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In the Space of a Second

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The clock struck 1:22 and 43 seconds, and the milliseconds started ticking.

Ellie was staring off into space, subconsciously admiring the nuances of the concrete wall. Her hand held her chin, and vague half-thoughts of being somewhere other than this dingy classroom were running through her head. She didn't realize that her glazed eyes were staring in the general direction of Evan. But he noticed.

It was all he noticed, really. At that precise moment his thoughts were filled of Ellie: pretty Ellie, smart Ellie, Ellie who nobody else noticed because she was quiet and focused and not as conventionally pretty as the shallow girls she called her friends. But Evan saw past all that - no, he never saw it in the first place. He only saw beautiful-in-every-way Ellie, whom he could not summon the courage to ask out.

Maniwannaf***her was his subconscious thought, but he masked it with the desire to be the perfect man, the handsome prince the girls always dreamed about.

His friends called him a pansy.

A few specks of dust that had dislodged from the ceiling and were illuminated by the dirty light from the window began to fall onto Ellie's sweatshirt, and Evan somehow noticed this.

Halfway through the second, Ellie's hand slipped. It didn't have much effect other than to shake her out of her trance and make her realize that she was staring straight at Evan. She looked away, but not before she registered a certain gleam in his eye: It was directed toward her, and she liked it.

Evan also looked away, beginning his blush and his inner lament.

But Ellie, a small grin playing on her face, thought, maniwanna-

The clock struck 1:22 and 44 seconds, and many things had changed.




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