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Alvaro still stood at the counter, trying to steady his hand as he waited for Lily to turn her head around to talk to him. The song continued to play on the radio and Alvaro tried to block it out of his head, it was far too cheerful for what he was thinking right now. She wanted to talk to him. That’s why she had stayed way past when she normally did. He knew that it was something major, considering how long she stayed and her not speaking up right now. But what was major enough to merit her doing this? His mind browsed through possibilities, none of them good. Was she going to say that she hated him? He had messed up enough times to merit that. He had the panic attack at the cafe a couple months ago and he acted strangely with the chili in the cafeteria. He acted weird, and nobody wanted to associate with the weird antisocial people in the school. He knew that he wasn’t like that but he knew that the way he had been showing himself could say otherwise and it wouldn’t be too odd for her to think that he was possibly weird for doing those things.

Or even worse, she figured out he liked her. If she came here to reject him it’d just about be the worst thing in the world. He knew that he said it for everything but this time it was true. She’d reject him and then she’d laugh at him and he’d never be able to work up the courage to speak to her again.

He hoped that neither was true, but at this point both possibilities likely were true. All he knew was that she was in the cafe alone with him and that it was almost 7 PM and that if she didn’t speak up now the cafe was going to close and she wouldn’t be able to tell him about anything. His hand was still shaking, despite his attempts to hold it in place. If she was going to do what she was going to do, she had to do it now. If she didn’t then she wouldn’t be able to and it was likely that they’d never get the chance to be alone together again and then he’d graduate and would likely never see it again. She had to do it now. She had to speak now or else she’d forever hold her peace, or however the saying went.


No, he had to do it. His mind went back to last year, where Min-Jae and Isaac got mad at each other and left the library. Alvaro had gotten the book report done by himself but when the day came to turn it in Min-Jae submitted his own report and the teacher gave them a C for failing to work as a group. If they were actually able to work as a group, if they were actually able to work together at the library, they could have gotten an A for the assessment. If Alvaro had spoken up at the library, they could have done that; but instead, he stayed quiet as he always did and paid the consequences for it. Isaac left. Min-Jae got pissed and followed, leaving Alvaro alone to fail the assessment.

And it was his fault. His fault for not speaking up at the library. His fault for being a terrible group member. His fault for failing them. If he had spoke up, had actually done something, maybe they could have succeeded. If he had stood up for himself, stopped taking the background when arguments arose, maybe things would be okay. Maybe people would like him then. He’d be seen as someone who could actually stand up for himself.

So no, he had to be the one to talk. He had to be the one to approach her. He could feel that his hand was still shaking. He let go of it. He took steps, slow at first, before speeding up to his usual pace. There was a seat across from where Lily was sitting, and he sat himself down, pressing his hand down on the table as he did so.

“Hi.” He said, turning to face her. It sounded a little odd. A little loud, sudden; as if he had blurted it out. He didn’t notice. He needed to get the truth from her and he didn’t care how he looked.
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I can't think of any cutesy love songs that'd fit as a thread title, consider this a placeholder · Before the Dance