He knew she liked him, but she ought to say it out loud sometime. How could he explain himself if she didn't give him some headway first? At first, he was flattered by the newness of it all. He hadn't thought much of girls, much less one actively seeking him out. But she wouldn't say it; she wouldn't stop being there either. This wasn't love, was it?
He'd lost his favorite game a week before to some unscrupulous burglar; she blasted its theme song on someone else's player, and like a snake, lured him eagerly out. His confusion tore up his face and slid back down again; he slunk quietly back to his room to continue his studies.
His room gave him no respite from her; she was a frequent wanderer there. His discomfort was lost to her, amongst other things; he suffered and kept silent, at least in front of her. She borrowed books, asked harmless questions, smiled and said good day—he seethed at her constant presence, but never in words. She knew he hated her.
He saw her appear in class one day. He dodged into another door and prayed she hadn't seen him. He knew with her there was no such thing as coincidence. There couldn't be, it contradicted logic. But reasonable or unreasonable, she was still there.
She longed to see him.
It wasn't to talk. He glowered at her presence, cloaked himself in silence when she passed. It was about the laughter that erupted with his witty lines, how happy he made others. His smile that could never be held back, though it never was for her. His mere presence brightened her day, though she didn't know why.
She was too transparent; others saw through them both and laughed. "Tell him," they say, and it has become a daily joke. "Everyone knows you like him." Her face flames and she denies them. "I don't like him," she says.
She waited for him to take a hint, realize her feelings, whatever he needed to do. His silence did not bother her because she knew she would wait for an answer. And in the meantime, she would still see him. For her, it was enough.
She thought she knew how he felt and concluded she was evil. Or perhaps just selfish, predictably human. She fought between her needs and his needs; he lost. There was regret... sympathy… and a flurry of wishes. It hadn't been love… had it?