ConroyAlmondJoy: You're still up??
LeahBear: Couldn't sleep.
ConroyAlmondJoy: It's 3 a.m.
ConroyAlmondJoy: You wanna talk about it?
LeahBear: No, thanks. I'm good.
ConroyAlmondJoy: Are you sick?
ConroyAlmondJoy: You know. Swine flu or something.
LeahBear: Actually, yeah. I am feeling sick.
ConroyAlmondJoy: :P What do you have? Wait, I drank out of your water bottle today at track practice! Now I've got what you've got!
LeahBear: Yes. I'm infecting the world with my plague. (evil grin)
ConroyAlmondJoy: Super villain.
ConroyAlmondJoy: Seriously, what's wrong?
ConroyAlmondJoy: Is it a girl thing?
LeahBear: Actually, it's a guy thing.
ConroyAlmondJoy: Is it mono?
LeahBear: No. But I am exhausted.
ConroyAlmondJoy: Then go to bed!
LeahBear: Can't sleep.
ConroyAlmondJoy: Then eat something.
LeahBear: Can't eat. I'm never hungry.
ConroyAlmondJoy: Never hungry?
LeahBear: I know. Your teenage boy mind can't fathom it.
ConroyAlmondJoy: Should I be worried?
ConroyAlmondJoy: Hey...my mom just bought some chicken noodle soup.
ConroyAlmondJoy: David said he had a fever.
LeahBear: Aw, poor guy. Is he okay?
ConroyAlmondJoy: He's fine. He was faking it to get out of gym class.
LeahBear: He's definitely your brother.
ConroyAlmondJoy: So I'll bring you the soup tomorrow!
LeahBear: Bring it?
ConroyAlmondJoy: You know, drop it off at your house.
LeahBear: Or you could stay a while.
LeahBear: If you want. My dad just got Red Dead Redemption.
ConroyAlmondJoy: Dude!! I wanna play!
LeahBear: You should come over.
ConroyAlmondJoy: I will. It's a date.
LeahBear: Ha. :) Feeling better already.
ConroyAlmondJoy: I have that effect on people.
LeahBear: I'm actually really tired. Can I go to bed?
ConroyAlmondJoy: I guess...
ConroyAlmondJoy: Get well soon!
LeahBear: Aye aye, Captain.
ConroyAlmondJoy: I hate it when you're sick. You sure you don't wanna talk some more?
ConroyAlmondJoy has signed off.
Leah drummed her fingers along the keyboard and read and re-read the conversation. Her throat felt tight and her heart hammered; her forehead was clammy and dizziness washed over her.
You should come over.
I will. It's a date.
Is it a girl thing?
Actually, it's a guy thing.
Not mono. Leah looked over the IM window one more time before minimizing it, and traced the initials on she'd drawn on the mouse pad. L plus C.
It was way more serious than mono, and would last longer too. It was sweaty palms and a racing heart and a knot in her stomach the size of Toronto. It would probably never go away.
She'd caught the love bug.