When she admitted that she was a lesbian, his whole dream of them being together- like in all the romance novels he read– popped like a balloon. He sat in silence for a moment, staring off at a random bookshelf.
Error, error. Cannot compute.
Comprehension finally swept through his mind, and his eyes flicked back at her, taking in her anxious expression.
She bit her lip and tucked a strand of auburn hair behind her ear, nervously awaiting his reaction. He had honestly never even thought…It was okay though. He would be okay. Rose was nervous, and he needed to show her that he wasn’t some…homophobic jerk. He nodded decisively.
Input command. Enter.
“That’s okay,” he finally said, looking at her and then down into his coffee cup. It was cold. He took a breath.
“I’m not gonna lie. I’m disappointed. I… think I might need a few days to process this. After all, if we’re going to stay friends, then I need to get over this crush.”
He glanced up just in time to see a wobbly smile form on her lips. It reached her hazel eyes, he noted with relief. He had succeeded in alleviating whatever fears had been running through her mind.
“Oh thank god, I was so worried about your reaction. I didn’t- I didn’t want to hurt you or anything, you know that right?” She spoke slowly in an attempt to keep her voice even.
He nodded. “It’s okay, Rosie.”
She laughed and swatted at him. “Don’t call me that, Charles.”
He grinned before reverting back into a more serious expression. “Honestly,” he started, “we’ll probably be better friends now that that’s been resolved.”
“I hope so. It would suck to not have a book-buddy anymore,” Rose replied, pouting at the thought.
“And over a silly crush, too. My ego isn’t that fragile…to throw away our friendship over something that’s not your fault,” he said.
“Ugh! You’re getting all sappy! I think we’re getting too emotional today,” she complained, “Care to get fresh coffee instead, signore?”
He shook his head and laughed. “Only you- even though you’re an avid reader of romance novels- would complain about feelings.”
“Someone needs to with the way you were emoting,” she threw back, scooting away from the table.
“Get me another?” he asked.
“What’s the magic word?”
He rolled his eyes. “Please?”
She walked off without another word. After she was out of sight, he leaned back in his chair with a sigh. This was not going how he had envisioned it, and honestly, while he was disappointed…he was also sort of glad. The whole day leading up to his confession, thoughts of ruining their friendship ran through his head. It was probably why he had been so accepting of her rejection: he valued their friendship more than anything.
He didn’t regret asking her out though.
‘What’s that they say about weights and shoulders?’ Charlie thought.
Kayley Reininger is a young writer living in southern Illinois with her family. She is an active member of her school newspaper staff and is the Public Relations Officer in her local robotics team. In the future, she aims to complete a full-length novel and travel the world.