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I love... cake?
“What I’ve wanted to tell you is,” Anya watched him take in shallow deep breath, “I’m in love with you.”
Anya eyes closed and she put her hand to her head. She could feel everyone’s eyes on her, expecting her to respond with ‘I love you too.’ But she didn’t. He moved closer and pulled her face towards hers. She turned away, putting a hand on his chest.
“I love… cake.” She blurted out. She could hear someone’s laughter behind her.
“Nice 70’s show reference Anya!” her friend’s voice boomed behind her, shattering an already not-so-perfect moment.
“I have to go.” She said, pushing him off her and turning around.
“Anya.” His voice, smooth as silk wrapped around but she shook it off and started running. She didn’t get far before a car caught up with her. But it wasn’t his.
“Anya.” Zane’s voice was crisp, like a springtime breeze after months of winters chill. “Wanna ride?”
She didn’t even nod; she just got in the car and sat next to him. She knew he had been there, and had watched some guy confess his love for her. He turned up his music and began singing along. Anya looked at him shocked. She hadn’t expected Zane to be a car singer. As they pulled into 7-11, he still hadn’t asked her about it. He turned to face her.
“Look,” she blurted out, “I don’t wanna talk about it!”
“I just wanted to know what kind of Slurpee you wanted.” He looked amused at her sudden reaction.
“Oh, um… Coke’s fine.” She looked down at her hands curled on her lap.
Anya sat there, but her curiosity got the better of her. She peered beneath her feet at his sticky and utterly messy floor. Tons of taco bell, Wendy’s wrappers and a drum stick or two littered the floor. She saw the corner of a book peeking out beneath his seat. She reached over and picked it up. To Kill A Mockingbird looked up at her bold, purple letters.
“I love this book.” She said quietly to herself.
“Yeah, it’s one of my favorites.” She jumped. Zane smiled at her. He handed her the slurpee, then climbed into the truck.
“Oh, I um… just noticed it lying around and I…”
“Anya.” He looked her in the eye, “It’s cool.”
They pulled out of 7-11 and stopped at a stop light.
“Yah know,” Zane said, keeping his eyes ahead of him, “you can talk if you want to.”
“Well…um…I don’t love him. That’s the truth.”
“Then why’d you run?”
“I cant tell him that.”
“Why?” The light had turned green so they eased forward through traffic. Anya took a sip from her Slurpee and contemplated this.
“Because I don’t want to hurt him.”
“Okay. I kind of get that.” Zane turned onto school property and back towards the parking lot. He was not there though. “How did you and Mitch meet anyway?” He pulled into his usual parking spot, and cut the engine.
“We meet at this summer camp.”
“Oh, sounds cool.” Anya then realized that this was the most words she had ever said to him. Ever. Besides texting, which they did a few times a week. “Why don’t you love him?”
She glanced at him, from beneath her bangs. He was looking at her, his expression difficult to read.
“I just…don’t. Yah know? I can’t really explain why, I just don’t love him.”
“I get that.” Then suddenly, Mitch was rapping on my window, telling me to get out.
“Zane.” I said before getting out, “Thanks.”
I hopped out of Zane’s truck and looked Mitch in the eye.
“Why’d you run baby girl?” He asked, sliding a hand around my waist.
“Please, don’t call me baby girl.”
“Anya, I don’t get it, what’s up with you lately?”
“I…” She stuttered looking around to see Zane staring at her. And she knew what she had to do. “I’m really sorry Mitch but, I’m not in love with you.”