A crush is having butterflies in your stomach, or so you say. Always thinking about a guy. Always dropping his name in every conversation. Now I know for sure that I don't have a crush. I never mention him in any conversation. Lucian is not a topic I can discuss with anyone. Lucian's strangeness may be very disconcerting for other people like my parents. And Faith would never understand a boy like Lucian. Lucian isn't comparable to anyone else, he's in a totally different league.
Umm, what did you say about mentioning his name?
By the way, we were back at Mr. Duke's and he gave me the most amazing book. It's old and full of children's stories but it's magical. I'm a bit ashamed to like it so much, being fourteen and all, but no one has to know, right? Of course Lucian knows but I'm not entirely sure he cares anyway. I thought having a crush means you're on a high but I'm definitely not at the moment. Maybe I should try to like a younger boy but NO ONE interests me in any way. Maybe Lucian doesn't like me because I'm not beautiful and I'm flat as an ironing board? He may be weird but he is a guy after all.
"That's a gorgeous jumper!" Phoebe exclaimed, touching the soft, moss green wool. "Can I borrow it sometime?" How wonderful it would be to wear something of his.
Lucian stared at the jumper on the bed. "I never lend out anything." Ouch, that hurt! Phoebe, not having expected a rebuff, bit her lower lip. What a terrible mistake to come here! Unexpected tears burned in her eyes.
"I got it yesterday, for my sixteenth birthday," Lucian said.
Phoebe felt as if someone had punched her in the stomach. "What?" she immediately stormed, her voice rising dangerously. "It was your birthday yesterday and you never told me?"
"It's not important," Lucian replied calmly.
Something snapped in Phoebe, her muddled feelings getting the better of her. Her breath hitched. This couldn't be true, could it? Enraged she planted herself in front of the boy. "Of course it's important! It's extremely important when you're friends with someone. But you don't allow anyone to come close to you, do you? You keep hiding behind your stupid syndrome, I can't remember the name right now." She was furious, gearing up for a fight, further enraged when Lucian didn't react.
"Asperger's," he finally replied. "I wanted to show you what I got, a snake dice." Phoebe cast a quick look at the multi-coloured dice on the bed and stamped her foot. A childish gesture, but very satisfying at times like this.
"What do I care about a stupid dice! Why do you always build a wall around yourself and shut everyone out?" She stopped, panting, and looked at him belligerently, hurt beyond words. "You know, it's rather frustrating to invest in a friendship and the other person doesn't. I mean, I don't even have a clue if you like me or not. You never call me! You won't even give me your cell phone number or email address. It's like you are afraid that I will harass you! Maybe you just tolerate me because I'm the only one talking to you!" This was a low blow, but now he just had to interrupt her, he had to object, didn't he? Hands balled into fists Phoebe waited for what seemed an endless time. Her heart constricted when Lucian remained silent. "Say something, please!" she whispered. "Do at least admit that I'm right. I can't handle it anymore not to know what you're thinking. You always just talk about maths, school and the like. Don't you have any feelings?" Phoebe was well aware that she was exaggerating, that Lucian had already opened up considerably to her, but she just wanted to rile him, to get a reaction even if she hurt him. Hurt him as he had her. Trying to hide her desperate insecurity she lashed out, finally snatching the old book from her satchel and banging it on the floor. The boy's hands flew to his ears but his face remained motionless, his eyes on the ground. "Can't you look at me for once!" she screeched. "I love to be with you and you can't even bear to touch my hand! What should I make of it? Friends trust each other! I'd have loved to celebrate your birthday with you, give you a present and, and…" Hot tears were suddenly choking her and she ran out of the room. Before she left the apartment she heard a low humming sound.