When he woke this morning nothing could have kept Alec Gray from school. He left with a spring in his step. Maeve O’laughlin had said  she’d go out with him.

Something about her tangle of hair, her quick tongue and her swagger had caught his eye long ago. He’d taken years to get to know her. They’d moved through being classmates to being friends. Now they were more than that. At last he was part of the pairing up of sweethearts that went on around him. He’d laid bare his hopes and she’d accepted them and life would never be the same.

When the bus pulled up Maeve was already on board. She lowered her eyes when he looked her way, then whispered something to Shane Penrose, sitting next to her. Penrose laughed.

Shane was Cricket Captain. Alec batted fifth drop and bowled occassional off-spin. But he’d won them the Lleyton Hall game on a sticky pitch. That had to be worth a little loyalty.

Besides Shane was going out with Hillary Watters. Everyone knew that. Alec shouldn’t get worked up. Maeve would explain later.

Alec took a seat further up the aisle. From his position he could see the avenue of shoulders that came to a stop where Maeve and Shane sat squeezed close together.

2011—Richard Holt / small stories about love (smallstoriesaboutlove.wordpress.com)

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