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I can't think of any cutesy love songs that'd fit as a thread title, consider this a placeholder; Private; paging ze good doktor
Topic Started: Feb 3 2016, 10:43 PM (1,037 Views)
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...Huh.

Lily settled back in her chair again, head tilted a little as she eyed Alvaro. He was acting weird, and she couldn't figure out what he wanted. She thought he wanted her to leave and now he was telling her to stay, but also talking about the seats being uncomfortable and being all nervous like he didn't want to be her. It was confusing.

There was only so long that avoiding any potentially awkward questions worked for. Fingers touching the end of the fork, Lily looked at her empty plate for a moment, pushing the fork a little back and forth, before looking at Alvaro.

“Is something wrong? You're acting oddly.”
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Lily sat back down again. Good, good. He could hopefully relax now, for a bit. The cafe would close soon and she would have to leave anyway but if she stayed for now he could be okay. The cafe was silent, and the night reigned outside, but that didn’t effect the moment. He was sitting with Lily alone for a bit and that was fine with him. Even if she hated him, even if all of his worst fears were true, he was still happy, at least for a bit. Even if Alejandro came back, he might still be able to look back on this moment with a fond tone to it.

And then Lily said that he was acting oddly.

His hand started shaking. Everything went from okay to a nightmare scenario in a heartbeat. He was right. She thought that he was weird. She thought that he was weird and she hated him and only pretended to bear him because he was the kid whose family owned a cafe. She hated him, just like everyone else did too. he grabbed his hand. No, she wasn’t. She was friends with him. People liked him. They came to the cafe and talked to him and no no no they were lying. He was weird. Lily said it herself. He was the weird kid who came from the other country who couldn’t speak English at all. Nobody liked him. They came to the cafe and talked to him but behind their backs they laughed at his inability. His difference.

He had to say something, anything. He had to fix this. He loved her, and even if she only pretended to be friends with him he still liked being with her. He had to say something. Protect his friendship with her. He had to say something. Anything. Anything that could mask the fact that he liked her and that his love overpowered him.

“Um…”

But nothing came out. He couldn’t think of anything to say. He lied to her before about his crush and he hated it but now he was against the wall. Nothing was coming to his mind and he was up against the wall and he had to just….

Tell the truth.

There was no other option. He had to tell the truth. He had to fess up and say that he loved her and that she made him happy every time she came to the cafe and that he wanted to stay with her, at least for a bit. He had never entertained the possibility before. Every time it came though to his mind, he bat it down. She’d never accept. That’s what he always thought. She’d just laugh at him and then she’d be creeped out by him and she’d never want to see him again. That was the excuse he used, every time the opportunity came up.

But now she hated him. Said that he was weird. He had acted oddly one too many times and now he was paying the price for it. He panicked in the cafe. He had failed to listen in the cafeteria. He had made all of these mistakes and now he had to fess up to them. Explain. It was his only hope. If it was good enough maybe she’d like him back. Maybe she’d requite him.

And if it wasn’t good enough, well, it wasn’t like it was going to change her opinion on him.

He had to do it. It was the only option. Breathe in. He could do it. He could. Breathe out.

Then:

“Listen, um…”

But the words failed to come out again. No. No. No. He had to do this. He was the leader. Soccer team, library, Isaac, Min-jae, captain, failure. The stories that he had heard a thousand times by now. He had to be strong. He had to be a leader. He had to do this.

“I like you.”

The words came out. Silence reigned in the cafe.

“I mean, like like you. I think you’re amazing and beautiful and every time you walk through the cafe door ready to order something it makes me happie-”

He couldn’t continue. He couldn’t. He looked down, away from Lily. He looked stupid. Nobody else could see him but he looked stupid. His arm was still shaking. He just hoped that she’d leave at this point. He was just asking for it at this point.
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Lily didn't respond for a while. It was probably a very good thing that Alvaro had looked down, because for a moment she looked like a deer caught in the headlights. Then she shifted her position so that she was resting her chin on it, moving the fingers so they curled in front of her mouth. It still couldn't cover her entire expression, including the redness flooding into her face, but at least now she couldn't be sure she wouldn't let out a nervous laugh. Or any kind of laugh, really. She didn't actually think it was funny, but sometimes laughter just happened.

