Jacob was standing at, it seemed to him, the top of the world. At this time of year, the rooftop was always a little too cold for his own comfort but, at least there, he was sure no one would dare to disturb his thought.
He placed his hand on the metal railing before looking down. A sigh escaped his mouth, making a miniature cloud that slowly drifted away, dissipating in the cold blue sky.
It had been a few days since he had been sick. On Monday, feeling much better, he had come to school to find Kath was still the same he had always known her. She would joke with him and Jeremy and she would have fun and laugh a lot. Strangely, this time, it was him who had become bashful, recoiling every time she came too close, getting nervous when they were alone together and even blushing on a few occasions.
“I’m way too self conscious…” He thought as he peered down onto the world. “She’s the same as before. She knows me even better now…”
At this moment, the heavy metal door to the school opened and he heard little footsteps walking up to him. They settled to his right and when he raised his head, he saw it was Kath. She was fully dressed in her heavy winter’s coat and looked a little nervous.
-“So you were there all this time… Were you running away?” She asked, her gaze dancing down on the courtyard.
-“Not really. I just needed some air.” Jacob answered her with his usual blank tone. She chuckled.
-“Jay… You know… I still have to talk to you about something and you seem to have recovered so~” She started.
-“Oh, right. Tell me, then.” Jacob cut her. She suddenly looked down and her voice became a murmur.
-“I’d rather not do it here…” She hesitated, looking to see if her friend would react but he didn’t. “Not at school… Maybe we could meet?”
-“Friday evening.” He finally said, not even turning around. “I need to give you my thanking gift.”
-“The~ The thanking gift? Ah~ It’s been two weeks already… Uh… Why not bringing it at school?” Kath asked hesitantly.
-“I’d rather not bring it here… ” Jacob trailed off before realizing that Kath seemed a little worried.” Don’t worry, it’s nothing weird… It’s just people might misinterpret. I’m sure you’ll like it.”
-“Ah… I’m free on Friday evening but where~” She inquired with more fright than curiosity in her voice.
-“Just come over. I don’t feel like carrying that on the street. Besides, you won’t have to hide from my mom this time. You’ll be able to say hello.” Jacob’s eyes finally glided to her and she was met with two ocean of green.
-“Oh… Okay. Let’s do that then.” She said nervously. “But, Jay?”
-“Mh?” He growled.
-“For the thanking gift, um, what would you like?” She looked down again, this time she danced on her feet and Jacob raised an hand to pet her head.
-“Kath, I know how it’s difficult for you to buy something so don’t.” He said with a gentle smiled. “Just seeing you will be enough, okay?”
Her eyes danced on his face for a moment before she realized what he had said and turned promptly to flee his gaze. She blushed and coughed.
-“It’s pretty cold, I’m going in.” She said, walking up the the door. “Are you coming?”
-“In a moment.” Jacob said calmly, her reaction making him smile. “Just go inside first.”
Jacob took in the fresh air once more. He was wondering what she wanted to talk about that made her so intimidated. The only thing he wished for was that it might not be something negative. The thought made him anxious. “There’s no way she’d be that mean to me.” He tried to comfort himself.
And after gathering up his courage, he slowly made his way back to the classroom.