"Simple Words"

He sat watching her take notes as she read. The bell rang just as she looked up and turned her head towards him. He was too embarrassed to do anything, so he just concentrated on getting his things together and headed towards the cafeteria. His friends would be waiting for him.

Rosaline James couldn't stop thinking about how he looked at her. She'd known him since the seventh grade, but he had never shown any interest in her. She was sure that he knew about the ongoing crush she had on him. Occasionally she would catch him looking at her and today was just like the others. She would try and analyze the situation, but would not come to a reasonable conclusion.

Adrian Daniels ate with the same people everyday. They would talk about the same girls and make fun of the same people. Although he got bored of this, he kept his mouth shut. No use risking his reputation over something so small, but he couldn't help but to look over at her sitting alone staring down at her book and drinking in silence. To him she was beautiful, absolutely perfect.

He did know that Rosaline had a crush on him, but that was almost five years ago. He had been a jerk to her. Now he regrets it, but he can't bring himself to apologize to her. She had withdrawn from her friends and become the kind of girl no guy could ask out without getting rejected.

That night when Rosaline got home she again thought of Adrian and the way he looked at her. He had made it perfectly clear that he had no feelings for her, so she thought nothing of it. But she couldn't help but hope that somehow his feelings had changed over the years.

Rosaline was awakened by her mother during the night and told that her grandmother had passed away. They had been very close. She was crushed by the news and refused to go to school for fear that she would breakdown and cry in front of people. Her mother allowed her to stay home, but only for one day.

Adrian noticed her absence from school and wondered if maybe she had become ill. He was genuinely worried about her, but kept his concerns to himself. No one at school would know anyways because she never willingly talked to anyone. And his friends would certainly not understand why he was so curious about the strange quiet girl.

Rosaline fell out of bed the next day with a tear stained face and a mourning soul. She went through her morning routine in a daze and drove herself to school. As she walked past Adrian and his friends, she looked at him quickly, only to find him looking back at her. She felt her heart flutter for a second and walked quickly to her locker.

By lunch period she was ready to go home, but managed to struggle through the rest of the day. She spent the entire night in bed crying and thinking about how she'll never see her grandmother again. Just the thought of it made her soul ache. Her grandmother was the only one who understood her. Now she had no one left.

The next day as she was sitting in English class she could feel Adrian looking at her, but she held back the urge to look back at him. She had been feeling bad enough lately. She didn't need the extra stress he put on her. After a minute or two, she couldn't stand it any longer. She turned her head slightly and looked back at him. Sure enough, he was looking straight at her. That was enough to push her over the edge. Tears started streaming down her cheeks and she asked to be excused from class.

"Does anyone want to go after her? I think someone should check on her. Poor girl," the overweight English teacher said.

"I will."

Everyone looked at Adrian like he had just submitted to the devil. He ignored the questioning looks and gathered his things. He knew exactly where to find her. Sure enough, she was in the student lounge with a box of tissues beside her, weeping into her hands.

"I was worried about you." She didn't even notice that he sat down next to her. She jumped, startled, when he spoke to her.

"You shouldn't be here, you know." She looked into his eyes and saw compassion.

"Why not? I wanted to make sure that you are all right. I hate it when girls cry." Adrian tried to convince her that he was genuinely concerned.

"Whatever. I'm fine. You can leave now." was her only response.

"Are you sure? Don't you want to talk?" He pried.

"Definitely not with you. Why do you care so much anyways?"

"I don't know. Does this have to do with why you were gone the other day?"

"Yes, but it's none of your business." Rosaline wiped her eyes and started to get up when he put his hand on her arm, keeping her seated for a moment.

"Why won't you talk to me?" Adrian asked with hurt in his eyes.

"Why should I? You'd probably just say something rude and hurtful, then run off to tell all your preppy friends."

"I would not. You can trust me Rosaline." He pleaded.

"If you must know, my grandmother died." She said as she started to cry again.

Adrian's first instinct was to hold her and strangely, she didn't pull away from him. She leaned into his chest and cried quietly. She thought about pulling away from his embrace, but found him to be comforting and that was exactly what she needed.

"How was school today dear?" Rosaline's mother asked her at the dinner table later that night.

"Fine."

"Just fine? Nothing extraordinary happened?"

"No mom. It was just like every other day."

"Okay. Your Dad phoned earlier this afternoon. He'll be staying with your grandfather for awhile or at least until after the funeral's over."

"Whatever."

