Part VI: Attempts
Another day came and went and Laura was left surprised once more!
Interestingly enough, Robert seemed unfazed, as though he was used to Michael’s change in attitude towards them!
“What’s the matter with him now-a-days?!” she exclaimed, as she went around watering the plants in the garden around her house. Her mother was too busy with her editing work – she was working as the head editor of their local newspaper, which was a quick rise in her position, all thanks to her dedication and hard work – and was, at present, sitting at her desk in her room.
“Does it matter?” Robert’s voice of reason spoke in response. “Just be glad that he wasn’t after you for pulling your leg for once… just to carry your books.”
Laura paused to turn towards her friend, one eyebrow raised in slight suspicion. “You know something I don’t, right?”
Robert shrugged. “Maybe I do…!” he replied in a sing-song voice.
“Robert Matthews, you tell me right now what is on your mind!” yelled the young girl.
“All right, all right, I will!”
What he told her next both shocked as well as delighted her. A flicker of hope lit up in her heart, speedily gaining fuel.
“He wants to do that…for me?” she whispered to Robert, the pipe and the water forgotten, just like her adoptive mother sometimes did!
“The water’s wasting,” Robert said simply.
Startled out of her trance, Laura looked down and the realisation warmed up her cheeks in guilt. “I’m so sorry,” she muttered and went behind the house. She closed the tap and wound the pipe around it.
“Well, yes, that’s about it,” Robert replied to her query. He lowered his voice and said, “You have been secretly crushing on him for a while now, haven’t you?”
A small giggle escaped her lips. “I can’t help it – he is good-looking!” she whispered back.
Robert gave her his trademark lopsided grin. “Okay, that’s all I wanted to know.” He winked at her. “I hope he keeps his word, though. Even I think you’ll be so cute together!”
Laura smiled shyly at him. “Thanks, Bobby. That’s so sweet of you.”
She made a mental note to ask her mother about her and her father’s relationship when they were younger…
“Here, you may take them,” said Laura, a small smile on her face and handing her History and Economics textbooks to Michael, who at once looked pleased. She found her own mouth growing wider in a grin.
She so absolutely adored him – he looked so cute with those wide brown eyes and sandy brown hair, which was a little too long for her liking! Nevertheless, he was the handsomest guy she had ever seen, besides her father and her best friend!
“Thanks, that’s so nice of you!” the genuine smile on his face warmed up her heart tenfold.
“I believe you deserve it,” she told him, staring at him sideways as she walked on ahead. “After all, it’s been a month and you’re still so nice to me.”
This was true… but, it was also true that, being nearly stalked by the Bad Boy had gained her many unwanted stares and comments.
She used to cringe at them all before, but when Michael once defended her dignity publicly, she began to have more trust in the boy.
’Maybe – just maybe – he’s changing for good,’ she thought, as she stole glances at him now and then. They were now walking towards the cafeteria after her Economics class.
“That’s so great to hear!” he exclaimed, as he walked by her side. He turned to face her and added softly, “You have no idea how happy that makes me.” The smile he gave her touched her heart like never before.
’And you,’ she thought, ’have utterly no clue how much more crazy that makes of you!’
They walked across the campus to the cafeteria in silence. While Michael was wondering how much luckier he could get, Laura was pretending to look about her, but was in fact thinking about the boy beside her, love-struck that she seemed to be getting around him.