Unrequited

Rylie has had a crush on Luke for years. Now he knows.

Chapter 1

The Cupboard

by: Anita2332
"Ooo... Luke's got an admirer!" Ralf calls out, rushing to meet Luke in the corridor.
"What! Who?" Luke says surprised, 'Kelly, please be Kelly' he thinks to himself.
If the year did a pole, Kelly's name would come top of the list for being the fittest girl in school. Luke looks at Ralf expectantly but he can already tell by Ralf's tone that it's not going to be a pleasant surprise.
"Rylie Stevenson" Ralf says, jeering. Luke understands why, she's not exactly what you'd call popular, but he's still taken aback by the news.
"Oh!" He says, stunned and unsure how to react, 'she's not that bad' he thinks. Although as he looks Ralf, he knows he can't possibly say that. Ralf is obviously waiting for a disgusted reply.
"Well thanks mate, way to ruin someone's day! You gunna bring me any good news?" Luke says, hoping that his reply was sufficiently derogatory.
"Na! No way mate" replies Ralf, slapping Luke on the back.
"This stuff's priceless, I hear she even thinks she's got a chance! It's fantastic! I mean even you've got standards." Ralf says laughing, thoroughly pleased with himself.
"Better than yours that's for certain!" Luke retorts, he can remember the last girlfriend Ralf had. She got so drunk at his party, she ended up sprawled on the bathroom floor with her head in the toilet. Not exactly an attractive sight, and that's not even the worst of it. Between spewing everywhere and trying horribly to sing, she kept babbling on about how much she loved him and how he could never leave her. He left her. Now every time she sees him she bursts into tears, what did she expect? Then again, he wasn't exactly with her for her brains.
"You know what the best bit is?" Says Ralf, still harping on about the Rylie thing.
"What?"
"You've got to sit next to her all next lesson", and with that Ralf starts singing 'love is in the air', and dancing around Luke on the way to the classroom.
"Ugh" Luke groans, unsure whether to be amused or irritated. The last thing he wanted was to give Ralf yet more ammunition to wind him up with.
Talk about awkward, Luke thinks, contemplating what it'll be like to be sat next to Rylie all lesson with the entire class watching to see if there's a 'spark'. Never mind Ralf with his not so subtle remarks. Maybe today it would be worth sitting somewhere else.
- - - - - - - - - -

Rylie knew before she walked in Luke wasn't going to speak to her, she would be lucky if he even acknowledged her, let alone sit next to her. Her secret was out. She hoped she was wrong though, maybe he wouldn't react the way she thought he was going to. She knew why, the main problem was her lack of social standing. In the eyes of her classmates she's a low life- a geek, a nerd, a goody-toe-shoes: SAD. She isn't exactly sure what her actual labels are, but she could guess that ugly, crazy and weird are some of them. So she knew he would never allow himself to be dragged through the mud with her. Luke was a social climber; he worked hard to stay "popular". The truth was he didn't have the backbone to live with the stick he'd get, if anyone thought he had any regard for her...
Still, she hoped she was wrong.
Rylie walked in and sat down in her designated space, Mr Raven reckoned she'd be a "good influence on those less willing to work", yea right! The only good part was that she'd been placed next to him, Luke, and sometimes she could angle it so she got to walk home with him too.
'Ugh! Can anyone say "love sick puppy"?' She thought to herself, sitting down heavily, getting out her books, fiddling with her pencil case and trying to ignore the knots in her stomach. She sat, waiting for him to turn up, counting the seconds on the clock... 34, 35, 36, knees jittering up and down... 42, 43, 44...
'Oh for goodness sake, I can't sit here like this!" She thought, getting up and pretending an excuse to go into the tiny book cupboard. Anything to get away for a moment, just to close the door and take some time to breathe, away from prying eyes.

'Honestly, so what if the entire class knows I like him? Maybe it'll push him in to doing something about it". She thinks, almost claming, it could be a good thing, couldn't it?
Then the door to the book cupboard opens and Rylie is a rabbit trapped in headlights. She looks up to face of the boy standing in the doorway, her heart beating fast but only partly from surprise. There he is, Luke, her dream and her nightmare all at once, fear and longing fight for her attention, trapping her voice in her throat. His face is totally unreadable, his eyes fix on her as he shuts the door behind him and moves towards her.

His presence is overbearing, with Rylie becoming acutely aware of how small a space she's in, Luke blocking the only way out. He moves slowly toward her watching her every move as if she might lash out. A flicker of puzzlement crosses Rylie's face as she tries desperately to decipher his expression. She steps back trying to give herself more time, and her back hits into the bookshelf behind her; no where to go now. He keeps moving forward, his eyes boring into hers, he leans toward her and her mouth goes dry.

'He's going to kiss me!' The realisation causes sensation to rush up from her stomach and run across her skin. She holds her breath, fear and anticipation grip her and she has to look away. He's standing so close now, mere centimetres away, that Rylie closes her eyes letting his intoxicating aura flood her senses. He leads toward her, almost as if to breathe her in. She waits; her eyes closed, she turns her head away, needing to feel his breath in her ear or a kiss on her cheek. She waits for what feels like an eternity.

"Had to get a book" he says shortly, reaching past her to a book by her head. Embarrassment rushes up to meet her cheeks as disappointment descends to hit her stomach. A string of profanities rush through her mind as she turns round and drops to her knees. She feigns looking for a book, trying to hind the worst of the humiliation.
'Idiot!' She thinks as she lets shame wash over her, ' I was a fool to think he'd like me back.'

"I wish they'd organise these properly, I can never find what I want" she says trying to cover the gigantic mistake she'd just made.
"Um" he grunts, totally unimpressed, he takes his book and turns swiftly to leave. Grabbing the nearest book Rylie follows wanting nothing more than to get out of the stuffy little cupboard.

As the door opens a chorus of wolf whistles greet them, causing blood to rush to Rylie's cheeks again and a thoroughly irritated look on Luke's face.
"Hey Lukey! I didn't know you were into the freaky stuff." Says Jerry, one of Luke's particularly obnoxious friends. Why the hell does he like these people?
"Shut up" Comes the sharp remark from Luke, taking the seat between Jerry and Ralf, both continuing to tease him.
Lost in her own awkwardness Rylie takes her usual seat, hoping to disappear into the background again. It's a second before she realises Luke hasn't taken his usual seat beside her. Confused she looks up to find him and suddenly comprehends where he's gone. For the first time in two years he hasn't sat next to her, not even for the excuse to copy. Stunned she opens her mouth as if going to say something, but just ends up closing it again. A lump forms in her throat and tears prick her eyes, but she wills herself not to cry. She may feel completely shunned and so stupidly foolish, but she will not cry, that really would be the last nail in the coffin.

- - - - - - - - - -

Luke was taking a verbal bashing from his friends, but he was trying not to listen. It wouldn't of been so bad if anything had actually happened in the stupid cupboard. He hadn't expected to see her there, but his heart had given a little leap of joy when he did. He hadn't even realised he'd like her till that point, but she'd turned away from him. He'd gone to kiss her and she'd turned away. Obviously the rumour that she fancied him wasn't true, and he'd just made a total fool of himself for nothing.

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