Daniel Everett was an idiot. And he'd known that. But it had taken him a while to own it, as is the tendency with most teenage boys and really, most boys in general.But sometimes a gossip blog can turn things around, huh?He wasn't sure who ran The Shame Game. He was pretty sure that this wasn't their intention when they wrote it, though. Because — well. He was wrong, and she deserved a real apology, and maybe there could be something. Maybe they could be together again. Or be friends. Or maybe she'd hate him forever, but at least it would be publicly.Publicly. That was the key word.And picking a semi-public place, surrounded by people coming and going from the building, was a good place to start, right?
When Mireille's phone had buzzed last night, she had been completely taken aback to see Daniel's name across the screen. The text beneath it had come as even more of a surprise. He wanted to talk? About what, she had no fucking idea. Even now, making her way through the crowded halls of RNHS, Mir was still at a loss for what he wanted to talk to her about that needed a texted request. The only things that came to mind were those two fucking anon blogs — two complete pains in her ass. Mir didn't even want to think about the odd glances she'd gotten throughout the day. There had been one point during stats that she'd considered punching someone. It was probably a good thing she'd restrained herself. Stepping out into the sun, Mir scanned the lawn for Daniel's figure, readjusting her grip on her Euro textbook. Even after a summer of avoidance, weeks of not seeing him, her eyes found him almost immediately. "Daniel. Hey," she said as she approached him. "You... wanted to talk?"
There was that feeling again. That — that longing whenever he saw her. "Hey," he said as Mir approached. "Yeah. I—"And how was he supposed to say this? How was he supposed to apologize and make it sound sincere? Let he know that he wasn't expecting anything (but at the same time hoped)? Daniel's words were, normally, the one thing he could always count on. But more and more often, they seemed to fail him whenever he was around her."I saw that blog post," he said. And then, "And I wanted to apologize. For everything. For treating you that way, and for hurting you, because that's the last thing I wanted to do." Because I was too busy thinking of myself."Anyway," he continued, "I know that this doesn't magically fix everything. But if you can forgive me," he said, "then I'd really — I'd really like if we could be friends again." Friends. Yeah — he could do that. He could do that. He held out a hand, a peace offering that was hers for the taking, if she would accept it.
It was beyond odd to see Daniel pause, hesitate like this. The only times Mireille had ever seen him delay, even stutter for a moment, were the times she'd caught him off guard in the past. And this — wasn't anything like then. Mir could practically see thoughts racing through his head; she wondered what exactly it was he was trying to say that could make him think so hard about it. Of course, the blog post. But then — all of Mir's thoughts came to a complete standstill. It was nothing she'd expected, and everything she'd hoped for. Here, finally, was the apology Mir had wandered Daniel realized she needed. A step in the right direction, towards fixing the problem. All it had taken was one last push from an outside perspective, as crass as it had been, it seemed. For once, it didn't take Mir long to find her words. "I'd like that too," she replied, a small, but genuine, unforced smile pulling at her lips. Yeah, it wasn't some magical panacea; no insta-fix here. Nothing was ever that simple. But it was something. And if that something was friends — no more tense interactions and careful avoidance — then Mir would happily take that. If Daniel was willing to try to fix the things that had driven them apart, then she was willing to forgive. Mir reached a hand out to take his.
"Good," he said; but even as relief flooded through his body, his throat felt dry. You want more, that voice in his head reminded him. Because he did — if Daniel could have his way, then things would go back to the way they were, but better.But this wasn't about Daniel getting his way. He'd learned that.He wet his lips with his tongue, finding his voice once again. "I'm glad. I—" No. "I'm really glad," he said, decisively. This, at least, he could say with absolute conviction.He glanced down at his watch, then let go of her hand reluctantly. "I should get going," he said. "My parents are having company and I promised I'd head straight home. But," he added, adjusting the strap of his bag on his shoulder, "if you have any questions about tonight's reading, text me."
It was like a sudden weight had been lifted from Mireille's shoulders. Which was downright fucking ridiculous, because since when did she let some guy have this much unconscious control over her emotions. But somehow Daniel had snuck in and left his mark on her mind, and that one phrase — I'm really glad — one she felt like echoing, made her smile that much more genuine. And sure — this didn't feel like nearly enough. Her fingertips itched for the familiarity of the past. But Mir could deal with this. This was enough, for now. "Right, of course. Thanks, Daniel. I'll see you around." And for once, Mir meant it. She stepped back, turned away, threw one last glance and wave over her shoulder, and made her way to the low stone wall to wait for Em.
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