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"Cominius!" I screamed, laughing uncontrollably.  "What?" he asked, pretending that he didn't know he was tickling me. "Stop! Seriously.  I'm about to die," I managed to croak between giggles. "Stop what?" he asked innocently, laughing as he saw me squirm. "Guys, we need to finish this.  It's due tomorrow," Daiyu remarked sternly. She squinted, observing me. "Oh, loosen up," Cominius muttered, sitting up.  I felt relieved to be free from Cominius's ticklish fingers, yet I felt somewhat disappointed that the fun had to end.  For the rest of the night, we worked on our poster, pasting and cutting, printing and stapling. "I think it's great," I said proudly, standing back to look at it.  "Don'tcha think, Dai?" She shrugged.  "It could be better..."  I rolled my eyes. "Perfectionist alert," Cominius murmured.  "Can you leave, Com?  I need to speak to Sher.  In private," Daiyu seethed.  "Your wish is my command," Cominius grumbled sarcastically.  He grabbed his jade green jacket and said, "Bye, Sher." "Bye," I murmured.  The door snapped shut, and he was off.  I sighed, collapsing into a bean bag. "You like him, don't you?" Daiyu asked, not looking at me.  I sat up with shock. "What are you talking about?" "Stop acting like you're innocent.  I know you like him," Dai responded. "I don't! Really," I said.  I felt queasy and uncomfortable. "You're lying right through your teeth.  I know you better than anyone.  Just admit it!" I said nothing.  She glared at me with those narrow, catlike almond eyes.  She frowned. "Even if I did like him, which I don't, I don't see why you'd be so mad about it," I mentioned. "You've known this guy since, what?, the kindergarten?  I don't see why you would show an interest in him all of a sudden." "And who said that I'm interested in him? Tell me." "Nobody has had to say anything.  It's obvious.  You like him; he likes you.  You just can't get yourself to admit it, can you?  I mean, come on--- those midnight walks, 'just getting some food' at the fanciest restaurant on Earth, going to each others houses without even asking me... I mean, really, what ever happened to 'The Three Musketeers'?  I thought we've been best friends since we were like six, but I guess I thought wrong." "We are best friends.  All three of us.  But I guess not anymore, because I don't want to be friends with someone  who is so jealous." I stormed out, yes, out of my very own house.  I left Daiyus there.  It may have been one of our biggest fights.  Where was I to go?  It was raining so hard... I put my hood on, but it didn't help.  I was already soaked.  Dai did not come out.  I couldn't go back in, especially after the fiasco that had just happened. I ran.  Rain splashed onto my face.  I just kept running, until I reached a blurry figure of a house.  I rung the doorbell.  Cominius opened the door. "Jeez, Sher!  You're soaked!" he yelped. My body felt so weak.  The cold rain made me shiver uncontrollably, and I knew I was foolish to set out into the rain wearing 'booty shorts'.  I couldn't move.  I was too shaken; too cold.  I felt like I could collapse any moment.  Cominius sighed and picked me up.  He carried me up the stairs and laid me onto his bed.  He brought me blankets and towels and sweaters and hot chocolate.  He left me in his room, and closed the door behind him.  Later, he came in. "Warmed up?" he asked.  I nodded.  I felt a bit embarrassed.  He probably thought I was an idiot.  He sat on the side of the bed, observing me, curled up in a little ball under the bundles of blankets. "What happened, Dai told you to run over here and tell me that I forgot to do the extra credit?" I laughed lightly.  "No," I said extremely quietly. "We had a fight," I said even quieter. His playful grin turned into a serious frown.  He raised an eyebrow.  "About what? You two just about never get into a fight." My eyes wandered around the room nervously.  What was I to say?  I looked down as I said, "About you." "Hm," he said with a serious face, then added,  "I'm so flattered." I couldn't help but giggle, and he smiled. "Why?" his expression turned serious once again, and he pursed his lips.  He lied down beside me, looking up at the ceiling, awaiting an answer.  There was a silence that seemed like an eternity.  He did not say anything to prompt me into telling him.  I searched for an answer. "She thinks I like you," I finally blurted, to fill in the gap of silence.  He did not turn to look at me; he merely continued to stare up at the ceiling.  My thoughts were racing. "Well do you?" I didn't know what to say so, "Do I what?" I asked stupidly.  He rolled his eyes, and weakly smiled at my idiotic question.  "Do you like me?" he asked, this time with emphasis on the words.  I could not make out what to say.  Did I? Did I like him? Silly Cominius that I have known since we were little? I felt like a pressure was on me; like I had to come up with an answer quick.  Maybe Daiyu was right... I liked him.  But no... He was my best friend, not my boyfriend... Could we be-- a couple?  I wanted to throw up at the idea, but somehow I could imagine it.  Him bringing me flowers, saying sweet things into my ear...  No.  Just no. "I--- I don't know," I muttered.  He chuckled. "Well I like you," he said softly.  "Always have."  He got up and kissed me gently on the cheek.  Then he left.  2 I woke up, not remembering what happened.  I sat up, realizing that I was in Cominius's bed. It all came flooding back... The fight with Daiyu, the run in the rain, the kiss... I stared in the mirror hung on his wall.  I looked like a mess. I got up and tied my hair into a ponytail.  Better.  I walked out from the bedroom and into the kitchen.  "Good morning," Cominius said.  He was pouring milk into cereal. "Morning," I mumbled, not knowing what to do.  Do I leave and go home?  Do I sit down and have breakfast with him? For the first time, it was awkward being with him.  Did he tell me last night that he liked me? Or was it just a dream? "You asleep by the time I came back inside, and I didn't want to wake you up... I'm sorry, I should've woken you up and gotten you home..." he seemed ashamed. "No, it's fine.  Really, it is," I said.  "Mind if I get a ---?" I pointed to an apple perched on the kitchen counter. "No, it's all yours," he quickly responded.  I bit into the Granny Smith and sat in a chair. "I guess I should go home and get changed for school,"  I said.  He raised an eyebrow. "Agh, I guess, but it's already like 8:25... I don't think that's a good idea." "It is if I don't want to earn the reputation of a slut," I mumbled, pointing to my shorts and tank top.  He stared at me and nodded. He left the room and came back with a pair of his sweatpants and one of his sweaters. "Eh?  Fashionable, right?" he asked, smiling.  I snatched the clothes. "Real sexy," I laughed and went in the bathroom to change.  I tried fixing my hair but it was useless.  I left it in the ponytail.  I was already late as it was.  I walked out and he almost choked on his cereal.  "Hot, right?" I laughed, twirling around in the baggy clothes. "As always," he said, looking at me for several seconds before returning to his Cheerios.


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