He was the last person she expected to ever take a liking to.

At that point in her high school career, Kelly was just trying to pull through with a strong grasp of reality, and her sanity kept in as pristine condition as humanly possible.

Adam was a year older than her; a senior. At first, she didn't consider him to be what one would classify as "popular", I guess, in a sense, she never did. But he had this sort of radiant, antagonist charm, as if to coax people into friendship through constant arrogant banter; at least, that's what he did to her. Not only her, but her best friend, Christine, whom was already friends with one or two of his best friends (by similar classes). So, in that way, Kelly guessed was also friends with one or two them through common friendship, even if distantly so. Kelly liked talking to his friends, mostly because they were all very similar to each other: an intelligent, striving, witty, humorous, and athletic crowd. In her mind, they were all top-notch students and people, and all of them had already been accepted to very highly accredited schools.

He just happened to be the one headed off to the school she one day dreamed of attending. Maybe that was the first thing that caught her attention; his preference in universities were the very same as hers.

No. The first thing that caught her attention was his messy mop of golden hair, which didn't naturally match his eyebrows. It wasn't dyed though, that was apparent, and anyway, she had asked.

She didn't immediately start talking to him, as he sat a couple of seats away from her (only a mere twelve inches away from Christine), but she eventually wiggled her way into frequent conversations. The first of which being a discussion about his younger sister, and how he was going to one day marry his sister's five-year-old friend Cindy. He was in love with Cindy. He said she would make the perfect bride. Christine said it was weird to say such things, but she giggled along.

Kelly thought it was adorable, but with him looking at her, waiting intently for her response, since he'd already received Christine's ( Kelly found he often did this; gauged people's responses almost compulsively-- it was part of his antagonist manner), she just rolled her eyes, accompanying it with a small smile. "You could go to jail for that, you know," she informed him in a deadpanned fashion. Christine giggled, and led the comment on buoyantly, like it was hilarious. Maybe that was why they were best friends. Christine was the bubbly, excited type, and Kelly was nearly the opposite. They sort of balanced each other out, Kelly always thought.

He just smiled at her and spoke, "Duh. I'll wait until she's eighteen. I mean, I'll only be 31. It could work." He was looking straight in her eyes.

Christine commented how weird it was again. "Alright, if you, as a 31-year-old man, want to cling to the hope that an 18-year-old girl would want to jump your bones, then by all means, start planning the wedding now," Kelly gestured for him to go on.

He smiled wider, "Naw, that's Cindy's job. She's already making some sketches. In case you were wondering, it's a spring wedding. You better be careful or you'll find yourself without an invite." Then his eyes flickered to Christine, "And don't you dare invite her behind my back." Christine. She loved that.

That's how many of their conversations went.

The weird thing was, sometimes, without them even really noticing, they'd be conversing about someone serious things. His career choices; he already knew what he wanted to do when he got older. Something with sciences and chemistry, something really specific that she had never even heard of. Christine laughed and said she wanted to be a veterinarian. She could've been; she was smart (maybe not the keeper of much common sense, but smart), almost as smart as Kelly.

Of course, the initial conversation was struck up between the two of them; Christine and Adam. Then Adam would catch her off-guard and ask for her input, "So, what are you planning on doing?" he asked in a surprisingly interested tone. "I can't exactly see you dealing with puppies or children or anything of that sort of fashion," that smile; the smile that seemed to suggest that he'd saved it just for her.

"Well, I-"

"She's probably planning on committing suicide before college or something," Christine so politely interjected with her running joke, mocking Kelly's pessimism and thoughtfulness.

"Not exactly--"

"Yeah," Adam said, looking at her from the corner of his eye as he leaned his forearm on Christine's desk, "She does seem a smidgen suicidal."

Rolling her eyes, Kelly just nodded, "Yes. Suicide sounds fantastic right now."

Adam always laughed at her sarcasm. Always. "No, really, what are you going to do?"

She knew exactly what she wanted to do, but, too embarrassed to admit she wanted to be a simple business owner, she spoke, "Oh, I fully plan on getting married to a jackass and popping out a couple of hell-raising children before I have the chance to be happy."

He held his laugh for a moment, "So, then you don't want to get married? Or you don't want to have children?"

"Neither," she spoke definitely. "Both are horrible ideas. If I get married, there's a 50 chance I'll want a divorce," she spoke evenly, having thought about it a hundred times before. "And if I have children then I won't have the money to divorce, and even if I did, I'd be fucking my children over. But if I stayed in an unhappy marriage, I'd be fucking them over anyway." At least, that's what happened to her mother.

He stared hard at her a moment before breaking out into laughter. "Damn, that sounds pretty suicidal to me."

She rolled her eyes, "I would never commit suicide."

"But that's just so… bleak."

"Yeah, she's pretty much the most pessimistic best friend I could've ever chosen," Christine piped in (he hadn't looked at her in a whole four minutes). Kelly loved Christine, but she absolutely hated how she acted around males she was interested in (not that Kelly would've told her that).

