P.S. I Like You(3)

By: Kasie West



“Double with me and Gabriel next Friday!” Isabel announced suddenly. “I’ll find you a date.”

“Pass.”

“Come on. It’s been a while since you’ve been on a date.”

“That’s because I’m awkward and weird and it’s not fun at all for me or the poor soul who agrees to go out with me.”

“That’s not true.”

I crossed my arms.

“You just need to go out more than once … or twice … with someone so they see how fun you are,” Isabel argued, adjusting her backpack straps. “You’re not awkward with me.”

“I’m totally awkward with you but you’re not under pressure to eventually kiss me, so you put up with it.”

Isabel laughed and shook her head. “That’s not why I put up with it. I put up with it because I like you. We just have to find a guy who you can be yourself around.”

I put my hand over my heart. “And on that hot fall day, Isabel started on the impossible quest of finding a suitor for her best friend. It would be a lifelong quest. One that would test both her determination and her faith. It would lead her to the brink of insanity, and—”

“Stop,” Isabel interrupted, bumping my shoulder with hers. “It’s that kind of attitude that will make this impossible.”

“That’s exactly what I’ve been trying to say.”

“No, I’m not going to accept that. You’ll see. The right guy for you is out there.”

I sighed, my gaze drifting over to Lucas again. “Iz, seriously, I’m fine. No more setups.”

“Fine, no more setups. But be open or you might miss something right in front of you.”

I flung my arms out to the sides. “Is there anyone more open than me?”

Isabel gave me a skeptical look. She started to answer when a loud voice called out from across the grass. “There she is! Happy anniversary!”

Isabel’s cheeks brightened and she turned toward Gabriel. He jogged the rest of the distance separating them, and lifted her into a hug. They looked gorgeous together—both dark-haired, dark-eyed, and olive-skinned. It was weird seeing Gabriel at our school. He went to the high school across town and I associated him with after-school and weekend events.

“Hey, Lily,” he said to me as he put Isabel down. “Are you coming with us?” His invitation seemed sincere. He really was a nice guy.

“Yeah, is that cool? I heard you were paying and I said, I’m in.”

Isabel laughed.

“Great,” Gabriel said.

“It was a joke, Gabe,” Isabel said.

“Oh.”

“Yes, I’m not a charity case.” I was beginning to think they thought I was.

“No, of course not. I just feel bad for not letting you know earlier,” Isabel said.

Gabriel nodded. “It was a surprise.”

“You guys are going to run out of time to actually eat if you keep coddling me. Go. Have fun. And … uh … congratulations. I recently read a book about how two-month anniversaries are the start of forever.”

“Really? Cool,” Gabe said.

Isabel just rolled her eyes and smacked my arm. “Be good.”

I stood on the path alone now, watching the groups of students around me talking and laughing. Isabel’s worry was unfounded. I was fine alone. Sometimes I preferred it that way.





I sat on the school steps with my notebook in my lap, drawing. I added a few flowers to the sketch of the skirt, then shaded in the tights with a green colored pencil. My earbuds were in, and I was listening to a song by Blackout. The lead singer, Lyssa Primm, was basically both my style and music idol—a genius songwriter who rocked cherry-red lips, vintage dresses, and her ever-present guitar.

“Stretch out your wilting petals and let the light in,” the song played in my ears. I tapped one foot to the beat. I wanted to learn how to play this particular song on my guitar. Hopefully, I could practice later.

The sound of the minivan was loud enough to drown out the music, and I didn’t need to look up to know my mom had just arrived. I closed my notebook, stuffed it into my backpack, took out my earbuds, and got to my feet. I could see the two heads of my brothers in the backseat. Mom must’ve picked them up from school first.

I opened the passenger door, an old One Direction song filling the air, only to find the seat taken by my mom’s bead organizer.

“Can you hop in the back?” Mom asked. “I have to deliver a necklace to a client on our way home.” She pushed a button and the side door slid open, revealing my two little brothers fighting over an action figure. A plastic cup rolled onto the ground. I looked around to see how embarrassed I should be. The parking lot wasn’t too full anymore. A few kids were getting into their own cars or shouting to their friends. No one seemed to be paying attention to me.

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