scene right now is the last thing I need and will definitely not score me any points with Brynn.
He leads her over to her usual spot. Our spot. I keep chanting, "Don't sit down. Don't sit down. Don't sit down.", in my head because I think my brain would cease to function seeing Adam and Brynn sitting together under our tree. Yes, I do still think of it as our spot and our tree, and the fact that he's standing there with her is driving me crazy.
They seem to be in a conversation. Brynn keeps shaking her head no to whatever it is that Adam is saying. He doesn't look happy and neither does she. She finally looks up and says something. He looks visibly angered and turns his head away for a second, when he looks back he appears to have regained control. He caresses her arm and grabs her hand. He gets the last word, whatever it was and Brynn nods yes.
Adam lets go of her hand and walks into the school. Brynn settles in her spot.
"You going to keep standing here staring at her or are you going to talk to her?" Tyler asks.
"She doesn't want to talk. Not now. If I confront her, she'll shut me down. I have to be smart about this."
"You have to outflank her."
"Exactly." I take out my notebook, and a pen and compose a quick note. I tear it out and hand it over to Tyler.
"You want me to give it to her?"
"I want you to fly this over to her," I say smiling, thrilled with my brilliant idea.
"Fly?" Tyler looks at me like I've officially lost it.
"Yes, fold it into your fast flyer. Get close enough that you can land it near her, and then make yourself scarce. I don't want her to see you. I'm going to be over there near the steps so if she looks around she won't see me either."
"You want to talk to her but you're going to deliberately avoid her?"
"Yep!" I say grinning, my excitement mounting.
"You need help. You're aware of this right?"
"And that is what I'm asking you to do – help!"
Tyler shrugs. He takes a moment to fold the paper I gave him into a sleek, aerodynamic flying machine. I take it back to write her name on the wing and hand it back to Tyler.
He holds the record for the fastest and longest distance flyer of any paper airplane competition we've ever had. He always told me it was in the folding. "Okay, here goes nothing."
I watch him get closer. There are a lot of people in the way. I see him take his time to line up his shot, just like on the court. He takes in a breath to steady his hand and he sends it over.
"Goal!" I pump my fist in a "Yes!" fashion as the little plane lands perfectly on her open book. Even Tyler looked impressed before he maneuvered himself deeper in the crowd of students waiting for the day to begin.
She picks it up, and sees the writing and opens the letter.
The note was short and sweet.
It's been killing me not to be able to talk to you, to see for myself that you're okay, but I've gotten the message. If you wanted to talk you would have answered the barrage of texts, voicemails, or emails I had sent.
But if by the slimmest chance, you care enough to put me out of my misery, I will make myself available during homeroom and meet you at Yearbook.
I miss you,
She glanced up from the letter and immediately started looking around the courtyard. It gave me hope. Even if she was planning on storming over and tell me to go to hell at least she had an interest in talking to me, and that's all I needed was a chance. A chance to get face to face, then it was game on.
The school bell had rung. She tucked the note in her bag and stood up brushing off her skirt as always. She looked around a second time. I smiled. I waited until she got into the building before entering myself. Just in case she chose to say something to me at my locker. I needed more time than that. This way she wouldn't see me there and would need to move on so she wasn't late for her class.
Everything was going according to plan. Tyler found me at my locker. I shut it and smiled at him. "Epic shot!"
"I have to admit I was pretty surprised myself, but I guess your note was meant to get through."
"Now let's hope she meets me."
Tyler frowns. "What if she doesn't?"
"Won't matter. I know where she'll be the next 3 nights. The play opens tonight. If she won't talk to me during homeroom, I'll find a way to get to her."
The crease between Tyler's eyes deepened. "Finn, what if Mike and Jessica were right? What if Adam and she are a thing?"
I immediately shake my head in denial. "No way. I'll admit Adam would like there to be something but I know what I felt and I have to believe my feelings were not misplaced. Brynn needs special handling. I've been telling her all this time I'm not going to go anywhere. I have to prove that point."
"And if she walks away?"
The thought brought back the ache I felt inside, but I buried it down deep. "I have to hold on to hope."
Tyler smiles at me. He pats me on the back. "Well, I'm rooting for you. And if you need a friend..."
"I know where you live."
Why is it whenever you are anticipating something time slows to a crawl? I got through most of the morning but I felt exhausted by the time the bell rang, finally homeroom. I made my way to the activities office. I had to smile when I asked, about my tasks for the day and was told there was none. I asked to be permitted to check in on the Yearbook Office and I was immediately given a pass.