"But that's why I respect her so much," he nodded with his strangely inviting half-smile.

Kelly remained unconvinced though, refusing to fall into the trap that Christine had so unwittingly fallen into, "Pessimism doesn't exactly scream respect to me."

"No," he reasoned, "no, maybe not. But you do." With that, he removed the pencil that was tucked behind his ear and the book of crossword puzzles from his back pocket and started finishing the one he'd started in first period.

He did one crossword a day. And was remarkably good at them. He knew erroneous facts that no one should've ever known, and once Christine found out how smart he was, she fed of his genius; thrived off of it. She'd constantly provide the fuel for his ego: asking him questions and always being surprised when he knew the answer.

Kelly always took it as her job to bring him down a few pegs when she was spoken to. But, alas, he always just laughed, and reminded her how much he respected her.

Eventually she noted that he never did say this to Christine, who became increasingly bubbly around him. He did, however, interact with her far more than he did Kelly. When he did talk to Kelly, it seemed like a momentous occasion to her, not that she'd ever shown it. She needed to remain cool, calm, collected.

Christine officially laid her claim on him when he started chatting with her online.

She often talked about him: "Adam said this last night." "He actually knew what I was talking about!" "Adam listens to the best music!" "He reads such strange books, I swear!" "He is so funny, Kelly!"

It was hard for Kelly to take. She realized she was jealous; she identified that fact long ago. Yet, she still couldn't handle it. Christine had talked about others like this before. Christine had felt this way about others before.

Unfortunately, Kelly had not. It was new to her to actually have an affinity for someone. She often found herself craving his conversation, but was admittedly unwilling to be the first to engage, so she'd sit back along the sidelines and wait to be included, which sometimes never happened.

Then one day, Kelly got online, working on a paper for school about Voltaire. Christine messaged her asking about the paper as well; they talked for awhile. And then, out of no where, Adam's window popped up. "Your screen name is so cool," it said. Kelly's name was 'blasphemy', which she always forgot since she was hardly ever online; she disliked the impersonal nature of online chatting. She'd made it freshman year when she started overusing the term to the point of obnoxiousness.

"How'd you get this?" she asked back.

"Chrisssssssssstine," he replied.

Oh, right. They were probably talking right then. They then broke off into a 'civilized intellectual disagreement', as Adam called their banter, which hardly mattered at all, because in the end, Adam would always admit that he actually didn't agree with his point at all, he just wanted to cause ruckus and hear what she had to say about it. (Though, she would always have the best points, she thought.)

Their fights were fun. They'd go around and around, going nowhere, quoting people and movies which didn't matter, for hours until Adam would happily admit that he hadn't meant anything he'd said, he just wanted to know what she would quote this time.

Embarrassingly enough, she would wait all day just for the time around 10 o'clock when he would get online and talk to her about nothing at all. It was the only reason she started getting online; it was for the excuse to talk to him, since she was often stripped of it in class with Christine always present.

It was in this way they would sometimes have serious conversations, seemingly out of nowhere. They would start chatting about life, families, love. If one of them had a bad day, it was encouraged to talk about it. But nothing was ever spoken outside of the text. They both knew they sounded pathetic sometimes, and they didn't really want the whole world knowing of their "teenagerisms" as Adam referred to him.

His smiles, however, did seem to get brighter when they would speak in person. They sent a faint glimmer of hope to Kelly every time she'd see one.

And then, he told her.

They had their first real conversation in person (not just banter, but spoken, real conversation) in the hallway after school. And it wasn't at all what Kelly was looking so forward to.

"I like her," Adam spoke to Kelly. "Christine, I mean."

Kelly's world shattered then, but, as Adam knew, she was remarkably good at masking emotions, "Oh?" She tried her trademark sarcasm: "Tell me, was it her resemblance to Cindy that made you swoon, or her amazingly articulate giggle?"

Adam laughed. Adam always laughed, a deep, bright, genuine laugh which she used to think he reserved just for her. "What would you say if I told you that's exactly it." His smile now was not for her; it was for Christine, for the thought of Christine.

"O-oh," her façade dropped a fraction. "Well, I, um…" What should she have told him? Christine was hopeless for him too? That she couldn't stop talking about Adam? The things Adam would tell her, his jokes, his habits which Kelly already knew, his lifestyle and friends; things she already loved. "Why don't you just talk to Christine then? I'm sure she's as completely mad for you as I am," Kelly laughed sarcastically pushing passed him down the hall. Adam followed.

"Oh, I always knew you were coming onto me," Adam indulged the banter, as always. "Was it my amazing argumentative skills? Or my thrilling knowledge of Grecian and Roman mythology?" he poked her ribs as they strolled together down the hall.

"Nope," she said pretending to think. "I'm pretty sure it's your outrageous sense of modesty that made me fall so swiftly."

He laughed again. As always a broad, genuine grin, "Seriously, you think Christine likes me?"