This… had not been what she expected. She'd assumed he was having an off day, not… this.

She was not sure how to proceed.

Did she like Alvaro? Of course she did. He was nice. Smart. Decent conversationalist for the most part without being overbearing. She supposed he was easy on the eyes, which didn't hurt any. That confession had been… nice. Sweet, even. And it wasn't like he could be worse than Caedyn.

But did she like him in that way?

No.

For whatever reason, she just didn't. She knew what those feelings felt like. She'd had them for Caedyn. For a couple of other people, though in those cases unreturned. And this just wasn't it.

An apology rose in her throat, but got stuck there. Alvaro was shaking. Not looking at her. This part of the whole crush experience was new to her. Caedyn had not been the shy type.

She thoughtfully gnawed on one of her fingers for a moment.

“...I see.”

Really? Was that all she could say? 'I see?' That could mean anything! Lily shut her eyes for a moment, annoyed at herself.

“Wait, I mean... Well. That's… that's, uh...”

She trailed off.
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Silence continued to reign through the cafe as Alvaro looked down at his hands. They had stopped shaking again, but they no longer told how Alvaro was feeling. He messed up. He had messed up in front of Lily and now he couldn’t even look at her. And who knew what she thought of him now? Even if she didn’t hate him, would she still want to associate with someone she knew liked her? He could feel his mind tense; he hadn’t gone through the situation as usual and now there were some consequences he was only now thinking of, like usual. It was how he played the game of chess, it was how he played the game of life, and he was equally terrible at both.

Eventually, he looked up - he couldn’t look down and pretend to hide, he had to face the music at some point - and he saw that her face was red. Oh no oh no oh no she was flustered. He admitted he did it so now she was awkward and he was awkward and everyone in the room was awkward now. He needed to say something, he needed to break the tension in some way but he couldn’t think of anything.

“Um…”

Wait, no. He needed to say something. He needed to say something that’d make things okay again and would create a chance that Lily would talk to him again and he needed to say something that wasn’t him umming all the time. He needed to apologize to Lily. Yeah, that was it. Say sorry for messing up so that Lily might talk to him again and hopefully forget that this ever happened.

“I’m… sorry… about that.”

Silence still reigned in the cafe, and Alvaro's chair still wasn't comfortable. He didn't really notice, at this point.
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“No, it's fine, it's just… surprising.”

Lily went back to gnawing on one finger, thinking to herself.

She went over various ways to phrase a rejection without being rude. But anything she thought of was rude or just… cold.

But she was a cold person, particularly in these sort of matters. Caedyn had made that very clear during the argument that had led to them breaking up, and Lily thought maybe she had a point. Caedyn had her issues… a lot of them… but that break-up hadn't been 100% because of Caedyn's flaws.

She didn't want to be cold. She just couldn't figure out a way to communicate a rejection otherwise. What was she supposed to say? 'It's not you, it's me?' What a cliché. It would sound fake. It would just hurt. She couldn't really think of anything that didn't sound like it had a subliminal message of 'you suck.'

But she couldn't just lead him on. Could she?

Then again, he really couldn't be any worse than Caedyn. Maybe if she just went with it… maybe things would get better, and she'd end up liking Alvaro in the right way. Maybe she just needed adjustment. Or maybe she'd ruin a perfectly good friendship.

Lily thought it over. And she came to what she thought might be, at least, a temporary solution.

“Okay. Um, Alvaro… I think I… might have an idea. That dance… the Sadie Hawkins dance. That's on soon. I suppose… we could go together? See if that… if that goes okay?”

