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[personal profile] argyle_princess


It's the last day before Christmas break and Hannah is running late, because she keeps stopping to exchange greetings and gifts and vacation plans.

He's waiting at her locker. Or maybe he's waiting at his locker -- it's hard to tell, and mostly academic anyway, since their lockers are on top of each other. At any rate, he's clearly waiting for her.

"Hey, Sam," she says. "Merry Christmas. I have something for you."

"Yeah, me, too. I mean, I have something for you."

Shopping for Sam had been hard. He's too good a friend for a generic gift, like a box of candy or something. But their relationship is so oddly balanced these days that there are things she just won't give him, even though she'd think nothing at all of giving the same gift to Geoff. (Like, for example, exactly what gave Geoff -- a batch of cookies.) There are precious few things that fall somewhere between "personal enough" and "not too personal."

She has, in the end, settled for a CD he mentioned wanting.

He's gotten her a box of candy.

"Thanks," they say at the same moment, and then there's a pause before he says, "Emily told you? About Sophie and the dance?"

It's barely a question, because of course Emily told her, and they both know it. But for the sake of form, she confirms, "Yes."

"So it's . . . I mean, you don't . . ."

This is awkward. Technically, she doesn't have any right to object and he has no reason to see if she does.

And yet.

"I think you'll have a really good time," Hannah says. "She's really nice."

"Yeah, and it's just one date," he says, quickly. "It's not like we're going out."

"Right."

"Okay, then," he says.

"Yeah."

"Um-hum."

The first bell intecedes then, to save them from an endless exchange of agreements.

"Well," Sam says, visibly relieved (and that, Hannah realizes, hurts a little) "if I don't see you again, Merry Christmas and Happy New Year."

"You, too," she says, and doesn't point out that they'll see each other again in not quite 20 minutes in calculus.

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Hannah Griffith

June 2009

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