99% Faking It (Dating Dilemma)(8)

By: Chris Cannon

“No. I had my normal two bowls.”

“Then why are you out of it?”

I wanted to tell her she’d thrown what I thought of her out of whack. But before I’d friend-zoned her, she’d had a crush on me, and I wouldn’t want to make it sound like I was interested in her, because I wasn’t. “It’s Tuesday. We’re at school. You’re dressed like a pirate. Take your pick.”

“Do you see any ruffles on this shirt?” she asked.

“Is that a trick question?” ’Cause there were definitely some curves there but I didn’t think that was what she was talking about.

“Everyone knows pirates wear ruffled shirts. This shirt has no ruffles. Therefore I couldn’t possibly be a pirate.”

Who did Lisa remind me of? Jane. That was weird. Her pirate comment was just the type of thing Jane would say.

The bell rang so we headed for homeroom. Mine was next to hers so we walked together. And damn it if Trey didn’t come walking toward us. He spotted Lisa and said, “Hey, soul mate.”

She laughed and kept on walking.

Lisa ducked into her homeroom before I could ask what the hell that had been about.

Lisa and I didn’t have any classes together since she was Miss Overachiever and I didn’t see the point in working that hard. What had Trey meant with that soul mate line? Lisa had laughed. Must be an inside joke. When had they become so damn chummy?

By lunch I was on a slow burn. When I went to sit down at our normal table with her, Nina, and West, the happy expression Lisa had worn this morning was gone.

“What’s wrong?” I asked.

“Nothing.” She frowned and pulled a piece of string cheese apart, but didn’t bother eating it.

“Uh-huh.” I opened my lunch and took a bite of my ham sandwich. Might as well eat while I waited for her to start talking. Eventually, she’d share. Another thing I’d learned from my sister: girls weren’t the type to suffer in silence.

“Can you explain guy logic to me?” she asked.

“Maybe.” I wiped my mouth with a napkin. “Depends on the guy.”

“You heard Trey this morning. I thought he was flirting with me.”

“What was that comment about?”

“He heard me gripe about how much I hated Mondays. He joked we might be soul mates. We talked on the way into school.”

Now I got it. “He probably was flirting with you this morning, but he might be the kind of guy who flirts with every pretty girl he meets.”

Lisa tilted her head and looked at me funny. “You think I’m pretty?”

Son of a…why did I say that? “You’re cute. You know that.” I took a drink of my soda like it was no big deal.

“Okay…back to the topic at hand. This morning he went out of his way to talk to me. I’ve seen him twice since then and I didn’t even get that weird head nod of recognition you guys do. What does that mean?”

How honest should I be? “Not trying to be a jerk, but the guy just moved here. He has options. He’s probably not looking for a steady girlfriend.”

“Is any guy ever looking for a girlfriend?” Lisa asked. “Because most of the time, guys seem to resist the idea of dating one person.”

“Maybe they resist it until they find the right person,” Nina said from my other side. “And once they find that person life is full of unicorns and rainbows. Right, West?”

“Yes.” West nodded in an exaggerated way, clearly not meaning what he was saying. “That’s exactly how it works.”

I laughed. Lisa didn’t. One of the things I liked about Lisa was that she didn’t fly off the handle like most girls I knew.

“Listen. This Trey guy might like you. He might like everyone. Why focus on him?”

She took a Twinkie out of her bag and broke it in half before taking a bite. “I don’t know. I liked the idea of starting fresh with someone. I can be whoever I want to be.”

“You can do that without him,” I said.

“How?” She gestured around the cafeteria. “I’ve been going to school with everyone here for years. They all have this idea of who I am.”

“That annoying girl in class who knows all the answers?” I teased.

She poked me in the ribs. “I am not annoying.”

“Fine.” I grinned. “You’re not that annoying. You’re just a nerd-girl who knows almost all of the answers.”

“Better than a guy who skates by making C’s when he’s smart enough to do better.”

“I told you. I have a system. Make A’s for the first half of the semester and then stop studying so I can glide down into the C range.”