Shiara sat in the coarse brown sand, arms wrapped around her legs, staring down at her jeans. The trees above her swayed gently, and the wind started blowing her tears across her face. She looked up to wipe them away and laid eyes on someone coming up to her. Briskly she stood up to leave as Adam called, “Shi, please don’t.”
Sighing, Adam jogged up to her and put a hand on her arm. “Shi, I know–”
“What do you know?” she demanded suddenly, swerving to face him. Her dark eyes glinted angrily, and despite biting her lip to keep them back, the tears still came pouring down. “Nothing! You don’t know anything!” She fell down on the beach, head in her arms so she would not have to look at him.
Adam rolled his eyes, though not unsympathetically. He was not mad; she did this all the time. He was disappointed in Nate, though. And Halyn. Halyn. He sighed inwardly, shaking his head. Obviously the kiss had not been planned; he saw that plainly from the shock on her face that had mirrored his own. But still, why had she not pulled away as soon as Nate got an inch from her face?
Slowly he sat down beside Shiara. At first all he could do was stare across the ocean as the sun basked in its last few moments of glory before sinking behind the clouds. Suddenly he felt confused, almost as confused as he knew Shiara felt.
“I know you like him, Shi,” he said softly, glancing at her back. “And to be honest, I thought he liked you, too.” That got her attention.
Even though she tried not to look eager, Shiara’s head jerked up from its hiding place and she looked at her friend, tears still stinging her eyes, those almost hopeful eyes.
“Don’t look at me like that. I said I thought he liked you, not I think he likes you.” Adam looked at his friend kindheartedly as her face became suddenly downcast again. He sighed. “So he’s liked her all this time,” he said quietly, out loud yet to himself. “After three whole years of thinking he liked…” he trailed off, trying to scratch an itchy spot on his head and get around his gelled spiked hair at the same time.
Shiara sucked in breath. “You don’t know what it feels like, Adam. To like someone for that long, and keep it a secret–”
“Well, it wasn’t really a secret,” Adam interrupted, throwing her a skeptical look.
She continued on as if she had not heard him. “–And then have him kiss one of your best friends right in front of you without telling anyone anything and – and…” she could not finish, and ended up swallowing more tears.
Adam leaned back against the sand, hands behind his head, staring up into the vast sky. “Come to think of it,” he muttered, “Nate said the dare was for the first person he had a crush on. Maybe… maybe that means he doesn’t really like her?”
Snorting, Shiara glared at him. “Yeah, right. Fat chance. Didn’t you hear him when you told him he ‘didn’t have to take the dare’? He said, ‘Maybe I wanted to.’ Don’t you know anything?” She choked suddenly, and then added, “Yeah well, he always was a jerk, anyways.”
At this Adam laughed loudly. “C’mon, Shi, don’t lie. You know you liked it when he was mean to you and beat up on you. Admit it! Just like you admitted you looked funnier earlier.”
A smile crept up onto Shiara’s face, and she could not wipe it away. “Okay, fine. You win. Now give me a hug before I feel depressed again,” she demanded, turning and giving him a squeeze. He hugged her back.
“But he’s still stupid!” She wiped her sandy hands off on her jeans and tried to wipe the stupid half-smile off her face.
“I’ve always wondered something,” said Adam, standing, and giving Shi a hand up as well. “Why are girls more emotional than boys over the smaller things?” He ducked as she delivered a blow right above his head.