She approached the bus stop tentatively. It was ancient, the paint on the walls faded and chipping off. Who knew that she would have to make what seemed like the most important decision of her lifetime here? Life could be funny sometimes. She was too nervous to think about that, though. She paused, hesitant.

"Oh, for goodness' sake, go on!" exclaimed Tracey, one of her best friends, for the tenth time. "It's okay. He's not going to kill you."

Oh, but he could do much, much worse, especially to a person with an immense fear of rejection, she thought.

"Yeah, go ahead!" added another of her friends, Madison, with a smile that did not quite reach her eyes. She felt a twinge of sympathy for her. She knew that Madison liked him.

She grinned nervously and continued to walk, this time quickening her pace. She saw him and proceeded towards him.

"Um, hey, Dean," she whispered, unsure of whether to hope that he had heard her or that he had not.

She waited for a few seconds before realising that he had not.

"Um, never mind," she said as quietly and tiptoed out of his way.

"So, did you ask him?" came the overly hopeful voice of Tracey.

She glared icily at her. She had not done anything wrong, but she could be too cheerful for her liking sometimes. She relaxed slightly, and shook her head at Tracey in an almost imperceptible gesture, but by the dismayed look on Tracey's face, she could tell that she had picked up on it.

She sighed and tried to ignore the annoying nagging voice in her head, a painful reminder of what she could have said to him, which she knew she never would.