Maybe she'd figure out if this was a good idea or not. She'd have more time to figure things out without the pressure of having to come up with an answer immediately. A dance wasn't a full-on commitment. It was just a commitment for that night in particular. She could figure out how to proceed from there.
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Alvaro kept looking up. Even though he wanted to look away from her so bad he kept looking up. He knew the rejection was coming. There was no way she liked him, and the way he confessed to her wasn’t going to do him any favours at all… but he didn’t know. If she rejected him, wait no, when she rejected him, he wasn’t sure how he was going to feel. It no longer seemed quite like the massive, world ending event that it had been. Of course, it was still going to suck, but he felt prepared for it, felt as if he could manage it. He felt that if she rejected him, he could still talk to her, look at her when she came into the cafe every day. He looked into her eyes, prepared for what was about to happen.

But then she did something different than he thought she would. Didn’t reject him. Said that his confession was surprising. What did she mean by that? Did she… like him back? She couldn’t, no way. She didn’t like him back, he knew that the moment he opened his mouth she wasn’t going to accept him. If she said that she wanted to be in a relationship with him, he’d likely have to pinch himself because there was no way that he wasn’t in a dream if that was the case. She was going to reject him and the weird statement she said only delayed it.

But then, again, she said something totally different from what he expected.

She asked him out to the Sadie Hawkins dance.

“I… what?” No way. No way this was happening. She didn’t like him. Well, she probably liked him as a friend considering she just asked him out but there was no way she liked liked him. He didn’t know why she did that. He didn’t know whether it because they were friends or to mock him or if she was stringing him along or anything. He looked away, around the cafe. Why was she asking him? She was pretty, she was attractive, she could easily pick someone better than him. Did she like him back? He didn’t know, and it was likely he wasn’t ever going to know.

But, she did ask if he wanted to go with her; better to answer the question and figure things out later.

“Sure, I’ll go with you! I mean, um…”

His hand wasn’t shaking, but he was looking around. This was just a totally weird proposal and he didn’t know how to react to it.
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“Uh, yes. Good. Um.”

Lily fiddled with her fingers for a moment before getting up.

“Seriously, though, it's late and… parents are probably like… not happy at me for staying out late, so… um, I should go! But, uh… see you then. Yes. I'll… call or email or… yes.”

She tried not to look like she was fleeing as she left. She just needed time to think and collect her thoughts, and she was already unsure as to whether she'd made a good choice or not. She didn't have a plan. She hated not having a plan.

Oh, well. There was time. And what was the worst that could happen, really?

((Lily Caldwell continued in Sidelines.))
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“Cool! Um…”

Alvaro was no longer looking around the room, and had kept his eyes trained on Lily’s face. He needed to focus on her. It was polite. Always look at somebody when they’re speaking to you, or however the saying went. Look at her in the eyes when you speak, and only tell the truth. And that was what he was doing. It really was something cool! So long as it was legitimate. If she was going to stand him up like how he thought some of the other girls would stand up a couple of his friends, he wouldn’t know how he would react. Well no, he kinda did know, a little, in the vein that the way that he was going to react wasn’t going to be good. Still, he had to be hopeful. The girl he loved wanted to go out with him! So long as she was telling the truth there was no way that could be bad!

Then Lily stood up, staying that she had to go. He understood. The café was going to close down in a couple of minutes anyway, and this would be less awkward. He yelled out a “bye!” and smiled as she left the café. He liked her. He couldn’t help it. He doubted that there was any way he wasn’t going to confess his love, one way or another.

Although now he had, and he had a date with her. In two days, even. He was planning to stay home the night of the Sadie Hawkins Dance to study, but now he couldn’t do that. He had a date, and even if she was going to stand him up, he still had to go, in the case, the hopeful possibility that she wasn’t. He stood up from his seat, going up to the door of the cafe and locking it. If she was genuine, and he chose not to go for whatever reason, then wasn’t he the liar in that case? Wouldn’t he be the one that people couldn’t trust?

Besides, it was Lily. Even when he felt like he couldn’t trust her, she had never lied to him, and he wasn’t going to leave her alone because of himself. So yeah, he was going. He was going regardless of what happened to him at the dance, and that was final.

Besides, it was only a dance. What was the worst that could happen?

((Alvaro Vacanti’s sadie hawkins adventure, continued elsewhere))
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