“Oh my God, it’s so cute!”
“Who gave it to you?”
“You have a girl now, I’m so jealous!”
Alice stirred in her seat at the sound of the other girls gushing in the hallway. It had else been a quiet break; but for Gilbert knocking on the window every other minute to get her attention, she’d been able to sit inside the classroom studying for the upcoming exam in maths. Normally she would’ve ignored the eager whisperings, but from where she was sitting she could see through the open door and make out the shape of Alfred’s back in the group of girls standing outside. She slowly dropped her pen to the table and listened.
“She made it herself,” Alfred said.
“Did you get to pick the colours?” someone asked.
“Dummy, Al wouldn’t have picked pink!”
“It’s blue too,” Alfred pointed out, “pink for her, blue for me.”
Alfred was an idiot. It wasn’t just Alice who thought so, but everyone in class; he was always a bit too cheerful, he was easily distracted from work, and his plans for the future included buying a hot tub and a king sized bed for himself and his dog. But besides being an idiot, Alfred was charming and good-looking with his broad shoulders and sunny hair, and Alice didn’t find it hard to believe the news which slowly crept through her ear and stuck itself as information on her brain, making her heartbeat speed up - Alfred had gotten a girlfriend. One who had made him a bracelet and despite its flimsy colours, Alfred was wearing it to school.
He popped into the classroom seconds later and Alice quickly leaned in over her book and flipped through a few pages to look engaged. She could tell he was hesitating at his table, looking around the room, then at her, scratching his ear and picking his nose as he thought she wasn’t peeking.
‘Why are you just standing there,’ she thought, the sound of the noisy girls still echoing in the hallway as they weren’t done chatting. ‘Do you want me to ask you about the bracelet?’ Alice ran her fingers through her fringe, shortly smiled friendly at Alfred and then returned to her book. ‘Forget about it.’
“Hey,” Alfred said as she smiled, “what are you doing?”
“Reading,” Alice replied.
Alfred slowly left the classroom and they didn’t speak more that day.