Wesley wasn't quite as tall as she was, but he was the fourth cutest guy in the seventh grade, and he was her boyfriend. He walked her to her classes and he text messaged her all the time and he had promised her a special gift for Valentine's Day.
Lily liked being walked to classes and answering his texts, but she was not at all sure about Valentine's Day. After all, Wes had promised her something for Christmas and for her birthday, then not come through. Each time he had told her that he would get her something really nice for the next holiday.
"It doesn't matter," she'd told him, but it did. It embarrassed her. She wished he'd just shut up. She hadn't pressed him but her friends had. It wasn't as if she needed anything, but it would have been nice to have one of those heart necklaces like Amber’s last boyfriend gave her, or a balloon bouquet, like Justin gave Megan before she moved to Michigan.
So now Wes was talking about a gift for Valentine's, and Lily was preparing to hang loose and act as though she didn't care when he didn't produce.
"If only he'd just quit mentioning it," she had told Justin during English. “My friends are laughing at him.”
She and Justin had been talking quite a bit lately because he was still glum about Megan moving.
Lily grew more and more tense as Valentine's Day approached. Wes was acting oddly too, not text messaging her as much. He had to spend all of his time studying, he said, but she didn’t believe him. Then, two days before Valentine's, he walked out of English with Amber, completely ignoring Lily. She felt like a boulder had hit her in the chest. Heat rushed up to her head and her ears completely stopped up. Was this for real?
Thinking fast, she hissed at her neighbor. "Justin, walk with me to my next class."
He understood the situation in a glance and grabbed his books to comply--like a medieval knight rescuing a lady in distress, Lily told her girlfriends. He walked her to all of her classes that day, then the next, and gave her a rose and a heart necklace on Valentine’s. Megan was history.
Later she heard that Wesley had told Amber the reason he didn’t give her a Valentine’s gift was that he was saving up to get her a really nice gift for her birthday.