My sister, ladies and gentlemen, Diego said as if the room were full of people. His frustrated expression quickly turned to a smile when the kids looked up at him. Hey, guys, he said. Did you bring homework?
You love someone?I thought about that for a moment. Was it love? It was on its way there, I knew that. Maybe, I said, my heart pounding. I’m not sure he feels the same way. In fact, I’m pretty sure he is or was in love with my best friend.
Oh, Victoria said. You’re actually going to share.Yes. See, I’m hoping he’ll give me a chance. I screwed up before I ever got to tell him how I felt. I kept a secret from him, and now he’s not speaking to me. And I miss him.What do you miss about him? Victoria asked.
Of course she would make me put everything out there. Make myself even more vulnerable. Drop some fronts I had up. But she was right, I needed to.I miss his attentive gaze, I started, and his insightful observations and his humor and our conversations and I miss his smile. I caught my breath. He hasn’t smiled at me in a while. That sounds so cheesy, I know it does. I’m not used to being this open. I bit my lip. I’m used to hiding behind sarcasm and indifference.
How does it feel to let it out?
Victoria laughed, obviously surprised by that answer. I thought you’d say freeing.Hey, he says. His voice is gentle, as if speaking too loudly could hurt me. He hasn’t moved from the door. Is this . . . ? Am I . . . ?
It’s OK, Gabby says. Come on in. Have a seat. She moves to the other side of me.He comes closer and hands me the flowers. I take them and smell them. He smiles at me as if I’m the only person in the world.
As I look at him, it comes back to me, almost like a dream at first, and then the more I remember, the more it grabs hold.I remember Gabby handing me her phone. I remember looking down at it. Seeing Katherine’s message.