During gym, I took my usual seat on the bleachers next to Kiddo, Koopa and Mega Man. On any other day, I would’ve attempted to think up a funny anecdote to add to their conversation. However, I wasn’t sure how to act around Kiddo. Had Greedo spoken with her yet? Did she confess her feelings for our hero? What if Greedo forgot or if Kiddo refused to tell Greedo who she liked? I needed to relax. Everything was guaranteed to work out – this was the day that the basketball had chosen.
During our lunch touch football game, I was so distracted that I dropped two perfect passes thrown by Mega Man. After the second one, he tried to trade me to the other team. Ugh, there was still no sign of Greedo.
After lunch, I opened my locker to put away my mud-stained jacket and grabbed my black L.L. Bean backpack overstuffed with books and loose papers. Before I could get my hand into the strap, Greedo tapped me on the shoulder.
“I spoke to Kiddo,” he said.
“Oh!?!” I exclaimed, dropping my backpack to the floor. His face conveyed neither excitement nor disappointment. Why would it? He was only a mercenary.
“She wouldn’t tell me who she liked, but it isn’t you.”
A dizzy spell came over me and I braced myself against my neighbor’s locker. Wait a second, this didn’t make sense. “How do you know it isn’t me? You weren’t supposed to tell her that I sent you.”
“Because she asked if you put me up to this. She just wants to be friends.”
How was this possible!?! I hadn’t mentioned my feelings for Kiddo to anyone else. “But—”
“She said that your face turns red whenever you talk to her.”
“Oh.” I clenched my jaw.
This wasn’t fair. My pasty complexion had undermined my Bogart-like stoicism. If I had been running Rick’s bar in wartime Casablanca, I would’ve blushed and ruined everything. Instead of walking off into the sunset with Louis to begin a beautiful friendship, the movie would’ve ended with The Nazis in possession of the transit papers while I begged for my life in front of a firing squad.