Kelly made the slip of sighing a moment, but quickly covered the disappointed action with, "Yes, Adam, I think there's a very good chance she might." She couldn't handle it any further, so she made up a lie, "I'm late for soccer, see you later?"

"Definitely. I'm gonna go find Christine. I'll talk to you tonight, yeah?" he said, looking hopefully into her eyes.

Kelly looked back sadly, then nodded, "Yeah, tell me how it goes."

He grinned and parted with, "You look so upset right now. Don't commit suicide while I'm gone and can't come to the rescue, okay?"

Kelly smiled then nodded again, "Sure, I'll remain breathing for the time being."

"Good," he ruffled her hair and turned around, walking back the way they had come.

That night, Adam didn't get online. His icon remained a slanted grey all night until Kelly decided it was time to go to sleep.

The next morning, she wasn't hopeful.

Walking reluctantly into the building, she'd already showed up ten minutes later than usual, and decided not to rush things. The halls were still filled with kids riffling around in the last three minutes before school commenced.

Out of nowhere, she felt herself being lifted rather abruptly from the marbled floor tiles. "Fuck!" she let out, often slipping into profanity when surprised, since she was rarely surprised by anything.

It was Adam.

She blushed red, since this was the most physical contact the two of them had ever shared. "Adam, what the fuck do you think you're doing?" she yelled at him, swatting his arm.

"Mwah!" he said, putting her down and kissing the air on the side of her cheek. "You were so right! Christine and I talked all night.Oh, sorry I didn't get online, we were just caught up in this conversation over Care Bears and--"

Care Bears? Is that what he wanted? Someone to talk about Care Bears with? All of their hard-hitting conversations about real problems, and interesting subjects: genetics, human habits, overpopulation, worldly cures… and all he needed was someone to chat about stuffed animals with? She could've been that too…

"Oh, it's okay, don't worry about it," Kelly chimed. Then she saw Christine approach. Adam released Kelly, and replaced the empty space between his arms with Christine's body, placing a kiss to her forehead tenderly.

Placing a smile on her face, Kelly excused herself and trotted along to class before she could witness any further endearing actions.

They would be great together, Kelly knew. Christine made Adam feel so great about himself, and to Christine, Adam was the picture of perfection and humor. Adam seemed to just love every little silly quality about her, despite his need for intellectualism. They made each other feel good, and even against Kelly's wishes, they looked far better together than she herself could ever make him look.

She refused to cry. Refused.

All her years of practicing self-control had led her to this point, and one amazingly smart, funny, clever, and cute guy who just happened to like her best friend was not going to change that. She refused to give herself over to the tears prickling at her eyelids. They swelled up; she felt them.

But, alas, all her years of practicing had never prepared her for the surge of overwhelming unwantedness and mediocrity that rushed through her. Before she knew it, she had stopped walking, realizing the bell had already rung, and she'd only made it halfway to her class.

Looking around to make sure the hall was empty, she felt her books slide from her grasp, and her body collapsed underneath her as she quietly sobbed into her hands on the dirty tan floors of her school hallway; the hallway where she'd cast so many disapproving glances at girls who'd already cried on these floors over some stupid jerk who'd broken their hearts. It was the place she'd never thought break her; she was too tough, too resilient, to be broken. And now, she felt completely shattered, defeated by the one feeling she never thought she could have felt. Because for someone to have broken her heart, they would have had to own it in the first place, something she never thought would ever happen.

But, alas, Adam did.

What hurt her even more, was not that it was her best friend whom he preferred (it wasn't her fault, really), but was the fact that it was broken in an unknowing fashion: Adam tore it to bits without even realizing he had the power to.

Five minutes of self-pity was all she could allow herself for such a degrading situation. This was why everyone thought of her as such a pessimistic, proud person; she denied herself the privilege of feeling sorry for herself. She'd become a hollow shell of what a teenage girl was supposed to be. But, wasn't that, after all, what Adam had liked so much about her? No; that wasn't why he liked her, that was why he respected her-- two very different terms she now realized.

Sighing, she bit back the rest of her tears and collected herself before trotting to class.

She never thought this could've happened to her.

This… unrequited love.

A/N: Ey. What's up you guys? Well, I know the title may have... sucked... but I wrote this really quickly and couldn't think of something else without sounding too lame, and I try to shy away from lame as much as possible. I just wanted you guys to know I'm not dead, and i told you that I would be putting up one or two one-shots to bridge the gap. So, I churned this out in somewhere around an hour, give or take thirty, so I hope it's alright. I kind of like it, just because, well, I know a guy like this: too insanely smart and funny for his own good. And, well, this may as well define our relationship (besides maybe the ages, and best-friend situation, and drama, all of that was pretty much made up... besides the banter. We do fight about a lot of stupid things, unnecessary things, and he does usually admit he was fighting about something he didn't support.)

At any rate, do you like it? Lemme know, por favor.

As usual: sorry for any grammatical or spelling mistakes, you know I am pretty tragically unaware when it comes to that.

Busy, busy, busy for the next couple of weeks. I'll get back to you when I can.

Thanks for not hating me...