"I'd let you go with him, but you can't miss school."

"I figured that much."

Rosaline found a folded note in her locker the next morning. It was from Adrian. He wanted her to wait for him after school at her car. She wondered what he wanted while walking to first period.

"Did you get my note?" Adrian whispered to her as he was taking his seat in their fourth period English class.

"Yes." Rosaline tried to focus on her schoolwork but found it hard not the think of Adrian. What could he possibly want from her? She only felt his eyes on her for a moment and she resisted the urge to look back at him.

The lunchroom was abnormally crowded that day and Rosaline found herself sitting on the floor near the rear entrance of the cafeteria. She was looking through the glass doors when she felt someone touch her shoulder. Of course it was Adrian.

"Do you want to come sit with me. We don't have to sit with my friends if you don't want to, but you shouldn't sit alone all the time."

"I guess so…"

Adrian led her over to where he was eating with a group of his friends. They looked at her with blank expressions and then moved their gaze over to Adrian. Rosaline could sense a hint of resentment towards her, but said nothing. She was grateful that Adrian had rescued her from her loneliness.

"So Adrian, did you have fun on your date with Rachel Saturday night or what? You never finished telling us." One of the guys said, obviously trying to make Rosaline uncomfortable.

"Come on, we can talk about that later. Don't give me a hard time right now." Adrian tried to change the subject, but the other guys wouldn't let up.

"No way man, we heard that you scored. We want the details now weather she's here or not." One of the bigger guys, Mike, said while giving Rosaline a cocky smile.

That was all she needed to hear. With tears in her eyes, she walked out of the cafeteria. She didn't want those guys to see her cry. At least now she knew the truth about the kind of guy Adrian was. How could he not have told her that he was with Rachel? Rosaline hated that she let him mislead her like that.

Rosaline was planning to leave school before Adrian had a chance to talk to her, but he was already waiting for her when she got out to the parking lot. Since he had the guts to talk to her after the charade in the cafeteria earlier, she decided to just hear him out.

"What did you want?" She asked him

"I wanted to talk to you about the other day, but first I need to apologize about what was said at lunch."

"So, was she any good?"

"What?" He asked, shocked at her question.

"Rachel finally gave it up for you. I want to know if she was any good." She stated firmly.

"That's irrelevant. Besides, we never did anything like that. She wanted to, but I wouldn't. I don't have those kinds of feelings for her."

"Are you saying you're a virgin Adrian?"

"Well, yeah. I am."

"So, the secret is finally out. Congratulations. You'll receive your certificate by mail if three to four weeks." Rosaline replied sarcastically.

"Stop it. I'm really trying here."

"No. You stop it! How can you stand there and tell me one thing and tell your friends the complete opposite. What you said is unforgivable." She said crying for the second time that day.

"Come on, that was a long time ago. Everyone has forgotten by now."

"You'd think so, wouldn't you, but you won't believe what that one lie has done to my life. I can't keep friends because sooner or later, they hear about it. The worst part is that I've never been on a real date before. Guys don't want to go out with a girl who's a definite score."

"I'm really sorry about all that. At the time, I didn't think about what it would do. I only said it so my friends would think I was cool. After I told them, the word spread fast and I became popular."

"That's what you wanted wasn't it?"

"I wanted it a first. Now I regret it more than anything."

"So why don't you just tell them the truth?"

"I can't do that."

"You can. You're just afraid of what people will think. Maybe for once you should think of me. Think of how much this will help me. Don't you owe me at least that much?"

"I suppose I do. Give me a lift home and I'll tell you my plan."

"Deal."

"And stop crying already. You'll flood the parking lot." Adrian joked making Rosaline smile slightly.

As usual, Adrian's friends were waiting for him at his locker the next morning before school. They were talking about last night's sports scores when they saw Adrian walking towards them. One of them was about to say something to him, when he noticed that Adrian was holding hands with someone. It was Rosaline.

"Hey guys. What's up?" Adrian asked casually.

"Nothing. What are you doing with her?" Mike asked coldly.

"We're together now. Deal with it. Oh and remember when I told everyone Rosaline had sex with me in seventh grade? Well, it wasn't true. I lied."

"What! You lied to us?" They yelled.

"Yes and I'm sorry." Adrian said sincerely. " But most of all, I'm sorry that I'm made your life hell, Rosaline. I never should have said that about you."

As she and Adrian were getting into her car after school, Rosaline looked at him and said, "See what a few simple words can do."