1.12: Crash and Burn
Overload. Talk about an overload of information. He didn't even know how to begin processing all that. Liv had liked him for the past five years? That was bloody long time. That was more than half the time that they'd been best friends and she had never told him?
"Why?" he rasped. "Why didn't you ever tell me?"
"Because I was afraid that things would change. You were my best friend," she responded agonizingly. "And by the time I'd worked up the courage to tell you, Jessa had asked me out. She's a wonderful girl, and she made me extraordinarily happy while we were together. Then when we broke up, I thought I might tell you.
"It was then I noticed how your eyes would wander to guys, like you were puzzled by how often you looked at them." She gave a small sigh. "I was pretty sure you were interested in other boys, and then a few weeks ago you told me you thought you were gay. Besides, you never would have known unless I told you. You are pretty darn oblivious, Si."
That he was, obviously if he hadn't even noticed that his best friend liked him like that. Damn it all, how clueless was he? "I guess I am," he responded dejectedly, not really knowing what else to say. He had never considered Liv in the light of anymore than as his best friend. He'd always thought she was far more interested in girls, and that she only proclaimed herself to be bisexual to the hopelessness that her mum had to feel.
"You are," Liv agreed lightly, smiling softly. "But that's all right. I've gotten use to it. If you weren't like that, I would think that something's wrong with you. And now you can't say that I haven't told you now, could you? And… this isn't going to change anything, is it?"
"No," Simon replied, seeing the anxiety in her eyes and knowing that she needed reassurance. "This isn't going to change anything. You're more interested in London now," he remarked, "and you have this Jessa dilemma to deal with."
Liv grinned and hugged him tightly. "Thanks, you're the best friend I could ever have, you know that Si?" While she felt him hug her back and even though she said those words, she knew that it wasn't true. She might be crushing on Liv and had loved Jessa, but she still had feelings for her best friend.
"You don't look very happy today," London remarked, falling into step with Liv as they headed toward the humanities building that housed their English classes. "What's wrong?"
"I'm just a little down about something that happened yesterday."
"Do you want to talk about it?"
Liv turned her faced and stared carefully at London, gauging the concern on her face as if she wasn't certain if London really cared or not. "I don't know if I'm ready to talk about it yet."
"Well, I'm here when you need me. You can always give me a call."
Liv nodded numbly. Damn it, why did such a sweet and nice girl like that have to be straight? She was perfect for her. English-oriented, loved to read and write as much as she did. Perfect, abso-bloody-lutely perfect. Too damn bad she had a boyfriend. "Thanks, London."
"I mean it, Liv. If you want to talk about it, just give me a call, okay?"
She watched London walk away, mesmerized by the soft sways of her hips. If only Jessa had been as caring and considerate as London, then she might have fallen in love with Jessa. God knew she loved Jessa loads, but she'd never fallen hard off the edge for her. Jessa had been right, Simon had been standing in the way.
Simon. Simon Xu. She shook her head violently. Her best friend for longer than she could remember, the one she relied on--- the one she leaned on. Somewhere along the line, he'd come to mean everything to her. Maybe she was just screwed up in the head. That she mixed that she needed him with loving him. She simply couldn't imagine her life without him. Just thinking about that scared her.
And she certainly didn't want anything about their relationship to change because she was the bloody idiot to fall in love with her best friend. As much as she would like to agonize about her problems, she really ought to be doing other stuff like getting to class before her stickler for a prof decided to dock participation points. She really didn't need anymore points being taken off.
She might not be the perfectionist that Simon was, but she still liked her grades to be decent. She grinned. Perfect Simon. His fastidiousness kept her on the right track. He wouldn't let her get below a B on anything that he could prevent, and if she did do terrible in one of her classes that he couldn't help her out in--- he found someone that could help her. Dear, old dependable Simon.
"Livvy Lee," her Huma 101 prof named her by name in their small class of 20, "late again?"
She sighed and sunk into her seat. Why did she have to get the one professor that seem to care whether the students arrived on time? It wasn't like she didn't have enough time to drone on about the works of Plato in the hour and a half lecture that this class was slotted for. Liv wondered how long she'd fall into the semi-conscious state where she was awake enough to nod and make two or thee words of commentary without being aware.
Not long at all. Sign out. Droning voices. Zone off. Awareness drifting. She snapped back to consciousness when she saw the first person start putting away their books. Thank god class was over. This was one of the classes she was sorry she had signed up for and hadn't dropped at the deadline because she needed the friggin' hours.
It was 2:20. She took out her mobile. Did she dare?
She dared. "Hey, Si," she greeted cheerfully like she always had. "Wanna meet me for a latte?"