“Cynthia, are you busy?” She heard their younger brother Ryan ask outside her door after knocking.
“No, come in.”
Ryan pushed the door open, peeked inside then his body followed. Big brown eyes on that beautiful face stared at her. Today he wore khaki shorts and a grey shirt today. He just stood near the door and looked at her.
She moved to the left on her bed and patted the spot on her right. He walked slowly towards her, removed his indoor shoes and climbed on the bed.
His body language was a little off. It was Saturday, but he didn’t look eager to get outside and play like every other week.
“What’s wrong?” she asked after folding her legs in a lotus manner and faced a quiet Ryan.
His big brown eyes blinked at her. She waited. Sometimes he took his time to prepare his words before launching on the tale. Malcolm their brother, never understood this.
Ryan took a deep breath then, “I like this girl in my class.”
She waited for him to go on but that was all.
“What’s her name?” she asked and straightened her back a little.
“Okay. And when did you realise that you liked her?” she decided to just dive in and ask the questions since he didn’t look like he knew how to approach the topic.
“Last year. I wanted to tell her but she’s always with her and I thought she would laugh at me.”
He sighed at that and sank into the pillows on his back. “I don’t know, girls laugh at silly things all the time and I knew she would laugh at me so I didn’t tell her.”
“No they don’t.” At that Ryan looked at her unblinking. “Okay, maybe they do sometimes but it’s because what they are laughing at is funny. You telling her, you like her isn’t something she would laugh at.”
“How do I know that for sure?” he asked with a frown.
“Okay. What does she do when you guys are on break?”
“Uh…she’s usually talking to her friends. Most of the time, they sit in a little group and just talk.”
“How many friends does she have?” Cynthia had to be ready in case it came to having to let her little brother down if they were dealing with a girl who wouldn’t want to be seen talking to him.
“And have you ever talked to her at all?”
He rose from his comfortable spot in the pillows and leaned forward. “Yes. I say hi to her every morning and her friends too. Last week we had to do a group thing in English class and we were in the same group and we were talking.”
“How does she sound when she talks to you or anyone else?”
He smiled at that. “She smiles at me when I talk to her and she doesn’t sound snobby even when she’s talking to her friends. She has dimples and he voice is soft.”
Oh here we go. She rested her elbows on the inside of her knees and looked at him. When had he grown up? He was only nine. “Does she look at you when you’re in class or even at break or lunch when you pass by?”
His smooth face crinkled at that then he smiled. Cynthia’s eyes widened. That smile had looked grown up before softening to suit his age. She had to tread carefully here. She couldn’t encourage a bad boy persona. “Sometimes I see her looking at me and then she looks away quickly but it’s alright I guess. Sometimes I look at her when she’s not watching. I like her hair, and her smile makes her look really pretty.” Ryan’s eyes glazed over a little.
Oh boy. Maybe she should tell mum about this. “Oh she leaves in the next suburb to ours, but her mum usually picks her up after school.” He went on.
Yup, she’d have to tell mum. “So why do you like her then?”
He stared at her as if she’d lost her mind. And she stared back. “I like that she’s pretty and she says hi to me every day and she talks to me sometimes and she has a nice laugh. She’s not like those other snobby girls in our class.”
“Okay. So why not just tell her? I know it’s scary but if you don’t tell her she’ll never know and then maybe another boy might steal your chance.”
He sighed again at that and sunk into the pillows. “I don’t know. I don’t want to be embarrassed and laughed at by all the kids in our class. What if she says no? All the boys will make fun of me until we finish school.”
Yeah there was that possible outcome. “But what if she doesn’t? Besides I think she might like you too but she’s scared you might laugh at her. Boys do that to girls because they don’t want to look weak and love sick.”
Ryan frowned again. “I’m not love sick, I’m not a grown up. I just like her that’s all.”
Cynthia tried not to shake her head at that logic. Better not get things complicated. “Okay, but what are you going to do about it?”
“I don’t know that’s why I came to you.”
“Well I think you should tell her. It will feel good if you do because then she’ll know and you won’t have it hanging over you.”
“And if she doesn’t like me back?” he looked at her from the corner of his right eye.
“We’ll deal with it then.”
“So you think I should just go up to her and tell her?”
She shook her head now and sighed. “No, ask her to go with you so you aren’t near her friends and tell her. That way if she doesn’t, her friends won’t laugh.”
“But they’ll know anyway.” He looked at the ceiling.
“Yeah, but it’s not them you like, its Anna.”
“Okay.” He said still not looking at her.
“So you’ll tell her?”
He turned his head and looked at her. His eyes silently begging her for something but she knew he wanted to prove to himself he could. She would be here for him whatever way this went; hopefully mum would be okay with it though.
“I’ll do it.” He smiled and pushed forward and hugged her. She gathered him to her and hoped she’d done the right thing. It was a little earl to deal with broken hearts after all.